Archive for the ‘Presentation Skills’ Category

EYEFUL’S 10-STEP GUIDE TO CREATING AN EFFECTIVE INTERNAL PRESENTATION

Monday, July 24th, 2017 by Matt<

The internal presentation; the one that’s going to inspire your team, motivate the sales guys or maybe deliver the news everyone has been hoping for.

Whatever the reason for your internal PowerPoint presentation design we want to help you make it great, make sure it’s understood and that your team leave clear on their next steps…

To point you in the right direction, outlined below is our 10-step strategy for creating an effective internal presentation (it’s way more useful than a generic advanced PowerPoint training course!)…

Step 1 – Set your objectives…

Every presentation should have a purpose to it. What is it that you actually want your audience to do? Inspire them into doing something differently? Buy into a new set of procedures? Maybe it’s a quarterly update and you want them to take on board information and act on it?

Whatever you want to achieve, keep it in mind throughout the creation of your presentation and make your call to action clear. If your audience leave unsure what you want them to do, chances are they won’t do it…

TIP: Learn Eyeful’s Must Intend Like objective setting module on page 82 of The Presentation Lab

Step 2 – Consider what motivates your audience…

Audiences are funny things. Especially internal ones, as the chances are you’re going to know each other pretty well. That might be a good thing if you’re on good terms, it could also be negative if there is a pre-existing level of distrust or negativity. Either way, you can’t ignore this. You need to spend some time considering how you’re going to get your audience to engage and buy in to your topic…

TIP: Generate your Audience Heatmap here (it’s free!)…

Step 3 – Craft a presentation structure using The Audience Pathway…

Eyeful’s Audience Pathway structure has provided a large number of companies with presentations that focus on their audiences. It’s a simple structure that helps to highlight the audience’s issues and shows the solution you can provide. This means whether your audience is a prospect or a colleague, if you’re offering them a real solution to a problem affecting their world, they are going to listen.

TIP: Find more information on The Audience Pathway on page 74 of The Presentation Lab

Step 4 – Turn your presentation into a story…

It’s a well-known fact that people remember stories not slides. You can include stories in your presentation in a number of ways; case studies, previous experiences, analogies about sheds (true story) – using story to support your message will make it easier to understand and easier to remember. After all, presentations aren’t meant to be hard work (for the audience!)…

TIP: Check out our Story Season collection of blogs…

Step 5 – Start design on paper…

Most presenters don’t follow the kind of advice we offering, they dive straight into PowerPoint and start typing bullet points and endless amounts of text onto slides. Alas this is why many (bad) presentations resemble word documents. When it comes to slide content, less is more. Consider highlighting your key messages in a visual way.

TIP: Review our guide to presentation visualisation…

Step 6 – Choose your weapon of choice wisely…

The Presentation Landscape is Eyeful’s way of helping you to pair the environment you will be presenting in with the technology that’s suits this type of engagement best.

If it’s a large auditorium with a huge audience then you’re going to want a projector, if it’s a small 1-2-1 sales meeting then presenting with a tablet is going to be more informal… it’s not complicated, but you’d be surprised by how many presentations get this wrong… It’s simply about using the best tool to get your message across to your audience.

TIP: Find more information on page 170 of The Presentation Lab

Step 7 – Consider a Blended Presenting approach…

Blending Presenting is an Eyeful concept that is essentially about not being afraid to use multiple presentation tools during one presentation. For example, if your internal presentation is to demo a new product to your team, make sure you don’t just deliver a PowerPoint – demo the product too… and don’t be afraid to use a whiteboard to sketch out complicated information.

Step 8 – Practice Delivering…

Nothing will contribute to the success of your presentation more that you knowing it inside out. The only way to achieve this is through practice… Read it out loud…
Practice presenting to colleagues or friends. You may worry about making mistakes, but it’s better to make those mistakes before your main presentation – after all, nobody wants to look daft in front of their colleagues!

TIP: A good way to critique yourself is by videoing yourself presenting and reviewing this back.

Step 9 – Be enthusiastic (and honest)…


It’s very difficult to come across professionally if you haven’t practised your presentation. By practising your presentation again and again you will be able to deliver it in a more authentic and genuine way, which is going to get you a lot more respect and buy in from your audience. Nobody enjoys a presentation when the presenter spouts a speech he’s given a thousand times before with no care in how he sounds…

TIP: Pressing W or B in PowerPoint pauses the presentation on a blank screen, bringing focus back to you…

 

Step 10 – Consider a presentation leave-behind…

 

Avoid that sinking feeling you get when after months of hard work leading up to your presentation, you find the key decision maker isn’t in your audience. Don’t let their absence detract from you still delivering an excellent presentation – but, at the end, provide your audience with a professional presentation leave-behind.

This document should contain the same key messages as your presentation along with the copy and context to support these as if you were there presenting alongside it.

Printing out your slides and binding them together nicely won’t do you justice if read later without the presenter’s context.

TIP: Download Eyeful’s definitive guide to presentation leave-behinds

We hope these 10-steps help you to create internal presentations that deliver your desired impact.

If you follow them, we guarantee your internal presentations will be more advanced than many of the thousands of home spun decks, that are being knocked up on a daily basis by unsuspecting presenters, who are blissfully ignorant to the fact that an internal presentation can actually be the most powerful and influential of all – internal presentations are your opportunity to shine.

The solution is a simple one…

Give your internal presentation the same care and attention as any other, spend time analysing
your audience, building story structures and delivering it in the best way to advocate action in your audience…

If you need any help getting there, just get in touch…

 

TODAY’S WEBINAR : BUSINESS SUCCESS THROUGH ONLINE MEETINGS

Thursday, July 6th, 2017 by Matt<

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do you do this?

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

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

This is a fantastic opportunity to find out…

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

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

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…