Archive for the ‘Pitch Presentations’ Category

SALES KICK-OFF SEASON: THE SECOND SECRET TO SALES KICK-OFF EVENTS

Friday, January 13th, 2017 by Matt<

With Christmas now a far off memory and work well and truly back underway, Eyeful’s sales kick-off season continues to offer insight and advice for anyone organising such a huge event.

Sales Kick-Off events aren’t the easiest things to arrange, they can extremely expensive to set up, you need to take your people off the road and of course there’s a whole heap of opportunity at risk if it all goes, well, a little bit flat.

To make sure this doesn’t happen to your sales presentation design and messaging, Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton now shares the second of his 5 Key Secrets To Successful Sales Kick-Offs…

If you or someone you know are involved in your company’s sales kick-off, then please do check out our dedicated sales kick-off page… You’ll find lots more information and advice, and you can even download Eyeful’s Expert Formula To Sales Kick-Off Events too… which is a really useful guide when planning these type of events.

THE EASY WAY TO KEEP YOUR MEETING AUDIENCE INTERESTED

Thursday, October 13th, 2016 by Matt<

Since the dawn of presentations, speakers have been looking at ways to keep their audience awake and engaged…

Vibrating seats didn’t have the desired effect…

Inbuilt Microsoft sound effects didn’t impress…

And the contamination of break-time tea pots with questionable stimulants was severely frowned upon…

Presenters needed a new way to keep their audiences tuned in to their talk.

As it turned out, talking seemed to do the trick.

Not me talk, you listen though. The key to keeping audiences interested is through interactive conversation where the presenter and audience can talk openly and freely, letting conversations flow naturally.

The problem with normal presentations…

Most PowerPoint presentation designs are linear, they start on slide 1 and the presenter clicks through slide by slide until the end of the presentation. Which doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with a conversational style approach…

Take a sales meeting as a prime example, it’s beyond awful when the sales person in this type of engagement pulls out a laptop, connects it to a portable projector and starts ploughing through mind-numbing irrelevant content with no appreciation of their audience’s flagging interest.

As soon as a presenter loses an audience in this way, it’s game over.

The answer is an interactive presentation…

An interactive presentation is different because you can set up your PowerPoint presentation to work like a website with hyperlink navigation…

Make your presentation interactive and deliver it on a tablet device and now you’re talking… literally.

This approach allows you to have a completely natural conversation with the prospect and when a new customer problem arises, you can use the interactive navigation to quickly get to the relevant solution and use the specific content to help you sell your product or service.

An offline, fully interactive presentation isn’t just the ultimate sales tool, it’s the guaranteed way of keeping your meeting audience engaged and in tune with your presentation.

Imagine for a moment you are the audience in 2 meetings…

Presenter 1 stops chatting and kills the conversation by connecting a laptop to a projector and proceeds to talk at you about content that’s not even of interest until they get the part that is…

But presenter 2, pulls out a tablet and carries on the conversation showing you the only the services and products that are going to solve your problems.

An interactive presentation just like the one here which our own sales team use every day…

Go ahead and have a click around…

Which experience would keep you engaged and focussed?

Look out for my next article, next week as I’ll be explaining How To Make An Interactive Presentation With PowerPoint’s New Tool Zoom…

Or we can give you the full lowdown on how to make presentation tools like PowerPoint and Prezi sing, just check out our brand new Presentation Technology training day…

THE DANGER OF LEAVING IT TO THE LAST MINUTE

Friday, October 7th, 2016 by Matt<

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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.

3 BIG PRESENTATION NO NOS FOR 1 VERY GOOD REASON

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 by Matt<

An email from a colleague hit my inbox the other day asking me for some ideas on what we could do to help a potential customer with their web presentation…

I clicked the link, Chrome loaded the URL and there in front of me was a standard click-through presentation. Metaphorically speaking, the palm of my right hand smashed into my forehead as presentation alarm bells rang aloud…

No number 1…
Don’t not upload linear click-through presentations to the internet and expect to get any traction off the back of them. What are presenters hoping to achieve here? I’ve just finished a webinar or a meeting, so here you go…here are my slides…No, people.

No number 2…
Don’t just email presentations to your audience. The risk of leaking confidential material is one thing, but do you really expect them read to it? No, they won’t.

No number 3…
Don’t print your presentation out and hand it out as a leave behind. This happens. A lot. I see so many presentations arriving for a Presentation Healthcheck that are overloaded with so much content that a live audience wouldn’t stand a chance…The reason presentation designers have done this? “…but the printout won’t make any sense without all of the content on the slides” No, they are missing the point.

