Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

TODAY’S WEBINAR : BUSINESS SUCCESS THROUGH ONLINE MEETINGS

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 by Matt<

Ok, hands up who has ever done any of these things when attending a webinar?

Checked email
Continued working
Scanned through your Facebook feed
Logged off due to the dire content

It isn’t surprising when most webinars are incessantly self-promoting, with the presenter going on and on about their company, where they are based and how esteemed their board of directors are…

Couple that with PowerPoint presentation designs that are devoid of quality, animation and anything resembling a logical story or structure.

Now add in the fact there is no body language to follow from either party.

That’s how most sales pitches feel using an online meeting tool – with absolutely no connection between presenter and audience.  What results is a tug of war between an overly enthusiastic presenter and an isolated audience…and nobody wins.

Which is no good for you as a presenter. You somehow need to build a connection with your audience, keeping them engaged, interested and enthused enough to follow your call to action.

How do you do this?

Well, today at 12.30 (UK) Eyeful’s founder (and all-round presentation expert) Simon Morton is delivering a webinar on webinars in…

Business Success through Online Meetings – The Power of Trust & Rapport

This is a fantastic opportunity to find out…

How you can use web technology to build trust with prospects and customers
How you can easily create intimacy with your remote audiences through use of an online ‘blended approach’
How to move the online engagement from ‘presentation’ to ‘conversation’
See an example of a webinar presentation created and delivered by a renowned presentation expert

Register now to get the expert advice to that will give your next webinar a much greater chance of success…

NATIONAL WALKING MONTH PODCAST: THE IMPORTANCE OF STEPPING AWAY

Friday, May 12th, 2017 by Olivia Walsh<

May is National Walking Month, with 15th-19th being Walk to School Week for the parents among you.

As Europe’s leading presentation design agency we think walking and presentations go hand in hand.

Our CEO Simon Morton books a weekend off every year to go on a walking weekend, we’ve held management meetings in the great outdoors and who can forget the Eyeful charity trek over Dartmoor a few years ago!?

We love walking for a very simple reason, getting away from your everyday work environment and giving yourself chance to think about things and get a little clarity and perception is priceless – it’s probably our single biggest tip when it comes to preparing a presentation too…

We always advise anyone preparing a presentation to…

“Step away – grab a coffee, go for a walk, or find an empty room – anything that’s going to get you thinking about your presentation in a slightly different way.” – Rob Bailey, Managing Director, Eyeful Presentations.

If you have a presentation on the horizon, stick your work shoes into a bag, grab your most comfortable trainers and walk to work…

If that’s not practical, step away from your desk and simply head outside and take a walk this lunchtime…

To keep you company while you walk, Rob Bailey is releasing weekly podcasts with some expert presentation advice that’s perfect to take on board as you are walking…

To listen to today’s tip, just click play below and the podcast will automatically stream…

I DON’T DO POLITICS…BUT I LOVE A GOOD STORY

Friday, January 20th, 2017 by Simon Morton<

For many years I’ve made it a policy not to talk politics in the workplace.   When conversation in the kitchen turns political, I either quietly retreat or look to move the topic onto something less divisive (money, religion, football teams).

Strange then that my first blog of 2017 should focus on a politician – President Barack Obama.  As the World prepares for the inauguration of Donald Trump, we’re reminded of the many faces of Obama. 

Fun Obama

Serious Obama

Controversial Obama

…and Obama the Orator.

No matter what your politics, it’s difficult not to recognise his ability to engage an audience, clearly state a message and then deliver it with focused passion.  This ability to connect with audiences goes deeper than the natural charisma required of any prominent politician – much of his success came from the fact that President Obama and his speechwriting team worked damned hard at it.

The web is littered with analysis of his presentation style, timbre and speech rhythm…and I have no intention of adding to what has already been said.  There is one element of his presentation style that I do feel is worthy of celebration – his storytelling.

Take a look at the following video of his ‘Fired up, ready to go’ story.

Through one story, he engaged and enthused his supporters.  He demonstrated a humility on the campaign trail and, a rarity among politicians, used it to show that he was fallible.   That’s right – the man who aspired to lead the World’s most powerful country wanted to show that he didn’t have all the answers and was learning lessons every day.

