Archive for the ‘Presentation Optimisation’ Category

PRESENTATION OPTIMISATION™: THE BEAUTY OF A PROCESS THAT WORKS

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 by Matt<

We are a presentation design company that talk a lot about Presentation Optimisation™. We talk about it on our website, in our articles, our blogs and our client conversations. So, for this article, I thought I would catch up with Eyeful’s MD Rob Bailey to get some sage presentation advice as well as his take on what Presentation Optimisation™ really means…

Matt: To me, it’s the tried (and trusted) process that we put our customer’s presentations through to take them from their current state to become a really effective PowerPoint presentation designs, that resonates with their audiences.

Rob: Yes. To me, the aim of Presentation Optimisation™ is to create an audience-focused presentation which delivers on its intended use, whether that be to sell more products or services, arouse interest in a new offering, or to clearly communicate a new corporate vision. The key is that the final presentation fully engages your audience to such an extent that your desired call to action is clearly understood and acted upon.

Matt: To many people, processes are just a list of box ticking. But tell me, Why is the Presentation Optimisation process so important?

Rob: It’s a really powerful and well-structured approach that we take with all clients on their presentations. It has evolved over the last decade, as presenting needs have developed, but the core process remains as effective today as it was 10 years ago. It’s the foundation of Eyeful’s business; it’s what makes us different from other presentation agencies. The design of our clients’ presentations is (as you’d expect) extremely important to us; however when you combine that with a strong story structure, clearly defined messages, and engaging visuals that bring the story to life….that’s when you deliver a successful presentation.

Presentation Optimisation™ is the process that brings all of these elements together….it’s a process that keeps our customers returning to us week in, week out.

Matt: So, can you explain the process?

Rob: It all starts with a Presentation Optimisation™ workshop, either at our client’s offices or in our dedicated Eyeful Labs.

One of our presentation consultants will work with the client’s main presentation stakeholders to understand the purpose of the presentation (what end result is intended), the audiences it is being presented to, their requirements, and how the presentation can demonstrate how our client can effectively address those requirements.

The workshop is challenging, but importantly it provides an opportunity and environment for everybody to take a fresh look at what the presentation is aiming to achieve, to clear out any unnecessary noise and to develop a clear presentation structure which contains the key messages to be delivered.

It’s also important to note that design is very rarely discussed at this stage – this session is all about gaining clarity on the story, and the building blocks which underpin it.

The output from this session is a high-level Story Flow document which clearly outlines the presentation structure, along with the key messages for each chapter of the presentation.

The key to the success of any presentation is to develop a strong story – one that will resonate with the audience and deliver the intended response…..this is the purpose of the Presentation Optimisation™ workshop.

Matt: That sounds like an intense day!

Rob: It certainly can be, but sometimes it needs to be in order to get the right result. Presenting is always a privilege and sometimes a rare opportunity to be in-front of an important audience…..this may be your one shot at convincing them that your organisation is the right one for them to be engaging with. All of the time, effort and money you have invested in getting to this moment of truth, now depends upon you delivering that killer presentation.

It’s vitally important that all of that investment is not wasted via a presentation quickly cobbled-together in a Starbucks half an hour before the meeting.

Our consultants are presentation experts, with the experience and methodology to really focus the attention on what is important, and what is irrelevant to the audience. They provide a fresh pair of eyes, and allow the stakeholders to consider new ways of delivering their important message.

It’s a highly creative experience (and fun, we’re told), that consistently delivers powerful, engaging and, most importantly, effective presentations.

Matt: It sounds a bit like the Think element of our Think, Act and Deliver training [which has nothing to do with advanced PowerPoint training]…

Rob: You’re absolutely right… that element of our presentation training is based on the theories and best practices developed over 12 years of Presentation Optimisation™ workshops.

Matt: So do you use techniques like Audience Heatmaps, and Must, Intend, Like in workshops?

Rob: Presentation Optimisation™ workshops were where these ideas were born!

Matt: Ok, so after the workshop, the consultant sits in a dark room and draws out the presentation don’t they?

Rob: Yes, once the story, structure and key messages have been agreed, this is when the consultant hand draws the first iteration of the presentation… our storyboarding process.

