Archive for the ‘Story’ Category

THE POWER OF VISUAL SUBTEXT; INSPIRATION FROM TESCO

Friday, March 10th, 2017 by Matt<

Here at Eyeful we love it when we find articles or content that resonate with our passion for presentations… We found ourselves reading with admiration Tesco’s recent marketing campaign “Food Love Stories”

“We’ve always taken great pride in the quality of our food and we know how good food brings people and families together. So this January, we’re launching ‘Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco’, a campaign which puts food at the very heart of our business and tells the stories behind the meals we all make for those closest to us.”
Michelle McEttrick, Group Brand Director, Tesco

We are huge advocates of using story to deliver key messages to your audience, just see our Story Season page for the proof!

It’s the simple but very effective use of (seemingly) real stories to deliver key messages that presenters should take note of when preparing your PowerPoint presentation designs in the future.

The Tesco adverts are perfect examples of this in action. But like a presentation, it’s not just the words being spoken by the presenter that deliver the message.

Let’s take one of the Food Love Stories as an example… David’s ‘Hot or Not’ Chicken Curry

The story is simple, David met his wife 15 years previously and discovered that she loves spicy food, he fibbed and told her he did too, and ever since has been making her his chicken curry – even though he hates spicy food!

It’s personal, it’s part of a love story which means the audience buy in by relating to the situation in their own lives…

As David tells his story, his words are akin to a presenter telling a story that we the audience can relate to and therefore connect with.

What’s really clever here is that David doesn’t mention Tesco. His words tell one story whilst the visual subtext tells another…

A simple city landscape helps you relate as this could quite possibly be your street, or a street nearby…

As David follows a Tesco employee through the store to find an ingredient, the subtext of the visual reinforces to us that Tesco colleagues are helpful…

Without being overtly obvious, this shot is critical as it really drives home the family connection that almost anyone can relate too…this is one of the key messages of the campaign.

The actual cooking section of the video looks easy; we don’t see any of the prep work – we only see the easy fun parts, it’s all very relaxed and re-enforces the message that this Tesco campaign is making it easy for you to cook good food.

Ah… the wine shot! Again, the visual, not the words, drive home the message that Tesco can help you create a nice, romantic meal for you and your other half all in an easy way with the support of Tesco.

This series of adverts aren’t just clever stories, there is a complete experience for the viewer. You can find ingredients and methods on how to cook the different meals and find Point Of Sale material within Tesco stores where you can quickly grab all of the ingredients from one convenient location.

Your presentations need to be a complete experience for your audience too. Your presentation visuals need to convey the right messages and context, your presenter needs to deliver with passion, knowledge and the right level of enthusiasm and your audience need to feel a connection with your presentation.

Tesco’s campaign drives home to the audience that they can be inspired to recreate this situation easily just by going to Tesco.

Heck, it’s worked on me, I’ve just been out and bought all the ingredients for David’s ‘Hot or Not’ Chicken Curry!

You can’t help but applaud the Tesco team for this series, they are a prime example of using story and visual subtext to deliver simple, yet strong key messages to the audience in an all-round experience.

The question is how are you going to give your audience an excellent all-round experience in your next presentation? Pick up the phone or drop us an email to find out how…

In the meantime, I’m off home to cook a curry…

NATIONAL STORYTELLING WEEK: HOW TO BLEND STORY AND PRESENTATION

Monday, January 30th, 2017 by Matt<

This weekend marked the start of National Storytelling Week, so we are taking a closer look at the wondrous world of story (and how it relates to presentations.)

It’s a well-known fact that story can be a very powerful thing. Only last night did the offer of a story to my little boy, Jack, convince him to give up his favourite vice of Paw Patrol.

Yes, that promise of any story he would like, got him to put down the iPad (never an easy feat), shoot upstairs, get into his pyjama’s (without force) and snuggled up next to his daddy, all in double quick time.