If the outgoing POTUS valued and used the power of storytelling ignite audiences and prompt change, don’t you think it’s worth trying to weave story into your next presentation?  Just a thought…

 

 

EURO 2016 – IT’S NOT ABOUT THE JOURNEY, IT’S ABOUT THE MOMENT OF TRUTH

Friday, June 10th, 2016 by Simon Morton<

Much has been made of my lack of football knowledge by friends in and outside of work.  I manage to bluff my way through the occasional pub conversation with a well-timed “What about that Jamie Vardy, eh?”…but that’s about as far as it goes.

Yet, like millions across Europe, I’m finding myself getting pulled along with the excitement of Euro 2016 as we prepare for the big kick off in Paris this evening (pun intended).  For reasons I don’t fully understand, most of the home nations are in play so there is a palpable sense of anticipation wherever you happen to be at the moment (sorry Scotland).

I completely understand – the Euros are a very big deal in football terms and the culmination of a lot of hard work, stress and anxiety for both team and fans alike (yes, even if one of the ‘obstacles’ in your way was San Marino).  Simply qualifying and having the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities on this stage is a big deal…and certainly not a given:

Yet all the hard work, injury worries, ‘kiss and tell’ tabloid stories and the stress that each team has battled thus far has just been a journey to today.  As each team takes to the pitch, they will no doubt take time to reflect on the hard work put in to date but also recognise that when they cross that white line, their Moment of Truth has arrived.  Fans, journalists, critics, family and the players themselves will put all the stresses and strains of the journey behind them and judge success or failure on what happens in the next 90 minutes on the pitch.

It’s their Moment of Truth.

We talk a lot about the Moment of Truth in business presentations.  In much the same way as a high profile football tournament, all the hard work, long days and sleepless nights aren’t worth a jot if you don’t perform on the day.  Similarly, you and your presentation message will have it’s own set of ‘supporters’ within your business – stakeholders who want to see you succeed.

The Moment of Truth doesn’t allow time for excuses – this is about delivering results for you…and your supporters.

Getting the result you deserve is about being prepared, confident and focused on the prize.  In football terms, this might be getting through to the next round.  In business, it might be winning the pitch, securing funding or selling a new idea into your business.

No matter what the end result, it all boils down to the Moment of Truth.

So if England run out on the pitch tomorrow night looking tired, confused and with no clear plan in place, I for one will be disappointed.  More importantly, my football fanatic friends (the real supporters) will be devastated.  Similarly, if you fail to deliver a clear, engaging and valuable presentation, your audience will disengage and your supporters will be left frustrated and disheartened (and all your combined hard work will have gone to waste).

The impact of failing to deliver at the Moment of Truth is seismic.  Don’t go into your next presentation half-hearted – when that happens, nobody wins.

Good luck at your next Moment of Truth, Oh, and enjoy the football!

When Provocative Turns Offensive

Friday, April 29th, 2016 by Simon Morton<

I attended a presentation earlier this week that was so offensive I’m still reeling from it. To pre-empt any ‘presentation prima donna’ accusations, the offence was not caused by the awful visuals, a blizzard of bullets or overuse of animation – frankly, this comes with the territory and you become hardened to such things.

Nope – the offence was caused by the crass use of a global human catastrophe to help demonstrate a particular business point.  Let me put this into context… The presenter told a story (not something we would normally complain about) about how the combination of being made redundant, then a few days later the 9-11 tragedy happening made him reassess his life and career, he would then travel the world and discover the product idea that launched his business and made it what it is today…

At least that’s how most presenters would tell the story.

But alas this chap wanted to make an impact…and an impact he made. The story was told in a vulgar tone, with images of planes crashing into the World Trade Centres as well as a jokey picture of Osama Bin Laden with a speech bubble telling him to set his own business up…

Up until this point it had been a fairly successful event. but when this happened the audience squirmed. The room went horribly quiet. The presenter, instantly recognised that he’d overstepped the mark, but it was too late, he was at the point of no return and looked ashen faced. To say he’d totally misread the audience was an understatement and, more importantly, not one of them (myself included) was prepared to throw him a lifeline of an encouraging nod of the head, or a slight smile. He never recovered and spent a painful 20 minutes on stage, the audience letting him squirm with absolutely no compassion whatsoever.

