Archive for the ‘Customer Stories’ Category

THE DANGER OF LEAVING IT TO THE LAST MINUTE

Friday, October 7th, 2016 by Matt<

wordpress-help

We were chatting in the office recently about our favourite customer stories (more on these in the near future) and this nightmare scenario came up about something that happened a couple of years ago, but the warning still rings true today…

On this particular day the HQ phone rang at 5pm with a potential new customer ringing for last minute presentation help…

Fortunately, our day to day customers tend to follow our friendly advice that leaving things close to the event is not the best idea…

Unfortunately for this company they had not received such sage advice…

Their problem was the fact they had a business defining tender opportunity due to be given the follow morning and try as they might their message was confusing and their PowerPoint looked abysmal…

Now Eyeful aren’t the type of presentation design company to say no. We’ve garnered a proud reputation over the years for being the kind of company that’ll bend over backwards to help you out, no matter how late you’ve left it…

And of course the Eyefulite who took the call stayed in the office until 9pm trying to help, but alas in this instance it was just too late in the day and they had to break the bad news to the customer…

Now you might be thinking, why am I sharing a story about where we couldn’t help?!

I’m doing so because Eyeful want you, your colleagues or anyone associated with delivering presentations to realise that there isn’t always a bailout solution to get last minute presentation help…

And if you leave it late you are seriously undermining your opportunity…

If you deliver a poor presentation, you look bad, your business looks bad, your audience suffers and there is a damn good chance that the call to action you want your audience to follow – will be missed.

So I implore you, if you have a presentation coming up, give it the time and attention it deserves.

As the alternative is a sad situation where nobody wins and what nobody wants.

If your next presentation is tomorrow this might help…

If it’s a little further away, call us now on 01455 826390…

What happened to the company?

Well, let’s just say it didn’t exactly go to plan and they lost the deal. They are also now one of our most longstanding customers, with a series of fully interactive sales presentations that have helped them win a lot of business…

Every cloud.

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

Bid Presenters Get Expert Presentation Insight In The Eyeful Labs

Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Matt<

Last night saw the Eyeful Labs host an event for around 30 APMP UK members, all of whom got to enjoy some fancy sandwiches whilst getting lots of great presentation related advice from Eyeful’s Simon Morton.

Simon, a renowned presentation expert and author of the acclaimed book The Presentation Lab was fresh from speaking at Microsoft events in London and Barcelona. Happy to be on home turf, he was delighted to share concepts and examples of best practice from both his book and experience of working with clients on ‘must win’ bids.

The audience were a lovely group of people from all different businesses, their commonality being that they were all members of the APMP…

APMP UK is the UK chapter of the ‘Association of Bid and Proposal Management Professionals’ which is the body that defines and supports best practice in the areas of bids, proposals and business acquisition.

Bids and presentations go hand in hand as we only know too well at Eyeful, having worked on so many of these presentations over the years.

I think back to the time a client told me how the presentation we created for them played a significant part in helping them win a bid worth £90m… You don’t forget that sort of feedback!

Last night’s audience were treated to a bespoke ‘bid specific’ lecture based on content from Eyeful’s modular presentation training suite – which covers the entire presentation lifespan from creating the initial story right through to Advance PowerPoint Training.

 
rsz_simon_presenting

THINK DIFFERENTLY
The first part of the lecture was about changing the way the audience thought about presentations, which after years of bullet point conditioning and overloaded slide content, this a lot harder than most people think.

ACT DIFFERENTLYHeatmap.png
This was about learning to break old habits and to basically plan your presentation in a whole new way. It was about discovering the right balance between message and content

Simon also focussed on the most important element of any presentation, the audience, introducing concepts such as the Audience Heatmap.

DELIVER DIFFERENTLY
Delivering a presentation is about way more than simply standing and talking. So many presenters believe a click by click linear presentation is the right tool for every scenario.

Simon introduced the concept of the Presentation Landscape and the theory behind using the right presentation tool at the right time, for example smaller informal meetings would be better suited to an interactive tablet based presentation.

rsz_dsc_0518

The aim of the evening was for people to leave with a whole new mind-set when it comes to creating presentations…

“Very interesting and helpful, I am actually looking forward to working on my presentation tomorrow morning!”

“Thank you for opening my eyes to a new perspective towards presenting.”

Based on the feedback we received, it was clearly mission accomplished…

To have your event members or indeed your large team get some expert presentation advice in the Eyeful Labs, just give us a ring on 01455 826390 and we’ll tailor a course just for you.