Of course, one story, became three, but that’s fine, because I’d much rather spend my time reading to him, than chasing him around our house with a pair of pyjama’s in one hand and a nappy in the other…

Speaking of children and stories, the shortest story ever written is by Earnest Hemmingway and went like this…

“New baby shoes, never worn”

Your mind reads into those words and constructs several very different positive, neutral and very negative connotations…

That’s the power of story.

Like we’ve said many times before, this power can be applied to presentations in a number of ways…

“We LOVE the smart use of stories and story structure in presentations. They’ve formed some of the most compelling, engaging, passionate and memorable presentations ever created. The use of ‘story’ in presentations makes a lot of sense – get it right and you’re onto a good thing…”
Simon Morton, CEO, Eyeful Presentations (and Chief Storyteller to Beth and Peter).

You can prepare a whole raft of stories and keep them in your proverbial mental back pocket for when opportunities arise.

You can turn your entire PowerPoint presentation design into a story by looking at story themes and structures and applying these to your presentations. There’s a great chapter on ‘Business Storytelling’ on page 42 of The Presentation Lab book, that explains how to do this.

Another great way of using story to support your presentations messaging is through case studies. These don’t have to be formal case studies, they can simply be stories about real events and projects that you can relay in your presentation, to your audience, to back-up and reinforce what you are trying to say.

Telling your audience that your product or solution is fantastic is all well and good – but these days messages that simply big you up, just won’t convince your audience…

If you really want to engage with them and get their buy in, think of a real example of a problem that relates to theirs and tell them a true story about how you solved it for another company in a similar situation as theirs.

Blending story into your presentations has lots of other benefits too…

  • Encasing your product or solution in a story makes it more real and believable.
  • Telling a true story makes your delivery style authentic.
  • Maybe the story has an element of drama or action to it? Play on this and use this to make your story more interesting and memorable. It doesn’t have to be Lord of the Rings, merely explaining how you solved a tough problem at the last minute can have enough drama to enthuse your audience.

Your presentation being remembered after the event is also a key element in gaining presentation success and because of the all the things I’ve mentioned above, people remember stories.

To discover more about applying story to your presentations, check out Eyeful’s Story Season…

Story Season’s goal is to discuss the importance of story within presentations, look at the scientific case for using story, and ultimately to provide information, advice and general tips on how to incorporate story into your presentations.

Check it out, it’s a good read!

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…

 

 

THE DANGER OF LEAVING IT TO THE LAST MINUTE

Friday, October 7th, 2016 by Matt<

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We were chatting in the office recently about our favourite customer stories (more on these in the near future) and this nightmare scenario came up about something that happened a couple of years ago, but the warning still rings true today…

On this particular day the HQ phone rang at 5pm with a potential new customer ringing for last minute presentation help…

Fortunately, our day to day customers tend to follow our friendly advice that leaving things close to the event is not the best idea…

Unfortunately for this company they had not received such sage advice…

Their problem was the fact they had a business defining tender opportunity due to be given the follow morning and try as they might their message was confusing and their PowerPoint looked abysmal…

Now Eyeful aren’t the type of presentation design company to say no. We’ve garnered a proud reputation over the years for being the kind of company that’ll bend over backwards to help you out, no matter how late you’ve left it…

And of course the Eyefulite who took the call stayed in the office until 9pm trying to help, but alas in this instance it was just too late in the day and they had to break the bad news to the customer…

Now you might be thinking, why am I sharing a story about where we couldn’t help?!

I’m doing so because Eyeful want you, your colleagues or anyone associated with delivering presentations to realise that there isn’t always a bailout solution to get last minute presentation help…

And if you leave it late you are seriously undermining your opportunity…

If you deliver a poor presentation, you look bad, your business looks bad, your audience suffers and there is a damn good chance that the call to action you want your audience to follow – will be missed.

So I implore you, if you have a presentation coming up, give it the time and attention it deserves.

As the alternative is a sad situation where nobody wins and what nobody wants.

If your next presentation is tomorrow this might help…

If it’s a little further away, call us now on 01455 826390…

What happened to the company?