Why so harsh?
Look, we know that an enormous amount of hard work goes into creating presentations, that’s why this presentation design company exists. All of this hard work can mean that it’s tempting for presenters to create a set of slides that covers all bases, but actually ends up being ineffective over all formats.

Unfortunately, this approach seems to have become acceptable – to present text-heavy slides, print minimalist slides with no context, or just email an enormous data-heavy presentation because hey, ‘it’ll do’.

Well it won’t do any more.

You can’t just send, upload or share a PowerPoint Presentation which is designed to be delivered by a presenter, because it just wouldn’t make any sense without the presenter’s input to put the whole thing into context.

Context is king…

You know what? Sharing your presentation content isn’t wrong, it’s just the way it’s being done that is misguided.

So here’s our thoughts on what you should be doing…

Online Presentations
Maybe you have a presentation about one of your products which you want to share on the relevant webpage of your site. Great idea, but the presenter still needs to give the audience the full picture.

The easiest way to do this is to turn your presentation into a video, complete with narration from the presenter…providing the all-important context for each slide…

Here’s a presentation we turned into a video for our homepage…

This is great for website visitors, but you could also host this video presentation on a hidden web page and share the link with the people you’ve just presented to. In this way, they (or important people who couldn’t attend) can dip back into your presentation after the event.

Email Presentations
Suddenly your video presentations can also be powerful marketing assets too. You can use them in your campaigns by including a thumbnail in your email which hyperlinks back to the page where your video is hosted. A great way to re-use your presentation and a great way to drive traffic to your website.

Here’s a presentation we created for an email marketing campaign to Creative Agencies…

PDF ImagePrinted Leave Behind
The more traditional way of creating a printed leave behind is still effective, but a better way to approach this is for you to reformat your existing PowerPoint presentation design into an A4 document with the presenter’s words as copy.

Then print and bind this professionally; as not only do you get to reuse all of the hard work that went into your presentation, your audience gets full context and the designed document gives you an even greater professional image too…

Here’s an extract from one of our training presentations where the slide graphics have been recreated as a PDF…

 

576bf0ee4170e44003dbae21Interactive Multi-Purpose Presentation
This is our brand new presentation concept where we could create you a single all-encompassing PowerPoint file, complete with strong messages and great minimalist design that the presenter can stand and deliver. But the very same file can be printed or hosted online and shared via email too.

As built into the design of each slide would be a ‘more information’ button which gives access to the presenters copy similar to this example…

 

Go forth and share…

So now you know what not to do, why you shouldn’t do it and what you can do instead! So go for it, make your hard work, work even harder…

If you need any help, you know where we are…

WHAT EVERY STARBUCKS TELLS US ABOUT THE STATE OF SALES PRESENTATIONS

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 by Simon Morton<

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‘Coffee is for closers’ is a film quote that many sales professionals will recognise with a wry smile. No matter how high up the sales totem pole you may sit, it’s become a universal reference point for the rough and tumble of sales and a way of demonstrating that this career path is not for the faint hearted.

In the world of sales presentations, it’s taken on a second meaning. Caffeine hits and sales presentations have, for the wrong reasons, become synonymous. How? Because every morning in every coffee shop in every major city across the globe, there are legions of sales people furiously tweaking PowerPoint presentation design’s moments before their sales pitch. Manic, caffeine fuelled changes to presentations (updating prospect names and logos, adding new slides, deleting old slides and, on occasion, reordering the whole caboodle at the very last minute) are commonplace.

It has to stop. And it has to stop for two reasons.

The first is a purely selfish one – as a sales professional, you’ve put too much into this to let it fail for the sake of a slapdash approach at the final hurdle. Every sales opportunity is the culmination of a hell of a lot of work and investment. From the purgatory of cold calling, late nights evaluating the opportunity (and competition), expensive marketing campaigns, investment in advanced PowerPoint training and professional development and, lest we forget, the pain of dragging yourself out of bed at 5am to ensure you get to the prospect’s office in time. No matter how you calculate it, businesses and their sales people invest a huge amount of effort and money in order to get in front of the prospect in the first place. Yet despite this, Starbucks are filled to the gunnels with sales professionals, Americano in hand, making changes to their most important sales tool MINUTES before going into the meeting.

This phenomenon is so common that we’ve given it a name – the Presentation Paradox.