Reason #24 to work with Eyeful Presentations:

Friday, December 4th, 2015 by Matt<

Eyeful’s People Rock!

And I’m genuinely proud to say it…

There are lots of reasons to work with Eyeful and one of the biggest and best is the people who work tirelessly everyday making sure people’s presentation opportunities are successful.

We’re lucky enough to have a team of expert presentation consultants who know how to create you a presentation story that really connects with your audience…

Our project managers will bend over backwards to get the job done in your time frames…

And we’ve got a whole bunch of truly talented presentation designers who can turn a bullet point laden mess into something rather spectacular, yet professional.

Just ask our clients…

To get the full story of what our customers think about us, just check out our Turtl…

565dc0396cd995550703e333

It won’t just confirm what a lovely bunch we are to work with, but you’ll also find two great (and completely free) ways to ensure your presentations are on target

Bringing our Presentation Labs to Life

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 by Liz<

We love nothing more here at Eyeful Towers than the buzz of a really busy day in the office, especially when we have customers coming in for training in our Presentation Labs. There is something about the smell of fresh coffee and posh biscuits that we just can’t resist.

Couple that with a great bunch of customers as well and we’re really onto a winner! We recently had the pleasure of working with a lovely team from Jaga Heating Products.

The Jaga team consisted of Project Managers, Technical Consultants and Sales Managers who all received our two-day training course which focussed on equipping them with new strategies and approaches for both the preparation and delivery of their presentations.

Every aspect of the programme was tailored to the team’s day-to-day needs, from the sector specific scenarios we asked them to prepare and present back, to the slides they used to present with.

This approach allowed us, and more importantly them, to see real-time, instant transformations to their presentation delivery. The methods and approaches shared were put into practice during the training and not forgotten about the minute they left the session.

One of the team was delivering a presentation the very next day and reported back to us that he had found himself with a new spring in his step.

“I have a new found confidence, not only in my presentation skills but also in the content that I am delivering.

The optimised presentation and new delivery methods taught during the training, mean that I have really been able to give the presentation my all. Thanks Eyeful”

In terms of ROI, the senior management confirmed that the training programme had delivered beyond expectations, reinvigorating the team and equipping them with new skills that were already being put into practice.

One of the team loved The Presentation Labs (and the biscuits) so much so that he popped back in for a second visit and kindly gave us the great feedback in the video below…

To find out more about our Training Courses or to visit The Presentation Labs for yourselves then please drop me a line, I would love to hear from you.

All of our training can be delivered onsite in our Presentation Labs, at a venue of your choice, or via a variety of other methods, including video and online resources. Whatever works best for you, although we do not take responsibility for the quality of any other venues biscuits, only our own!

 

Well done us…Eyeful Wins Client Award

Thursday, September 24th, 2015 by Simon Morton<

“You can never go too far wrong by thinking like a customer who’s new to the business.” – Richard Branson

Wise words, Richard…

We’ve been doing our thing for almost 12 years. That equates to a huge amount of slides produced, workshops facilitated and training sessions run…and, frankly, we’ve got very very good at doing them.

As MD of the business, this scares the bejeezus out of me.

Familiarity can so easily breed complacency which spells disaster for a client focused business like ours. This healthy paranoia has kept us moving forward, growing relationships with our oldest clients and building new ones along the way.

So it’s with great pride that I can announce that we have made the RAR (that’s Recommended Agency Register to you and me) list yet again. We even have a badge to prove it:

 

RecAgency-Aug2016

 

The reason for the pride is that this accolade is only be bestowed on those businesses that get sufficient praise and recommendation from their own client base. We didn’t fill out a form or post off a cheque to get this gong – our RAR award relies on happy Eyeful clients extolling the virtues of working with us on their most important presentations.

(Oh, and the fact that we’re the only business dedicated to presentation development and training to make the list is also rather good news).

So while I continue to deal with my paranoia over complacency and familiarity, I’ll let the rest of the team continue to wow clients large and small with presentations and service of the highest quality. It’s what we do…

Yours proudly,

Simon

Do you create Presentations?

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015 by Matt<

If so, we would really appreciate a little of your time to help us paint a picture about the state of business presentations in 2015.

It’s been 3 years since we last ran a survey of this magnitude and to make sure we keep the time we take of yours to a minimum, we’ve broken up our 2015 survey into mini 60 second surveys.

