Archive for the ‘Presentation Skills’ Category

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…

WEBINAR INVITATION TO ALL TECHNICAL EXPERTS

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 by Matt<

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Technical Presentations have a bit of a reputation…

Many think they are boring, over complicated affairs written by experts, only for experts.

But here at Eyeful, we know the truth. Technical Presentations can be the most exciting, interesting and important types of presentation.

Scientists, Engineers, and programmers (to name just a few subject matter experts) are the people that change our world, making it better, safer and healthier.

We know how important you are…

So, when it comes to your presentations it’s essential that your amazing ideas don’t just talk to the other experts in the room but connect with the decision makers you need to convince to make your ideas become reality.

This is why we created The Technical Lab, our Fast Track one day training course in how to create Technical Presentations.

The Technical Lab is way more in depth than a generic advanced PowerPoint training day, you’ll learn the theory behind how to turn complicated information into presentations that shine out a clear and consistent message to the entire audience.

We are sharing some of the insights from this successful presentation training day in our forthcoming webinar:

The Technical Lab Surgery on Tuesday 22nd November at 4pm…

THINK – The importance of audience analysis is discussed, providing the science behind our Audience Heatmap technique; this will provide the tools for you to start presenting in a more engaging and impactful way.

ACT – Our Must, Intend, Like objective-setting process will help you reassess and focus on the overall goal of your presentation, and provide you with the best strategy for achieving it.

DELIVERBlended Presenting will introduce you to the concept of creating a presentation story that’s strong enough to get your message delivered, understood and retained, whatever the environment it needs to be delivered in.

The webinar is being delivered by Eyeful’s founder Simon Morton, the author of the widely acclaimed book The Presentation Lab. So, this is a great chance to get valuable insight from Europe’s leading presentation expert.

So, to join us on Tuesday, just register here and we’ll look forward to helping make sure your presentations help you turn your ideas into reality.

TIME TO GET YOUR GEEK ON… ANNOUNCING THE PRESENTATION TECHNOLOGY LAB

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016 by Matt<

If you’ve ever worked on a presentation into the late hours, with stress levels rising and motivation getting lower and lower, which eventually leads to a deep everlasting feeling of…

“I HATE [insert here the name of any presentation technology that drives you insane]”

Then you’d be joining a pretty big club! It’s also why we are very happy to announce our brand new training course, The Presentation Technology Lab…

This is the place to get a little technology rehab from our expert consultants and amazing presentation designers.

In the Lab you’ll be able to forget your frustrations and make presentation software such as PowerPoint and Prezi work for you, not against you, as we reveal and demystify the latest technology.

Like all of our presentation training, this course is about getting you to Think, Act and Deliver Presentations Differently…

THINK

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Open your mind with sage advice and industry insight from an Eyeful consultant who’ll start off the day by putting technology into perspective with The Presentation Landscape.

Understanding the differing requirements of formal, informal and interactive presentations will really help you to choose the most appropriate technology for each presenting environment.

This crucial building block will give you a completely fresh approach to creating your presentations in the future.

ACT

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We’ll give you the keys to the world’s two best presentation creation technologies, PowerPoint and Prezi, as an Eyeful Prezi expert provides the insider knowledge on how to develop the most engaging presentation (without overdoing the zoom).

You’ll also receive advanced PowerPoint training from a senior presentation designer, who’ll reveal their top ten PowerPoint Powertips… which are the tricks and techniques they’ve discovered over years of designing presentations for some of the world’s biggest brands.

DELIVER

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Once you’ve mastered how to build great presentations, we’ll show you how to share them securely across your organisation with our trusted cloud management platform…

Before finally putting the best presentation delivery technology into your hands… as you learn how to make presenting easier and more effective with tech like iPads, Clickers and Smartphone Apps – you’ll learn what’s best and what’s best avoided…

The Presentation Technology Lab isn’t just a presentation geek-fest…. it’s about learning the best technology available, the right time to use it and how to make it work to your advantage.