Matt: Why go to the trouble of hand drawing? Why not just give it straight to the presentation designers?

Rob: This is where so many people go wrong when it comes to presentations. The first thing they do is open up PowerPoint and start dumping ideas onto slides. For anyone who’s ever used PowerPoint this is where you burn time. Even if you are pretty good with PowerPoint, you need to start on paper.

Remember that at this stage we are still concentrating on the structure and messaging of the presentation. The idea is to create a story structure and key messaging which can be delivered consistently whatever technology (or lack of it) is available to the presenter. So, although the end presentation may well be delivered via PowerPoint, it could also be delivered via Prezi, Keynote, or sketched out on a whiteboard (or napkin!), depending upon the environment in which it’s being delivered and the technology available to the presenter (the Presentation Landscape is a whole separate discussion for another day!).

Drawing on paper allows you to sketch out the concepts, see how the flow works, and amend where necessary before committing any time and expense to the development of the deck. It’s also a great way to filter out the noise and concentrate on visualising the key messages for each section of the presentation.

Matt: So, is planning and storyboarding on paper your number one tip?

Rob: Absolutely.

Remember though, when an Eyeful consultant does this they rigorously test the presentation to make sure it has the right flow, structure and key messages to effectively communicate to the audience.

Matt: So this isn’t something a client could do themselves?

Rob: They could certainly try, but our consultants have years of experience. They can do it quickly and know what works in any given situation! They are also able to provide fresh thinking where a client may be too close to the project presentation.

Matt: So, then it’s onto the designers, isn’t it?

Rob: Nearly. We bring one of our project managers up to speed on the project and they manage this through the design studio.

Matt: So, they check the files and send onto the clients once they are happy?

Rob: Exactly. They manage the communication between all parties and make sure that files are sent on time and feedback is managed correctly and smoothly.

Matt: This is when the client gets a PowerPoint presentation that doesn’t look like a PowerPoint!

Rob: Absolutely, but remember… it doesn’t have to be PowerPoint. The final output could be any of the things I mentioned earlier.

We create the final presentation in whatever technology or format works best for the presenter to effectively engage with their audience. We even repurpose presentations for different presenting environments.

Matt: Once the presentation is signed off, is that Eyeful’s work done?

Rob: In years gone by it was, but over the years we have become more and more involved in supplementing the presentation with training. This can take the form of our consultant coaching the presenters through the new presentation structure, how to effectively present it, and the key messages to deliver at each stage.

It may also involve developing a script, or key points for each slide, or it could be as simple as demonstrating the delivery of the presentation through a recorded video. The key thing is that we are here to support our clients to ensure that the final presentations are as effective as they can possibly be.

Matt: Rob, thanks for your time and for putting Presentation Optimisation™ into perspective.

 

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…

 

 

Key Message Headline – A Powerful Presentation Structure

Monday, December 5th, 2016 by Matt<

If you’re a keen follower of Eyeful you may well have recently viewed Eyeful founder Simon Morton’s recent webinar, The Technical Lab Surgery, where he discussed something called Key Message Headline…

Key Message Headline is a great presentation structure that you won’t find on any old generic advanced PowerPoint training courses, as it’s all about presentation structure and messaging.

It is an incredibly useful thing to have up your sleeve when planning out a potentially complicated presentation.

Eyeful can’t claim to have invented the concept, as you’ll find it used in journalism, education and in wider business communication.

But, what Eyeful have done, is to develop it into a very powerful 7 slide presentation structure.

Applying the model in this way provides you with an invaluable process for taking a particularly complicated presentation topic and breaking it down into a simple structure that will keep your story, message and proposition clear to your audience.

Remember, confused audiences simply don’t take action…

Key Message Headline is all about focussing your presentation’s content into 3 clearly defined areas…

What…
This is where you give your big introduction…

Define what ‘new state’ you want to communicate with your audience, be that a change, an idea or vision.

How…
This is what makes it special, how it works and it’s how you’re going to achieve whatever it is your proposing.

Explain how the ‘new state’ is going to become reality. What measures need to be in place to deliver your change?

