Archive for the ‘Presentation Technology’ Category

#PresentBetter – PowerPoint PowerHack: Removing White Backgrounds

Monday, March 27th, 2017 by Matt<

#PresentBetter – PowerPoint PowerHack: Removing White Backgrounds

If you’ve ever dropped a logo into a PowerPoint slide, you might have been left frustrated by it’s background colour standing out.

Well not anymore, as one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers has another top PowerPoint PowerHack which reveals a little Photoshop style magic without
ever leaving PowerPoint…

Stay tuned for another PowerPoint PowerHack soon,

The Eyeful Team

THE 6 BEST TECHNOLOGY TOOLS TO HELP YOU PRESENT

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 by Matt<

With Prezi being as popular as ever and PowerPoint presentation design advancing at a rate of knots never seen before, where does this leave the everyday presenter?

In days gone by, presenters had little more to worry about than very basic slides with animation on-click – (if your presentations are still like this – seek help now! – you’re in serious danger of getting left behind).

Today, presenters are faced with high end designs, super slick animation and interactivity that allows them to navigate around their presentation as if it were a website…

This is no bad thing. Presentations have moved on from bullet-point ridden, text heavy slides with more confusing content than clear messages.

Presentations with high quality design and powerful well thought out messages enable presenters to tell an impactful clear story that audiences understand easily, and are therefore more likely to follow the presenter’s call to action.

However, going from a basic bullet-point presentation to this kind of asset is like stepping out of your everyday saloon and jumping into a supercar – yes it drives well, yes it looks amazing, but without learning how to drive it properly, there’s a much higher chance of crashing!

A large amount of practise is a must (as with any presentation), advanced PowerPoint training sessions are an option, but there is also an entire range of tools to make live presenting that little bit easier…

Technology to help presenters…

PowerPoint Operator

Technically this isn’t a tech tool, it’s a person. A PowerPoint Operator is essentially a presentation designer who provides the presenter with the freedom to concentrate on their delivery alone, as the operator drives the presentation and performs the clicks out of sight of the audience…

The presentation control room for a conference we recently supported in Athens…

It is essential that the operator and the presenter are well rehearsed and in-synch. As long as this is the case, this set-up can work really well. However, if things have been left to the last minute and either party is unprepared, you could end up with an embarrassing out-of-synch experience.

Presentation Environments: Large conferences or any large event presentation.
Main Pro: The only option to give the presenter freedom from controlling their PowerPoint presentation.
Biggest Con: Costly. It’s the presentation equivalent of hiring a private chauffeur.

Presenter View

This is where the presenter drives the presentation themselves using PowerPoint’s excellent Presenter View window.

Presenter View can be displayed either on a podium based laptop (if the presenter wants to stand still) or on a tablet device (if the presenter wants to walk the room or stage).

Presenter View displayed on an iPad…

This fantastic tool gives the presenter some very useful information. It shows you which slide you are on, which slide is next and how long you have spent on the slide and presenting as a whole. All very useful information (especially if you are in a timed slot).

Having access to a preview of the next slide gives you chance to mentally prepare before clicking.

If you have trouble remembering your key points, the window also displays your slide notes where you could note these down. This means forgetful presenters no longer need to overfill slides with text.

The best thing about Presenter View is the fact that it’s a few snippets of useful information that is private to the presenter, the audience don’t see any of this, whilst the presenter retains full control of PowerPoint. Oh, and it’s free!

Presentation Environments: Large events and conferences, any presentation with a podium (suitable for a laptop) and even boardroom type meetings.
Main Pro: Gives the presenter lots of useful information. Can be tailored to what works best for the presenter’s style.
Biggest Con: It can make you lazy! It’s too easy to add your script and use it like an autocue, when really you should learn your presentation speech inside out.

Smartphone App

There are plenty of free apps around (JumiDesktop and Hippo LITE) that turn your smartphone into a touch-screen mouse. This means the presenter can be anywhere in the room and use their smartphone to drive the presentation.

It certainly takes some getting used to but, with enough practice, this option gives the presenter the same level of control as a mouse, along with the freedom to move around the room. It doesn’t however, provide any of the information that Presenter View does – but for some presenters, a simpler approach will be preferred.

Presentation Environments: Relaxed internal presentations and meetings.
Main Pro: Full mouse control in the palm of your hand.
Biggest Con: Only works when both the PC and Smartphone are on the same wi-fi network.

PowerPoint Clicker

The PowerPoint clicker is one of the oldest (and still most reliable) technical tools for presenting with. It’s a simple device that consists of forward and backward buttons, allowing you to move through your presentation in a linear fashion.

Most come with a built-in laser pointer too (how very 90’s).

Presentation Environments: Formal conferences and large events.
Main Pro: Really easy to use with a robust connection.
Biggest Con: Does not allow you to control interactive navigation.