If you’d like to discover the secrets that make Eyeful Europe’s leading presentation agency, then book into The Presentation Technology Lab here…

EDUCATION SECTOR FINALLY REALISING THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESENTATIONS

Thursday, August 4th, 2016 by Matt<

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Most of the PowerPoint presentation designs that we create for our customers, and indeed the vast majority of the presentation training we deliver, is to the B2B sector. So it’s been very refreshing to see a college take a strong interest in their educational presentations.

Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton recently made the trip to Hartpury College to deliver the short version of Eyeful’s Think, Act & Deliver Presentations Differently seminar.

Simon said, “It was lovely and quite a refreshing experience to be asked to speak at Hartpury College’s Teaching and Learning Conference, and to actually have the opportunity to help with the development of the lecturers and teachers at the college. I’m a strong believer in the importance of young people being properly educated in all aspects of presentations, especially in the area of messaging and structure. So my thanks go to the college for this opportunity.”

65 lecturers and teachers attended Simon’s seminar, which kicked off Hartpury’s teaching and learning conference. Simon’s keynote session was based on some of the ideas and concepts from his acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, where he discussed some of the elements that go into the 3 key stages of presentation creation.

Hartpury’s Head of Teaching and Learning of Higher Education, Kate Mori, added, “Simon is an internationally recognised expert on presentation skills and a high-calibre speaker, so we were extremely lucky to have secured him for our event. The feedback from the session has been terrific! Staff really enjoyed it and I think feel liberated to ditch a squillion slides and concentrate on the message.”

If you have an upcoming event and would like Simon to share some of his renowned presentation expertise, just give Olivia Walsh a call on 01455 826390…

Pure PowerPoint or Prezi Training Doesn’t Work

Thursday, June 30th, 2016 by Simon Morton<

Since we relaunched our portfolio of training services a year ago, Eyeful trainers have never been so busy. Timing may play a part in it – a recent study by IDC showed that communication skills and proficiency in software like PowerPoint are top of the ‘must have’ list for businesses today.

Never ones to look a gift horse in the mouth, our trusty team have been wowing delegates with a range of presentation skills and insider tricks both here in the UK and overseas.

Feedback has been great, repeat business has gone through the roof and the Air Miles have been building very nicely. So far, so as per the business plan for this presentation design company…

Yet there are a few things that have surprised us along the way. In particular, one interesting lesson learned has been around our technical training suite (collectively known as ‘Presentation Technology’ – training people purely on how to do more in PowerPoint or Prezi doesn’t work.

Of course, after some consideration this is blindingly obvious… Making someone more efficient at creating meandering and complex presentations does nothing other than creating more time for PowerPoint jockeys to fill more and more slides with content clutter (albeit beautifully aligned and colour scheme compliant content clutter).

Nope – to make technical Prezi or advanced PowerPoint training powerful, the new skills need to be put into context.

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Our training arch shows the journey from start to finish every good presentation should go through and as you can see ‘Presentation Technology’ is way over to the right…

Becoming a good presentation designer with fancy new technical skills is important, but it’s just one part of the puzzle when it comes to creating GREAT PRESENTATIONS. The slides are NOT the presentation – they are merely there to provide visual support to aid presenters in the task of sharing their message*

So with this blindingly obvious discovery in mind, we started adding a short ‘Think Act & Deliver Differently’ section to kick off each technical training day. It allowed delegates to understand WHY being more proficient at PowerPoint or Prezi could help improve the impact of presentations (hint – it has nothing to do with clever transitions and everything to do with sharing valuable content in a visual way).

We’ve found that half the battle is getting people to shed the bad habits they’ve built up over decades of PowerPoint tweaking. Once we’ve got people thinking differently, the value and impact of the technical training multiplies exponentially.