This is your chance to back up your idea and really drive home to the audience that it has legs, is realistic and, most importantly, achievable.

Why…
The reason for the ‘new state’. In short, the benefits associated with your message. Where possible, make these benefits audience centric (although this is not a prerequisite!)

This is where you can really drive home the problems that your audience are currently facing before explaining in no uncertain terms that your idea, product, or service is the answer to their problems…

Essentially this is where you paint the picture of the future and show your audience just how positively impacted they will be if they follow your call to action…

Download Key Message Headline PDF Now

By focusing on these 3 areas and encasing them in our 7-slide structure, you will be following a tried and tested presentation structure that will turn a potentially confusing presentation into one that is clear, engaging and understood by your audience…

We’d love to know if you use this structure and how you get on, so leave a comment with your thoughts below…

HOW ANDY MURRAY CAN INSPIRE US ALL TO PRESENT BETTER

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016 by Matt<

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Well done Mr Andrew Murray!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (or a very big umbrella) you’ll know that Andy Murray’s win at the weekend has finally made him the number 1 tennis player on the planet!

It’s taken him a long time, a huge amount of effort, and no little talent to get there…

Since Murray turned pro in 2005, the No 1 spot in tennis has been dominated by three giants of the sport in Federer, Nadal and the man Murray has finally eclipsed… Novak Djokavic.

Whilst Murray has been busy on his quest for world domination in tennis, Eyeful have been set on their own mission for presentation greatness…

#PresentBetter is a simple aspiration – as the name suggests our quest is to simply help our customers present better!

It’s no secret that most business presentations aren’t particularly good. They’re often old corporate decks that are rushed through, with enough last-minute tweaking to seriously undermine brand guidelines and any hint of a message or call to action.

It’s incredibly frustrating to us when we see such presentations delivered at important events… because we know how powerful the alternative can be.

So, if presenting better sounds like a good idea (and why wouldn’t it?) inspiration can be found in Andy Murray’s rise to the top…

PREPARATION & PRACTICE
To say Murray prepares well is an understatement. He practices for hours on end every single day to be the absolute best he can be…

Working on your presentations all day, every day probably isn’t realistic. But leaving it until the last minute isn’t preparing for greatness either. You need to find a balance.

The opportunity to present is a privilege and your audience deserves that you spend sufficient time on your presentation’s message and structure so that it resonates and connects with them.

You can download one of our most powerful presentation structures, The Audience Pathway, here.

PERFORMING AT YOUR MOMENT OF TRUTH
This year Murray won an astonishing 25 consecutive matches on his journey to No1, beating the very best the world could throw at him.

Imagine having such a level of consistent performance, where every single time you present the audience is wowed and responds favourably…

It is possible…

Here at Eyeful HQ we merrily spend our days helping our customers to create truly engaging presentations; presentations that resonate with their audiences; presentations that deliver results.

GET THE RIGHT SUPPORT TEAM
Murray’s team consists of coaches Ivan Lendl and Jamie Delgado, as well as fitness trainer Matt Little…all helping him to stay fit, sharp and successful.

Eyeful are your all-round presentation support team…

We work around the clock, push hard for the right information and have the specialist knowledge to make sure when you deliver, you tell a compelling presentation story.

We support you with whatever presentation training you need, from how to craft convincing stories, to teaching you how to create presentations with the latest tech. We’ll even teach you how to stand and deliver the perfect presentation, ensuring that you really connect and engage with your audiences.

GAME, SET AND MATCH
#PresentBetter is a simple message, but a complex undertaking.

It’s taken over a decade of effort, innovation and challenging the norm for Eyeful to become Europe’s leading presentation design company.

Creating world-class presentations is now something we do every single day.

With the right presentation support team, you too can #PresentBetter every single time…

PRACTISING WHAT WE PREACH FOR VIDEO PRESENTATION PLANNING

Thursday, November 10th, 2016 by Matt<

I was recently tasked with composing a video presentation highlighting our CEO Simon Morton’s mission to promote the good name of Eyeful in our quest to rid the world of ineffective business presentations…

You see, Simon is regularly asked to share his insight and knowledge through business publications such as BBC Technology, Communication Director and Sales Initiative, and as a keynote speaker at events such as Microsoft Future Decoded, Citrix Webinars and the B2B Marketing Expo.