Now I wager that this offensive presentation probably started as a much more innocent brainwave. I’m sure the presenter had just wanted to rock the boat a bit and provoke a bit of a reaction from a semi-comatose conference audience – to stand out and be remembered.

The problem is that the lure of provocation eclipsed any proper consideration of the audience, his objectives or the key presentation message.

Provocation and shaking things up is fine, as long as it’s done in the right way and for the right reasons.  If it doesn’t help your audience to follow your call to action – or worse still, such as in this case, makes them less likely – then what’s the point?

Now don’t get me wrong – I’ve long been a fan of grabbing the attention of a presentation audience early on in the process. Done properly, it turns ‘ye olde presentation rules’ on their head and gives both presenter and audience license to engage in a much more powerful way. The resulting engagement ensures everyone gets more out of the process – the audience becomes invested in the message being shared (and thus more likely to do something as a result) and the presenter isn’t having to compensate for what is often a terribly dull experience for them and the people in front of them.Story Season 1

More importantly, turning things on their head is a pretty easy thing to do.

After all, the bar is set pretty low for most credentials presentations delivered today. The vast majority follow the same old opening structure – anodyne title slide, a dull agenda followed by a handful of slides sharing company information in mind-numbing detail (more than often accompanied with a world map showing office locations using pin icons).

Simply stepping away from this engagement sapping opening and instead sharing an insight that demonstrates an understanding of your audience’s issues already puts you head and shoulders above your fellow presenters.

No need for fireworks, crass provocation or bawdy humour. The reality is that simply making your next presentation audience centric will ensure you stand out. So stop thinking of clever high impact ‘tricks’ or hooks and focus on the most important stuff first – message, structure and call to action. Do this right and your audience will remember you for all the RIGHT reasons…

PS – Want a second opinion?  Ping us your presentation and we’ll analyse your audience and give you an action plan on how to significantly improve its messaging, structure and design in our free Presentation Healthcheck service

THE STORY ABOUT HOW BAD PRESENTATIONS HAVE BECOME THE NORM

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 by Matt<

Bad presentations are everywhere. In auditoriums, boardrooms, meetings rooms and offices across the world, bad presentations have become the norm, despite our best efforts…

What constitutes a bad presentation?
Generally; they are bullet point ridden messes.  With countless slides overloaded with content, they have a lack of structure, focus obsessively on the presenter and their company whilst completely disregarding the audience and often lack the most obvious element; a call to action.

Think I’m being harsh? Since offering our free Presentation Healthcheck service, we’ve seen a worryingly high number of presentations that suffer from either all or some of the problems mentioned above.

What’s the impact of bad presentations?
In general, missed opportunities. Every time a presenter stands up in front of an audience, a lot of time, money and energy has been spent to generate that opportunity. A presenter turning up with a ‘bad’ presentation usually means the audience won’t follow the call to action (if there is one).

Worse than that, reputation can be irreparably damaged, both for the company presenting to the audience and back at base for the presenter and their boss.

It bad news all round.

How do bad presentations happen?
We have a theory (and please excuse the use of Comic Sans font – it’s supposed to be ironic)…

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Are people really staying up all hours, tinkering with their presentations at the last minute to try and make them better?

Sadly, yes.

It’s happening every day in the real world. It’s so widespread and well known that the world’s largest fast food chain has hooked into it in their latest TV advertising campaign…

Stuart is not a hero – he’s a pillock for leaving his presentation to the last minute. Working on your presentation late at night when you’re tired, leads to two things – an annoyed family and a bad presentation.

Someone should tell Stuart, “there is another way” and advise him to bookmark this URL.

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You see Microsoft, the people that brought you the world’s most popular presentation tool, have teamed up with Eyeful, the people who quite literally, wrote the book on the formula behind powerful presentations, The Presentation Lab

We’ve taken our years of experience and the expert thinking that underpins our modular presentation training and mixed them together.  The end result is a platform for a month long series of videos, Sways and thought provoking content to spur presenters on to Thinking, Acting and Delivering their presentations differently.

All to make sure that presenters like Stuart (and possibly you?) don’t fall into the trap of poor presentations impacting your next opportunity…or career…or family harmony.