The good news is that by putting these new technical skills into context, we’re not only helping delegates see the bigger presentation picture but also embedding this knowledge so it hangs around a lot longer. thus meeting those oh-so-hard-to-measure ROI requirements incumbent on all training). A report by 24×7 Learning, “Workplace Learning – 2015”, pointed to a paltry 12% of learners applying new trained skills to their job. Rather than have delegates leave the Eyeful Lab with heads full of short cuts and clever PowerPoint wizardry, we want to equip them with skills to use PowerPoint or Prezi to deliver more powerful presentations. It seems to be working:

“The presentation training was absolutely excellent, it was tailored to what we needed and was perfect for what we trying to achieve. I can’t say enough good things about both the presentations created for us by Eyeful, or the training that followed.”
Andy Williams, Jaga Heating Products

So if you’re shopping around for some technical PowerPoint or Prezi skills training, we’re here to help (and we’d love the opportunity). BUT please let us put the new skills into context for the simple reason that the world doesn’t need another generation of super-efficient but ultimately clueless PowerPoint robots.

* If you’re still not convinced, ask yourself this simple question – what do you want your audience to remember 2 days after your presentation? Your clearly defined message or how fancy your PowerPoint animations were? Thought so…

To learn more about Eyeful’s suite of training solutions, click here or better still, get in touch and let us know what your business is looking for.

What Do Your Visuals Say About You?

Friday, May 6th, 2016 by Matt<

A picture paints a thousand words – OUCH! That cliché caused physical pain as I wrote it, but alas it’s true! And never more so than with business presentations…

Without trying to spoil what Simon discusses in detail with Grant Leboff in his latest venture in front of the Sticky Marketing audience…

Your presentation imagery and visuals are really important – I know, obvious right – but you would be surprised by how many people get this wrong, even when they have good ones at their disposal.

Only this morning I was reviewing a recent Presentation Healthcheck that we’ve performed for a really high-end construction company…

Their presentation suffered from all the usual problems, bullet point overload, no mention of the audience or how they would solve their audience’s problem…

But what they did have in abundance were fantastic professional photographs of the work they’d done – however these great images were hidden away at the back of the presentation, in a tiny and none descript way…

Our advice was of course to make a lot more out of them… but the point is, whether you have your own great images, access to a decent image resource or have a design team itching to make a graphic from scratch… you must consider how your audience is going to perceive what they see…

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Here’s Simon and Grant with the full story…

If this has got you wondering what your presentation’s visuals are saying about you? Why not learn all about Valuable Visuals as part of a full day of Think, Act and Deliver Differently presentation training?

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In Valuable Visuals we share the secrets to powerful graphics; from turning data into a visual story, when (and when not) to use infographics and how to make your visuals engage your audience emotionally.

You can find all of our Think, Act & Deliver Differently modules right here…

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

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 REAL ONE-STEP PERFECT PRESENTATION SOLUTION

Monday, April 4th, 2016 by Matt<

Just a quick blog to apologise to the hundreds of people who tried to download our ‘too-good-to-be-true’ free-app that turns horrible bullet point ridden slides into a well-designed and structured presentation in literally one-click…

Alas we wish the app was real but I’m afraid it was a wishful thinking idea for an April Fools joke.  Thankfully the buzz on social media suggests was taken in the right spirit…

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Also, let’s be honest for a moment…

An app that would do this wouldn’t be of any real benefit anyway.  Sure your presentations would look better (and that’s important) but you would still need to do the main bulk of the hard work before you even wrote your bullets into PowerPoint…

You’d still need to perform detailed audience analysis, identify your key messages and give your presentation a narrative flow to make sure that it gets traction with your audience and delivers the results all your hard work warrants.

So any developers reading this who really do have the technology to make this app happen, make sure it’s not just about making slides look better as visual development is just one part of the process.

Of course, if you liked the idea of the app and would really like to take the hard work out of presentation creation there is a real option.  Our modular suite of presentation training could well be the answer to turn presentation creation from being a difficult chore into something you actually enjoy…

It might not be a magic app that turns your presentations into something great in just one-click – but in just one-day we can show you the way to creating perfect presentations every time…

Just click here to find out more about our Fast Track courses (or keep on dreaming that someday presentation creation will be just one-click…you may be waiting for some time…)

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…