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The second reason is one of commercial reality. Like it or not, the quality of your sales presentation will have a major impact on your success. So turning up to a meeting with something that bears all the hallmarks of a woefully generic and unconsidered presentation puts you and your business on the backfoot before you’ve even got into the rapport stage.

The tell-tell signs are all too familiar: slide upon slide stuffed with overly detailed content (just in case the prospect asks a question about an obscure feature of product), more focus on your business than theirs (unnecessary pictures of your HQ, a world map with pins stuck in it to show where you have offices and meaningless revenue and EBITDA charts) and a distinct lack of any clear message.

In short, the sales presentation is no longer about meeting the needs of your audience and as such adds little or no value.

This is a crying shame. Sales presentations should be viewed as a ‘moment of truth’ – the opportunity to take an interested prospect and turn them into a valuable and loyal customer. A tipping point between a wasted journey and a success. Get your sales presentation design and messaging right and the future looks bright…mess it up and all that investment (including the coffee) goes out of the window.

And now for the really scary part…

None of what I’ve just shared will come as a surprise to any sales professional. In their heart of hearts, they know they’ve fallen into the same traps time and time again. Yet the issues persist. And if you don’t believe me, pop along to your nearest coffee shop around 9am on any weekday morning.

So how do you address the issue? Well for sure, the cure isn’t making sales people better at PowerPoint. It’s also not about releasing yet another version of the sales presentation to them (chances are that this would be bastardised within days as well).

It’s about changing behaviour and getting sales people to recognise the privilege of presenting.

Our response to this is The Sales Lab, a day dedicated to reengaging sales people with their presentation and ensuring that audience needs, not caffeine induced panic, come first. You can learn more about this open course here.

So if you’re reading this in a coffee shop and the person next to you is frantically tweaking a PowerPoint, please tactfully suggest they check out The Sales Lab. Not only will they appreciate it, but you can be sure their audiences will as well.

Enjoy your coffee…

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

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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.

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape Scenario #1

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 by Matt<

In last week’s Tech Season we explored the fascinating concept that is the Presentation Landscape.

To recap, the Landscape can actually be used as a rather handy tool to help you give your audience and end presentation environment some well needed due care and attention.

And to put this into context we’ve created three differing presentation scenarios to show how you could use the landscape when preparing presentations.

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Scenario 1: A Large Corporate Event Presentation

The first thing to do is to look at the outer ring and consider the environment you are presenting in.

In this instance the presentation is taking place in a large auditorium, to an audience of hundreds of people with little audience interaction.

So in the outer segment you would be clearly sitting in the Formal segment.

Then working inwards, you can choose from the relevant presentation delivery tools and choose the best one for your specific audience.

For example, a Large Screen would be the right option to deliver to a large audience.

Now you know what the final output is you can easily choose the best tool to create your supporting visuals with.

Typical presentation tools in this formal area are PowerPoint, Prezi, or Keynote – with PowerPoint being the most likely choice.

One thing to always remember if you’re creating PowerPoint slides for a large event, the AV company running the stage will probably be running the presentations in 16×9 format – but you never know, so always check before creating any presentation collateral.

Then make sure that everyone in your company who is responsible for creating slides has been briefed to create them in the same ratio and using the same template.

The last thing you want to be doing right before a large event is trying to convert everybody’s slides into the same ratio and template.

If you need any help with planning your presentations for a large event, please do just give us a call.

We are well versed in pulling together multiple presentations into one large, visually stunning, perfectly consistent and formatted presentation.

In fact you could say, Eyeful are the aspirin to your event headache!

We’ll have another presentation scenario example soon and stand by for more Tech Season articles.

If in the meantime you have a presentation to give and feel some expert advice may be in order, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Are You Trying To Fax An Elephant?

Thursday, June 18th, 2015 by Matt<

The Power of Story – The Content Battle

Here at Eyeful we know a bit about content. When we began in 2004 it seemed like every presentation included a picture of a Head Office and photos of the board members. We got to where we are today by being the first presentation company to ask why?

Once we’d persuaded people to cut out the unnecessary we started to get them focusing on what really mattered…

The breakthrough started with a simple premise – message and content reign supreme.

We stopped talking about slides and started telling stories.

There’s a reason that you recount the plot of a film when trying to remember an actors name – it’s the power of story.

Tapping into this power can allow you to draw prospects in and help them engage with your content.