Tablet Presentation

A tablet presentation is for those informal small meetings, that don’t necessarily involve a presenter and an audience. It’s more likely to be an informal meeting where a prospect reveals their problems to a sales person who reacts with their company’s solutions.

The sales person is equipped with an interactive tablet presentation which they can use as a sort of digital brochure to navigate straight to the supporting information or products that solve the prospects problem…

This basically removes the need for a cumbersome laptop, or a meeting with no visual support.

Presentation Environments: Informal meetings, especially sales conversations. Event booths.
Main Pro: High end presentation collateral in the palm of your hand.
Biggest Con: Not very good in meetings larger than 3 people.

Flipchart

High-tech this isn’t. But a flip-chart presentation is one of the most powerful types of presentation. Imagine you’re trying to get a really complicated message to an audience that you’re in danger of losing…

A series of well planned white-board graphics keep the audience engaged as you draw out your solution. This broken-down delivery method helps them to absorb the information steadily. Full understanding increases the chance of buy-in and presentation success.

Presentation Environments: Smaller meetings where the audience and presenter can have a discussion.
Main Pro: One of the most simple ways to deliver complicated information.
Biggest Con: Not everyone is comfortable drawing in front of an audience.

Remember, when it comes to using any technology to help you present, it’s not about choosing the tool you like the sound of. It’s about considering your audience and the environment you’re going to be presenting in. Once you’ve done this, the best tool to use will be obvious.

If you need any help with this, please do just pick up the phone and one of Eyeful’s expert presentation consultants will be happy to help…

QUICKSTARTER FOR POWERPOINT IS ALMOST UPON US

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 by Matt<

Microsoft recently released their latest Office updates and sadly there was not much activity for PowerPoint presentation designers…

You might remember back in September we had news about a host of forthcoming PowerPoint features in PowerPoint’s Getting A Brand New Button…

Well, the only feature from that article that is arriving in the latest round of updates is The QUICKSTARTER feature for PowerPoint, but sadly this is only for Office Insider users.

This means for most PowerPoint users this feature is coming – but how soon is anybody’s guess.

If you are an Office Insider you should be able to use this great new feature now…

POWERPOINT QUICKSTARTER
We’ve often mused over how PowerPoint could be smarter in helping presenters with their structure and messaging, and it looks like Microsoft are finally getting the message, with the new QUICKSTARTER button in PowerPoint.

QUICKSTARTER for PowerPoint and Sway actually will, sort of, help you with the structuring of your presentation…
The theory is… you simply open up PowerPoint, click on the QUICKSTARTER button and then you can search for a topic. It suggests to “Search for a famous person or historical event”…

PowerPoint then searches the internet for related topics, you pick one and PowerPoint automatically suggests some starter slides with relevant content. You are then asked to select the ones you want to create your presentations structure…

…PowerPoint then automatically designs you some basic slides…


It all sounds very exciting…

Keep your eye on this blog, because when QUICKSTARTER does land, I’ll give it a full review and provide instructions on how to use it…

For now though, for most PowerPoint users, the anticipation goes on…

TECH UPDATE: HOW TO USE POWERPOINT’S NEW ICON TOOL

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 by Matt<

It’s nice when something you wish for comes true and once again it has!

A loooong time ago, I spent a little time dreaming about just how great PowerPoint could be and created a wish list of how PowerPoint could evolve…

Historic PowerPoint Review – part 1

Historic PowerPoint Review – part 2

Sadly, the Random Bars transition still exists, but on a more positive note my wish for Morph did come true as well as a brand-new feature which allows users to insert icons into slides…

Icons are a very important part of presentation design according to Alex Warwick, one of our senior presentation designers here at Eyeful…

“Icons play a vital role as a visual representation of content which help the audience to more efficiently understand, navigate and interpret information. Icons support content or communicate on their own by drawing attention and helping to differentiate and structure content. Icons are widely used because they effectively combine function with being an aesthetic element in design.”

How the new icon feature works…

Alex is a big fan of this new functionality…

“In the past, the options to use icons were only available to users who have additional software like Adobe Illustrator or who would go through the testing process of downloading an icon online and having to convert the file type to make it compatible with PowerPoint. With the new Insert Icons feature any level user of PowerPoint can recolour and resize hundreds of useful icons in their presentations.”

The new icon feature is available for some users of Microsoft Office 365 right now, but as with all Office updates the feature will be rolled out in a staggered manner across all Office users.

Remember, icons aren’t just a way of making your PowerPoint presentation design look better, it’s all about making it easier for your audience to understand the message you’re trying to get across (I wonder what the icon for that would be?).