Both you and your audience deserve better…

THREE THINGS PRESENTERS SHOULD AVOID AT ALL COSTS

Friday, February 19th, 2016 by Matt<

You might have heard the recent news that Eyeful have joined forces with Microsoft…

“Microsoft decided to join forces with a UK company with a global remit to improve the quality of business presentations, Eyeful Presentations (that’ll be us, then). It makes perfect sense – the creators of the world’s most popular presentation tool working alongside the people who quite literally, wrote the book on the formula behind powerful presentations, The Presentation Lab.”

We work with some of the biggest brands in the world most days, creating business presentations for them that deliver serious results. But this relationship is a little different – Microsoft didn’t want us to just create them a PowerPoint presentation design, they wanted to dip into all our years of experience and into the expert thinking that has gone into our modular presentation training

They wanted to serialise some serious presentation expertise for the people who need it most – the millions of business presenters and presentation designers out there who use PowerPoint and all the other Microsoft tools on a daily basis.

One subject that came to the surface during the creation of this video series, was the fact that there are a few common pitfalls that hamper many presenters and should be avoided at all costs!

The Presentation Paradox

the_presentation_paradox

Or more simply put, a lack of respect for the presentation opportunity.

This is about where businesses invest in all the areas before the presentation, hiring their people, marketing budgets – all the time, effort and money that goes into getting the opportunity to present booked in the diary.

Then when it comes to the crunch time, they either invest little effort (or completely the wrong effort) into the presentation itself. It all spells a missed opportunity due to simply not recognising and respecting the value of the opportunity itself.

Avoid being a part of a Presentation Paradox.

Presentation Myths To Avoid

presentation_myths

PowerPoint is the child of the devil and it’s PowerPoint’s fault all my presentations are rubbish.

Erm… our research suggests if a person can only make a rubbish PowerPoint, they can generally only make a rubbish Prezi…

My PowerPoint is the presentation, not me.

A PowerPoint without a presenter is like a movie on mute…

My presentation looks good, so it’s good right?

Wrong.

The 10, 20, 30 Rule (Max 10 slides, talk for no more than 20 mins, use a font size of 30).

Does this actually make sense to anyone?

Quick Fixes To Avoid

Make every slide a full image with little to no text.

Creating your presentation by grabbing slides from other people’s decks.

Using someone else’s presentation, or worse still using a generic company presentation and hope that it works for your specific audience or goal.

There are lots of myths, lots of quick fixes out there on the internet, lots of programmes and apps to try and make the presentation creation process quicker and easier.

But to make a successful presentation that really works, really engages with your audience and is effective in getting results – then there is no hiding from the fact that work is required – not necessarily harder work, but definitely smarter work…

So if you would like to work smarter when it comes to presentations, check out the Microsoft and Eyeful Video Series as there is literally no better place to start.

THE SLIDES ARE THE PRESENTATION

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016 by Matt<

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has once again headed off to Grant Leboff’s Sticky Marketing studio for another helpful interview…

This time, Simon tackles the age old problem of when presenters start creating their presentations by opening up PowerPoint – which is pretty much the biggest ‘no, no’ when it comes to creating presentations.

Grant isn’t afraid to push Simon on the subject, so be prepared to take notes as your guaranteed to learn a whole heap about presentation planning and best practice.

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The video is less than four and half minutes, so perfect viewing over your next cuppa – or if you have a little longer, check out Grant’s other interviews with Simon…

If the topics mentioned whet your appetite for more expert presentation knowledge, check out Simon’s acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab which is making waves and has been released in 6 languages…

In the meantime, here is the latest video…

HOW TO PREPARE A PRESENTATION OVERNIGHT

Thursday, December 10th, 2015 by Matt<

Here at Eyeful, we are a caring, sharing sort of presentation design company.

Only yesterday I was creating a whole bunch of tutorial videos for our cloud based presentation storage and distribution platform SlideBank. These being carefully created with the sole intention of making things easier for the administrators and end users of this powerful PowerPoint distribution system.

We also have a fantastic modular presentation training programme that regularly helps people learn all the aspects of presentation creation, from the beginning of the presentation messaging process, right through to our technical training packages such as advanced PowerPoint training.

If you need help, then we are the type of business to offer it.

And we’re now helping people with their presentations while they fly!

