Music to my ears

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 by Liz

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Some seven years ago I joined Eyeful Presentations. Picture my office back then: a barn at the back of the MD Simon Morton’s house in the middle of nowhere. For a short while it was just myself, Simon and Zoe (our wonderful then book-keeper, now head of finance) working in that barn. Peace and quiet. How things have changed today, sitting here at Eyeful Towers surrounded by 25+ other Eyefulites, in a rather noisy yet wonderfully busy and truly lovely creative environment.

At the end of each busy week, Simon would appear with a beer in hand, offer me one (which I always declined, pre-drinking at work seemed wrong!) and set up what he liked to call our “Friday Jamming Session”. This really consisted of him playing his chosen songs very loudly and rejecting my choices! During these sessions, Simon used to repeatedly play one song to me (“Janet Jackson, What have you done for me lately”, oh dear!). After this song had played for what seemed like the 50th time, Simon would then start sharing stories with me of his week, or years gone by at Eyeful. As much as I disliked his music choices and THAT song, I did start to enjoy those Friday sessions, I would bring in snacks (Fat Fridays still happen at Eyeful!) and my notebooks soon started to fill up with inspiration from these chats.

Today, the tried and tested methodology Simon shares in his book really resonate with those early days for me and how it shaped my work life, and my approach to the world of Presentations. My 23 year old self literally had no idea that presentations, PowerPoint, message, communication, could be so interesting!

It was with his love of music and applying this to Presentations that really got me hooked. With such simple explanations and ways of thinking, he was sharing some really complex business messages.

This was what he was sharing with our customer’s day in, day out and still is to date.

Each genre of music brings with it different instruments, different tempos, moods, different audiences. In all genres, despite the differences in the aforementioned, there are many similarities.

They all have the same chords and musical notes to form their songs, they all have the same words and language to form lyrics with. Yet, the variations we hear are endless. Each great musician knows all of the chords, the notes, the words. Yet they choose not to include them all, used sparingly they will create greater melodies, emotion and resonate more with the audience. The pauses, the build-up, the crescendos, the lyrics that are given the “space” they need to mean so much.

All of this applies to your presentations. It is as much about what you don’t include, as the content that you do include. The message that you deliver needs to be relevant, powerful, link back into the original aims of your presentation (remember to always refer back to the Must-Intend-Like of your audiences and your presentation). Your content supports your message at all times, it doesn’t detract from your presentation but ensures it delivers it effectively as long as you are striking the right chord.

So as a fellow “presentation composer”, I ask you to consider putting your content to music the next time you start to prepare a presentation. And if this has really got you interested, why not find out more about our Message and Content training workshop, which will enlighten you in even more ways.  Your presentation will then undoubtedly hit all of the right notes.

Now all I have to do is hope that Simon doesn’t read this blog and start playing that song again. But, if and when he does (which inevitably he will, he’s like a dog with a bone at times, I suppose that is why he has made Eyeful a success!)  I know that he will have a proud moment knowing that not only did I listen to the song he played, but the message he was trying to get through to me each time he played it!

If you would like to start dancing to the tunes of Eyeful FM (we really do have a Spotify playlist entitled just this!), then please stay tuned to the blog by signing up below, or please get in touch, I would love to chat. Especially on a Friday afternoon around 4pm when I need to appear busy whilst avoiding THAT song!

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