We are looking to find out the bigger picture of business presentations from all angles, so from people who create presentations (the PowerPoint wizz’s out there), from those on the front line that present and from the folks in the audience, the people who have to endure, or enjoy the presentations they receive. We’d also like to hear from anyone who has ever received any presentation training in the past…

In this first survey, we would love to hear from people who CREATE business presentations. So if you create slides in PowerPoint, prepare zooms in Prezi or if you have anything to do with the building of a presentation at all, then we want to hear from you…

We want to build a picture of what the real world looks like for those who create presentations.

Technology is moving forward at an amazing rate, with
new presentation software becoming available on an
almost weekly basis, we want to know if PowerPoint still wears the crown? Or has a shift occurred?

How long do you spend working on presentations? Just how much do you consider your audience when creating?

Answers to these questions will highlight for us all, what’s going on in the world of business presentations in 2015, whilst possibly showing trends in different industries.

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 9 short and very straightforward questions, all with multiple choice answers, meaning we can hand on heart say you’ll be done inside the next 60 seconds!

So please, take the survey here

TECH SEASON – THE BEST TECH FOR YOUR SALES TEAM

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Matt<

We continue Eyeful’s Tech Season this week and look at a scenario where you could use the presentation landscape to your advantage when planning and preparing for your presentation.

Scenario #3: A Sales Presentation To Be Distributed To An Entire On The Road Sales Team

rsz_landscape_2

This is a common type of presentation and one that requires thinking ahead more than any other.

As always start at stage 4 and work backwards, put your audience at the forefront of you mind. Let’s imagine your team are sales representatives in company cars who attend small sales meetings with prospects in varying locations.

Usually in the prospects office, with 1 maybe 2 people whilst having a coffee. This puts us in the Informal segment.

Also, time is critical, the more important the prospect the less time you have, so this must be considered at the presentation creation stage.

Into stage 3, what piece of hardware are they going to use?

With a small office, a small audience and probably very limited time, your prospect isn’t going to appreciate waiting while a laptop and a projector are set up, before being taken through the bog standard company sales presentation.

It’s time to create and deliver smarter presentations.

A web presentation can be useful for access on the road, but be very careful not to rely on someone else’s internet connection and always, always have an offline back-up.

A smartphone is ok, if the screen is big enough. But on the whole they aren’t, even an iPhone 6+ with its gigantor screen is a bit on the small side compared to a full size iPad.

The best piece of tech here is the tablet, an iPad or Samsung Galaxy being the most popular devices.

Overall in the situation described, your sales teams two main weapons are their conversation skills and a tablet presentation that has interactive navigation.

I mentioned earlier that time in these type of meetings can be on the low side. So does your prospect really want to know every little detail about your company?

Well, they might, maybe they want to get into the nitty gritty of your products before finding out more about you ethos and reputation.

This is where interactive navigation is your best friend, forget the old fashioned click through presentations where you have to ask them to hang on a sec while you skip through all the ‘about us’ slides.

A menu with interactive navigation will allow the sales person to start the conversation, assess then and there where it’s going and tap effortlessly to the areas the prospect wants to talk about.

This gives the prospect an element of control and the sales person the flexibility and the power to go with it.

I really hope you’ve found this Tech Season scenario useful and that you can put the Presentation Landscape into good use on your presentations in the future.

If you need any help with anything though, you know where we are.

The Eyeful Rebrand – The MD’s Perspective

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 by Simon Morton<

The eagle eyed amongst our readership will have noticed we’ve had a bit of an overhaul of our look and feel.  Everywhere you look, from our website to our proudly presented studio artwork, has succumbed to the gentle spit and polish refresh of our branding.

The overhaul of a company’s look and feel is, by it’s very nature, disruptive. 

From the marketing team who has the thankless task of going through each and every piece of collateral with a fine toothcomb to ensure ‘new brand’ compliance through to the sales team cleansing their briefcases (both electronic and physical) of all ‘old brand’ content.  Of this while the rest of the business wrestles with new fonts, new rules and email signature formats.  It’s a time consuming and frequently frustrating job.

In our case, the stakes are a whole bunch higher.  Eyeful is a business that’s built a reputation (and a rather successful book) off the back of getting visual communication right.  In short, we couldn’t afford to mess this one up.

So why do it? 

Wouldn’t it be simpler just to jazz up a few bits here and there (akin to adding a few scatter cushions to a tired room layout) rather than going hell for leather and overhauling everything?  The simple reason is that businesses evolve (or at least the successful ones do).  Eyeful started off life in my back bedroom 11 years ago because I was quite good at PowerPoint and wanted to use this skill to improve the quality of business presentations in the Oxfordshire area.  A laudable if slightly limited aspiration.