Eyeful’s very own expert presentation consultant Richard Tierney has had an article on “How To Prepare A Presentation Overnight” featured in British Airways’ in-flight magazine Business Life.

Now, whilst we are certainly not advocates of leaving your presentation preparation to the very last minute, we know it happens. Goodness knows how many times we’ve picked up the phone to a rather panicked presenter needing a minor miracle delivering to save their presentation life!

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But if you’re on a long flight and calling the presentation experts simply isn’t an option, then thanks to Richard, here are 10 sage tips to get you ready in the hotel, the night before the big event…

#1 BE IN THE RIGHT STATE
You’ve arrived at the hotel, the conference is tomorrow and you haven’t prepared your presentation. Call room service. No one does well in a stressful situation on an empty stomach.

#2 DEFINE THE KEY MESSAGE
Your success on stage tomorrow depends on this one thought. Write it down. Pin it up somewhere where you can see it; this is going to get messy.

#3 GATHER SUPPORTING FACTS
Write down all the things you can think of, each one on a separate piece of paper. Post-It notes work well; I find those little pads of hotel notepaper useful. Now, pick your top three.

#4 MAKE A STORY
How do these three facts tell the main message you have? Imagine this: You meet an old friend for a drink. This friend knows nothing, and casually asks: “What do you really mean by that?” Pay close attention to your answer.

#5 GET SPECIFIC
I highly recommend writing out your speech in full. If it works better for you just list topic headings on 3×5 cards, or scamp it out as a mind map. Whatever floats your boat. Read it through out loud a couple of times and see how long it takes. Adjust accordingly.

#6 MAKE A FEW SLIDES
You need five slides:

● Your name and the title of your talk
● Point One
● Point Two
● Point Three
● Your key message

Only add more if you have a really good reason.

#7 EDIT
Fact: We remember pictures, we do not remember text. Therefore: Show – don’t tell. If you already have a prepared slide deck you may like to use a little-known function: the delete button. Now you have a story to tell, and you have a memorable, terse, set of slides to help you tell that story.

#8 REHEARSE
Time to rehearse again, with slides this time. There’s a theory that one can over rehearse; it’s true but you are nowhere near that point. Run through until it goes well, then go to bed. You need your sleep and the presentation will – magically – embed itself whilst you sleep.

#9 HYDRATE
Nerves are just nature’s way of saying we’re excited. By keeping your message simple, your objective clear and removing distracting slides you have minimised this. A dry mouth helps no one. Keep a bottle (not a glass) of still water with you at the podium.

# 10 OBJECTIVE
Above all, remember where you are going. Then you won’t get lost. Stage fright can make you think the worst of people. Your audience has come to hear you because they believe you have something worthwhile to say. They want you to succeed. Enjoy.

Or, if you have a slightly longer lead time than 12 hours, just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528…

 

We’re well versed in performing minor miracles…

DO YOU DELIVER PRESENTATIONS?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015 by Matt<

Ah, so you are the brave ones! Hats off to you, standing up in front of an audience of few or many takes a special kind of person with a unique skillset.

I used to present on the radio to thousands of people and I found that easy, yesterday I presented some technical demo’s on Slidebank and Turtl to our Eyeful consultants and I was a bag of nerves! Despite knowing the tech inside out!

So when I say hats off to people who present, I really do mean it.

In today’s world of presentations there are so many ways to present information, it’s simply astonishing.

Presenters are moving to new technology in the form or Prezi. New programs and apps such as Sway and Turtl are entering the fold.

Some presenters are learning to adapt to different environments, from the large formal seminar type presentations to the more interactive conversations that small meetings offer.rsz_3the_presentation_survey_graphic_for_blog_-_alt_v2

At least, this is what we think is going on…

We would like to ask for your help to paint a firm picture on what life is like for you as a presenter in 2015…

By kindly taking our 60 second Eyeful survey for “People Who Present” you would be helping us to help everyone!

This will enable us to report back on what’s going on in the real world and offer our thoughts, insight and advice as Europe’s leading team of presentation experts.

Worry not, we don’t want your name or email address, because this survey is about making your presentation life easier, not adding to your inbox!

There are only 10 short, very straightforward multiple choice questions, meaning we can hand on heart say you’ll be done inside the next 60 seconds!

So please do, take the survey here