Well, let’s just say it didn’t exactly go to plan and they lost the deal. They are also now one of our most longstanding customers, with a series of fully interactive sales presentations that have helped them win a lot of business…

Every cloud.

HOW WE AVOIDED TODDLER TRAUMA WHEN TRAVELING

Monday, September 26th, 2016 by Matt<

I am tired. Very tired.

I love my job at Eyeful, Europe’s leading PowerPoint Presentation Design Agency, but boy was I ready for a break.

Today is my first day back after a ‘relaxing’ holiday in Cornwall with my wife Mel and our two-and-a-half year old son Jack.

Obviously when I say relaxing, I mean utterly shattering.

Alas, Mel and I have had to wave goodbye to relaxing holidays where we lay around a sun drenched pool enjoying a good book…

…and say hello to UK holidays where Jack can have the most fun. Feastival has been rebooked and a first ever trip to Centreparcs is currently under negotiation. Really? A holiday in Nottingham?

A wise person once told me, the baby fits in with your life, it doesn’t dictate what you do…

They. Were. Lying.

If it’s 28° and Jack wants his hoody on, I put it on… because the alternative ear-splitting, glass-shattering, 9.9 on the Richter Scale screaming is simply not worth it.

So this year we set off on a road trip to the lovely harbour village of Padstow, instead of worrying about a toddler with sunburn, heat-related ultra-crankiness or potential malnutrition from a lack of Chicken Nugget intake…

Padstow is, of course, famous for hosting many high quality Rick Stein restaurants, of which we went to… none! High-class evening dining with an overtired toddler and breakable plates are simply not a good mix.

We also had to plan our days doing things Jack would enjoy such as seeing Lion’s in Newquay Zoo (where I found out that I weigh the same as a Panda – awesome).

When it didn’t rain we played on the beach, getting sand in unspeakable places as we made Jack a world record 75 Sand Castles!

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So what the heck has my holiday got to do with your presentations?

Well, as much as Mel and I pine for a fortnight of 5-star Mexican luxury, Jack is our highest priority.

And in some roundabout way my holidays are actually the same as your presentations.

You see, most business presentations suffer from one major flaw – they tend to be woefully generic, one-size-fits-all affairs.

They focus on their own company, where they are based, number of offices, identity parade of directors and so on – the audience just isn’t bothered about all of that.

The reality is that, just as Jack is the most important person to us, your audience are the most important people in your presentation.

It’s essential that you structure your presentation to address the challenges and issues they are facing – before, explaining how your solution is the answer to their prayers.

Yes, this is more work.

Yes, this is harder than you think.

Yes, like me, you will be a lot tireder at the end of the process.

But it’ll be a good tired, you’ll be satisfied in the knowledge that you did things right, your audience will have left after a good experience… and they’ll be more likely to follow your call to action.

If collapsing in a heap doesn’t appeal, but a positive presentation result does – then get in touch with Eyeful, as this presentation design company is more than happy to do all the hard work, while you take the glory – it’s what we do!

Alas, we don’t do childcare – but if we did, it would be great… and I’d use it all of the time!

DISCLAIMER (if my wife is reading)
Jack is not the terror he sounds. He’s an awesome little dude that doesn’t have any more tantrums than any other toddler. To confirm, I really love my son and having children rocks – don’t be put off!

The Importance of Storytelling in PowerPoint Presentation Design

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 by Matt<

 

Eyeful’s very own MD Simon Morton has been speaking to our good friend Grant Leboff at Sticky Marketing

Simon does like to pop into Grant’s to offer some regular sage advice to presenters, in the past they’ve discussed interesting topics such as; the importance of audience, the impact of poor presentations and finding inspiration…

In this week’s catch-up, Simon debunks some of the myths around using stories in presentations and actually offers a couple of really easy suggestions on how to build story into your PowerPoint Presentation design to all importantly help the memory of your audience.

 
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The video is only 5 minutes, so perfect to view over a cuppa or a bite as you contemplate your next presentation.

If the topics mentioned above 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, enjoy…