Jump to today and we find ourselves supporting businesses of all sizes across the globe.  We’ve developed presentations that have been delivered to Prime Ministers, Presidents and Business Icons.  Clients now come to us to support them on their message, story and structure as much as they do their PowerPoint visuals.  They turn to us for advice on new technology, for training across the entire gamut of presentation skills and as a sounding board for when everyone around them has resorted to business speak.

We needed a look and feel that reflected these changes, to mark the evolution of the business from over excited PowerPoint geeks to fully rounded presentation experts.  The time had come.

So what’s changed?

Well, rather than hide our consultancy credentials under a bushel, we’ve proudly brought them to the fore.  Our new branding reflects the conversations we have every day with decision makers across a whole range of businesses, from the founder of a start up through to the C-suite of international organisations.  We deliver greater presentation success by adding greater value earlier on in the process – that’s the power of the consultancy.

Equally we’ve upped the ante in terms of promoting our successful but criminally low key training services.  What was once an adjunct to our attention grabbing design services now has equal billing (and about time too).  Our training is underpinned by the ideas in The Presentation Lab, a book that was written with the avowed intention of changing the way people approach presentations.  At this very moment, someone somewhere is dipping into a local language edition of The Presentation Lab (most recent edition – Korean!) and taking the new ideas into their business.  The mix of excitement, pride and sense of privilege that comes from this is huge…and our relaunched training is the manifestation of this mission to make a difference to presentations somewhere in the World everyday.

In short, we’ve evolved (some may say matured) into a business that recognises that when we get it right for a client, the result is so much more than a set of better looking slides.

We deliver engagement that informs decisions that prompt real change.

It’s a privilege we take seriously…and it’s about time our branding reflected this.

7a

Yet despite all the change, some things remain the same…

Our passion for the power of presentations remains at the core of what we do.

This is not some blasé statement – we’ve seen it happen.

We’ve seen new ideas adopted with enthusiasm and vigour within organisations, sales teams transformed when armed with the right collateral mix and nervous presenters transformed into powerful storytellers. 

It’s this metamorphosis, driven by our well established methodologies and experience, that continues to fuel the Eyeful team.  In short, it’s bloody exciting.

Now this might all sound a little, um, zealous…and you’re probably right.  We take pride in the impact a little bit of Eyefulocity can have on a presenter, a message or a visual and we’re not going to start getting embarrassed about it now.  As such, regular visitors should still recognise the Eyeful tone of voice, the ‘so bad it’s good’ scattering of puns and a willingness to share our news ideas and whimsy.

It all boils down to a passion for the power of presentations.  No matter how we package it, that’s what we stand for…and our hope is that a little of the excitement that fills the halls of ‘Eyeful Towers’ rubs off on visitors to the Labs, our website or one of our workshops.  So please enjoy the new site, tell us what you like (and, more importantly, what you loathe) and we’ll continue to develop it with you very much in mind.

Between us, we can make presentations truly deliver.

On behalf of audiences everywhere, thanks for taking the time to have a mooch,

Simon

The Winning Edge Feature Life After PowerPoint

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by Matt<

Are you baffled by presentation technology or do you have a total over-reliance on using PowerPoint all of the time?

Well, let us un-muddy the water for you.

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has written an article on ‘Life After PowerPoint’ in the May/June edition of The Winning Edge magazine, where in a case study style piece, he carefully explains the situation one of our customers found themselves in…

“A quick review of the existing decks identified the issues – it was packed to the rafters with data, statistics and legal caveats that did little to build need or instil confidence in the solution for the prospect.”

“All of this would be troublesome on small ticket sales, but with an average order value of over
£2m – it was quickly becoming a major issue.”

Simon goes on to detail how we worked together to help the customer resolve this, using a combination of technology and aiPad Man blended approach – which lead to some great results…

“In terms of cold hard facts, average order values have started to move up and there is a sense that the ‘box shifting’ ethos of old has been swapped for a more value-added partnership.”

To get the full story of how Eyeful helped achieve these results, check out the latest issue of The Winning Edge, or click here to see a copy of the review on our website.

The Winning Edge is a member only magazine of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. Here you can find lots of information with tips on sales and marketing and where you can sign up to receive the latest issues of The Winning Edge.

To find out what the best technological approach would be for your presentations, just drop us a line.