After staring at a blank page for a few minutes, it suddenly dawned on me that I should be asking…how would Eyeful set about assisting a client who needed help from a Presentation design company such as ourselves?

Suddenly everything became clear…

One of our expert consultants would take you through Eyeful’s tried and trusted Presentation Optimisation process…

Your objective…
We would start by considering your objective. What do you want your audience to do off the back of your presentation? My goal was to get Simon speaking and writing opportunities.

Your audience…
We would then analyse your audience. Who are they? What are their motivations? What are they looking for from you? We get the really deep insight by creating an Audience Heatmap like in this example…

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Get a free audience heatmap profile of your audience here

Which then leads to the big question…

What’s their problem?
Through an understanding of your audience we will challenge you to truly address the main challenges faced by your audience, before planning a presentation message and structure that clearly demonstrates how you are the absolute solution to those issues.

I established that my audience’s (senior editors of publications and event organisers) challenge was the need to generate high value content for a very senior business audience on a frequent basis.

Applying this insight to my script, I showcased how Simon’s experience and credentials make him a perfect source of content for their publication or event.

Prove it…
The next stage in our process is in convincing your audience that you’ll deliver on your promise…the all-important proof points. It’s all well and good proclaiming that you’re the answer to their prayers, but people aren’t just going to take your word for it.

So I pulled together a selection of the positive feedback that Simon received from his most-recent speaking and writing opportunities and applied these to my script…

Call to action…
So many presentations just stop at this point and don’t have any strong call to action – which is crazy. If your audience doesn’t understand what you want as a result of your presentation, then everyone’s time has been wasted – no next steps, no sale, no point!

We would always plan a very strong call to action into your presentation’s structure…

Once the structure of your presentation is defined, the messages and content debated, and the whole thing has been clearly storyboarded, we would hand it over to our world class presentation designers to bring the whole concept to life – which is exactly what I did, and they delivered me this amazing video…

We’ve already received several booking requests for Simon to either speak or write for publications in 2017, demonstrating what we already knew…the Eyeful way works…

To enjoy similar results with your own powerful presentations, just get in touch.

AN EXTRA 1% CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Friday, August 19th, 2016 by Matt<

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For anyone who visits this blog often you’ll know my number one sport is football. Everything else (usually) pales into insignificance, well, Wimbledon might get my interest should Murray make the final…

However, on Tuesday night I was enthralled by the Olympic cycling in Rio and the amazing success Team GB had in the form of Jason Kenny winning his sixth gold medal and his fiancée Laura Trott picking up her fourth gold – I’m ashamed to admit I’d never heard of these two before.

The most exciting cycling event was the Individual Sprint which was basically the best of 3 short races – I can’t believe I now understand how cycle races work!

German rider Kristina Vogel easily took the first race against Team GB’s Becky James. So in the second race the pressure was on the Brit not to lose again. James picked up the pace and as they headed neck and neck for the finish line, Vogel lunged her bike forward with such force, her saddle ripped off in the process…

So, by giving it one last blast of effort, Vogel took the gold medal.

Just as Shaunae Miller did on Sunday… Miller, a runner for the Bahamas, was in second place in the 400m as she neared the finish line, but with one last gasp she dived over the finish line to take gold!

So real proof that giving it one last blast of effort can help you reap the rewards.

And you can apply the same thinking to presentations…

If time is ticking down and your presentation is coming to a close, what final one percent can you apply to help you over the finish line?

The best thing to do at this crucial moment is to pause and think about your objective. Focus on the reason you walked into that meeting or event, before naturally leading your audience to the call to action you want them to follow.

It might sound simple, but so many PowerPoint presentation design’s lack this most basic, yet important element.

When it comes to presentations this is your lunge, leap or lean.

The truth is though that the last moment lunge wasn’t what truly won these athletes the gold, it was the preparation and sacrifice over the previous 4 years that delivered the result. Olympian’s don’t win gold because of short cuts or last minute panics… the same goes for powerful presentations.