It’s not touchy-feely mumbo-jumbo stuff we’re talking about; it’s the heart of Sales Enablement.

Connecting with prospects and communicating effectively with them is the difference between “interesting” and “where do I sign?”

Telling your story

A great story that no-one hears is no story at all.

Once your people know the ‘what’ of messaging it’s time to address the ‘how’.

The array of hardware, software, technology and methodology available to modern business storytellers is stupefying. Many companies invest heavily in technology to get their story across but unless the message, the tech and the audience are compatible you may as well be trying to fax an elephant.

While the vast majority (theoretical physicists excepted) will immediately see the absurdity of that statement, many Sales and Marketing functions will have been guilty of attempting similar feats.

Presenting to ten people on a tablet device, sitting a single prospect in front of a cinema sized screen and dimming the lights or wasting precious time battling uncooperative technology are all examples of how to get it wrong.

There are no bad ways of communicating but there are a thousand ways to communicate badly.

Somewhere in the depths of time a phrase was coined that should strike fear into the hearts of storytellers everywhere – ‘Death By PowerPoint’. This phrase has become shorthand for everything that is wrong in modern business communication and has implications that reach far beyond traditional slides delivered in traditional ways.
Every interaction you have with your prospects and customers is, in the purest sense, a presentation. You present your company, yourself and your product or service every time you interact. And once you realise that every part of your Sales Enablement process is another presentation you’re ready to start addressing the issues that can cloud your story and overshadow your message.

Knowing how to communicate effectively for the (seemingly) limitless combinations of audience/technology/environment/time combinations can seem daunting but is largely common sense and a skill that anyone can master. We call it Blended Presenting but in this context it can be thought of as the interactive and engaging aspect of Sales Enablement.

Regardless of the tools and technology used, they only need to achieve one thing – bringing your prospect and your story together.

If you need help doing this, then just contact the presentation experts.

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.

Story Season – 3 Story Themes To Help Connect With Your Audience

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015 by Matt<

Story ThemesWelcome along to this week’s Story Season, this time round we are going to look at how to use a story theme to help deliver your messages to your audience in a more effective way.

As let’s be honest, trying to turn a presentation into a story isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do.

So if you are struggling, using an external theme might just help give you a place to start. Inspiration can come from anywhere – a news article you read earlier that week, a story shared by a friend or a chance remark from a member of your family. They can all act as a powerful catalyst.

There’s nothing tricky about it – applying a theme to your presentation is basically delivering your messages with a particular angle. This helps the presentation to carry the right levels of emotion, motivation, or even bravery that will empower your audience to act on your message.

How do you do this?

There is a chapter in our founder, Simon Morton’s book, The Presentation Lab – that details story themes. I’ve picked 3 of these to use as an example.

The first thing to do is consider your own presentation scenario and audience. I cannot stress how important it is at this stage to understand your audience, use audience heatmaps, find out who they are and what makes them tick.

Then choose the situation and audience scenario that best fits and apply the relevant theme along these lines to your presentation.

Pick Yourself Up and Try Again

Your Situation: You’ve taken a hit, things have gone wrong. But you’re a plucky company not ready to give up.

Your Audience: In this case it’s your staff. You’re looking to motivate your team, you need them to dig deep, find the passion to go again and make it work this time.

Real World Example: Steve Jobs bouncing back after being fired from his own company, before returning to lead Apple to its current level of success.

David & Goliath

Your Situation: You’re either a start-up or an established company entering an industry you’re not established in.

Your Audience: They are demotivated and don’t believe in the venture. You need to convince them that hard work, dedication and commitment will pay off.

Real World Example: Apple moving into the smartphone market to take on the might of Nokia. Look where they are now.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Your Situation: You are within a large corporate organisation, where things have gone so stale that change is a four letter word. But, you have a new idea.

Your Audience: Uninterested and stubborn. You really need to paint a firm picture of how your idea is going to make a difference.

Real World Example: 3M’s post it note was invented by accident, but instead of throwing it out and employee pushed and persisted for 5 years that it was a good idea – After its release the development team won 3M’s Golden Step Award, for major new products that are significantly profitable.

These are just a few examples, but there are literally hundreds of stories out there, both fictional and your own personal stories that could be used to help deliver your message to your audience.

So hopefully this blog will give you a place to start and you will be in a position to begin creating a presentation that uses story to engage your audience with the right tone and helps get you the results all of your hard work deserves.

If you need any help in creating a compelling presentation story, then just send us a message