For a more in-depth conversation about your presentation’s messaging, just give us a call on +44 (0)1455 826390 and have a chat with one of our expert presentation consultants…

VIDEO TUTORIAL: HOW TO MAKE AN INTERACTIVE PRESENTATION WITH ZOOM

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 by Matt<

I recently wrote about the power of interactive presentations and how presenters can use this style of presenting to keep their audiences engaged…

This is a really useful approach in boardroom environments on a medium to large size screen, or really powerful on something like an iPad for those small intimate meetings.

And there’s a brand new feature in PowerPoint 2016 called Zoom that can help you turn your presentations into interactive conversational pieces…

So here’s a little free advanced PowerPoint training tutorial on how it works and a bit of a review of Zoom to boot…

One final thing to remember is that Zoom is only available on devices running the very latest version of PowerPoint 2016, which is available through Office 365.

If you have an older version of PowerPoint, don’t be disheartened as it’s still possible to make your presentation’s fully interactive in all versions of PowerPoint, just get in touch to find out how we could help with this…

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…

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

rsz_a_formal_presenter
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

rsz_prezi
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

rsz_office_lens
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…

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRESENTATION SOFTWARE

Friday, September 9th, 2016 by Matt<

For so long presentation designers and presenters across our fine land have relied on one tool to create and deliver their presentations – PowerPoint.

And a great tool it is. But there are lots of presentation software available, PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi and lots of different type of presentations; formal, interactive, video, device presentations… the list is endless.

Thankfully Simon Morton (presentation expert and CEO of this presentation design company) discusses all the presentation tools available and when to use them in his latest interview with Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff…

If presentation tech is your thing, keep your eye out for an upcoming blog revealing the 3 must have presentation apps for your new iPhone 7…
Until then, if you need any help with your presentations just get in touch…

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…

BREAKING NEWS: POWERPOINT VS PREZI THE (INTERACTIVE) GLOVES ARE OFF

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 by Matt<

About 6 weeks ago we reported on the release of Prezi for Business (Prezi’s latest version specifically for business presentations) and that one of their major new features was interactivity. In a nutshell, the new version gave presenters the ability to jump to specific content at the click of a mouse thus allowing them to tailor their content live during an engagement. Happy days.

Well, the breaking news from Microsoft is that they too have made interactivity a focus with the release of a new function within PowerPoint 365, ZOOM…

Let’s get one thing straight…
Interactivity in PowerPoint presentation designs is nothing new to us here at Eyeful. Custom Shows hark back to the days of PowerPoint 2003 and for over a decade we’ve been championing this amazing way to navigate presentations…

That said, what Zoom seems to do is give the custom show function a much needed refresh. It’s been around for 13 years, it’s an over complicated and clunky way to set up interactivity and an upgrade was much needed…

So kudos to Microsoft for listening to their users and continuing to push PowerPoint to new levels of usability.

What’s new…
The new menu pulls up the thumbnail of the slides in the deck allowing you to quickly and easily select the slides you want to jump to…

Grab 1

It then automatically generates the thumbnails on your slide, which are hyperlinked to jump (or zoom) you to those sections while your presenting. Neat.

Grab 2

What’s even neater is the ‘zoom’ bit, as when you click on the thumbnail, PowerPoint zooms you into it, taking you to the slide in one seamless flow of movement. We’re guessing that this pulls on the Morph transition we reported on some time ago…

Fundamentally there is absolutely nothing here that you couldn’t do before. It’s just the process of setting all of this up is massively streamlined and simplified. Previously it would have been a pretty time consuming, not to mention complicated affair.

Why this is good for your business presentations…
What’s really great about Zoom isn’t actually the functionality it brings, it’s the way the feature will raise the profile of interactive presentations to the wider business presentation world.

Alex Warwick, one of Eyeful’s senior presentation designers had this to say…

“I think it’s another great example of Microsoft being innovative and giving users the functionality to make the most of an ever-changing presentation landscape. Microsoft are realising the power of presenting on different platforms to different audiences and not just in a linear way in big rooms. For a designer, the morph tool was a masterpiece but this tool will be much more impactful to engage with audiences. The interactivity that PowerPoint has provided in the past has been invaluable and this tool takes it another, much easier to use step forward. I cannot wait to train our clients with these new features, they will love it.”

Alex Warwick, Senior Presentation Designer & Trainer, Eyeful Presentations

Eyeful’s concept, The Presentation Landscape is proof that presentations don’t only happen in formal environments such as boardrooms and auditoriums…

rsz_landscape_2

With communication over coffee and meetings that require as much input from the audience as the presenter, interactivity gives the power back to the presenter to go with the flow and discuss and share only the slides and content that’s most relevant to the audience in the room.

This is a really powerful element for presenters and anything that increases the awareness of interactive presentations and makes it easier to implement, is no bad thing in our book.

If you’d like to learn more about all of the latest PowerPoint features and how they could help enhance your business presentations, check out our presentation training page, where we could customise an advanced PowerPoint training course for your exact needs…