“I’m just so happy that it all came together (on the day). I honestly can’t thank everyone at home enough… Like the people we work with in the gym to the people that look at our power data, my nutritionist… Especially to my coach… who has me stropping because I can’t do the powers that he’s given me, to then today when it goes really, really well.”
Laura Trott, Team GB Cyclist, moments after winning her 4th gold medal

Trott’s key sentiment here being that a lot of hard work came together at the right time. The instant a presenter steps out in front of an audience, their moment of truth begins too.

An Olympic event and a presentation are both the culmination of a lot of hard work – opportunities to present take a lot of time and effort to generate, equally it takes a lot of hard work and determination to plan, create and deliver a successful presentation.

This is why this presentation design company exists – Eyeful are the team behind the world’s best business presentations.

So to make sure your presentation is on course for a gold medal, just get in touch with the team that will support you all the way to the podium…

LEARN HOW TO CREATE COMPELLING PRESENTATION CONTENT THAT KEEPS AUDIENCES INTERESTED

Monday, April 18th, 2016 by Matt<

Have you ever been in that frustrating place where you’ve written your presentation, you know what you want to say, when you want to say it, but now you’re looking at a blank PowerPoint slide with those annoying words “Click to add title” staring back at you getting you more and more stressed? Yeh – me too…

Thankfully Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has shared his thoughts on the matter with Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff in another video interview around Simon’s acclaimed book, the Presentation Lab

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The video is just 3 minutes long, so stick the kettle on and watch the interview while it boils…

Now enjoy your cuppa whilst mulling over Simon’s advice and make some notes on the amazing content that you’re now going to create to keep your audience interested in what you have to say…

If this gets you thinking that you would like to know a whole lot more about how to create effective presentations that get results…

Then check out our full suite of Think, Act & Deliver presentation training modules

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These modules won’t just give you a tip or two, neither are they the run-of-the-mill Advanced PowerPoint Training courses that litter the internet.  Think, Act & Deliver will fundamentally change your behaviour and approach to creating presentations at every step of the presentation creation process…

THE IMPORTANT INGREDIENT MOST PRESENTERS FORGET

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 by Matt<

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has been talking to Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing again this week…

This time he’s been discussing a really important part of presentations, that most presenters don’t even consider – the objectives…

In his acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, Simon goes into great detail about a really useful technique we use all of the time on our client’s presentations, called Must, Intend, Like…

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Get the lowdown on it now from Simon and Grant in just 5 minutes…

If Must, Intend, Like is a technique you think could give your presentations some much needed direction, then check out ‘Objective Setting’ in our suite of modular presentation training

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…

Two Important Presentation Lessons

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by Matt<

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton’s has been very busy recently, last week he was speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London and the week before he was also in the big smoke speaking at the Customer Champion B2B event

Simon’s speaking events are all coming from the success of his first book, the richly acclaimed, “The Presentation Lab”.

The Presentation Lab reveals the difference between great slides and great presentations based on Eyeful’s proven Presentation Optimisation approach. It challenges everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Using practical tips and drawing on Simon’s experiences working with companies around the globe, this book will help everyone who ever needs to present by revealing what works, what doesn’t and, more importantly, why.

The in-depth insight, analysis and ideas within the book have proved to be a great basis for Simon’s speaking events and in just two weeks he’ll be speaking at his biggest event to date, in Barcelona, at Microsoft Convergence.

Well if you can’t wait for that and you would like to get a taste for what Simon is all about, then check out this double bill of short video interviews that Simon has given to Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing…

THE IMPACT OF POOR PRESENTATIONS
When can a bad PowerPoint presentation, prove to be lethal? In this lesson Grant and Simon discuss how not to ruin a presentation…

PRESENTATIONS – THE AUDIENCE IS MOST IMPORTANT
If you’re making a presentation to a group of accountants does it have to be exclusively factual or is there another way to gain their trust? In this lesson Grant and Simon discusses how you put the audience first…

If you would like Simon to speak at your event or company, then simply drop us a line and we’ll book (pun intended) your date in the diary.