Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

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…

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: GREAT PRESENTATION ADVICE FOR ALL TECHNICAL EXPERTS

Thursday, November 24th, 2016 by Matt<

Lots of people think Technical Presentation are boring, over complicated affairs written by experts, only for experts.

But honestly you couldn’t be more wrong! Technical Presentations are awesome, they can be the most exciting, interesting and important types of presentation.

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

So we salute you!

When it comes to delivering your Technical Presentations though it’s really important that your great ideas aren’t just heard and understood by the other experts in the room. They need to connect and convince all the decision makers to make your ideas become reality.

That’s why we created The Technical Lab, our one day training course in how to create the perfect Technical Presentation.

It’s a course that’s way more in depth than a generic advanced PowerPoint training day. It’s taught by Eyeful’s team of experts and it’ll show you how to turn complicated information into presentations that shine out a clear and consistent message to the entire audience.

If you would like to get a really good flavour for the kind of ideas and insight in the course check out the recording of our recent webinar:

The Technical Lab Surgery was just a few days ago and in it you’ll learn how to…

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 delivered by Eyeful 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.

It’s about making sure your audience acts and brings your ideas to life…

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ARE 3D PRESENTATIONS THE (NEAR) FUTURE?

Thursday, October 27th, 2016 by Matt<

News has broken that a forthcoming update to Microsoft’s famous paint program, means that 3D presentations are on the horizon…

Now before everyone gets dizzy with excitement let’s hold our horses. Right now this is just news, the updates are ‘coming in early 2017’ and if other Microsoft PowerPoint updates are to go by such as Zoom and Presentation Designer, they won’t blow your socks off just yet.

But hey, let’s not get too downbeat. The business world is more than ready for this type of PowerPoint presentation design and if you really want to know how this will improve your presentations, then follow this blog.

We’ll test it out, figure out how it works and create an example of 3D used in business presentations.

As teaching kids how to do this on the latest Surface is all well and good, but if your PC is 5 years old and you’re as time poor as the rest of us, you’ll need to know how you can realistically use 3D…

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Is a warning to all! An average movie, shot in 3D ready for the initial wave of 3D movies back in 2009…

Stick a load of 3D content in your presentation might make you look cool for 5 minutes, but like with any other graphic, animation or video element in your presentation it needs to help tell your story and inspire the audience to follow your call to action – otherwise, what’s the point?!

I asked Eyeful’s CEO Simon Morton his thoughts on the matter and his thoughts were on the same lines as my own…

“Cool technology like this and HoloLens are exciting…but will only really have an impact when people see beyond the novelty and add value to their presentations because of it. How does 3D aid storytelling? Can this provide a deeper engagement with audiences because of enhanced understanding and not just their interest in the cool tech? Once we have the answers to this (and Eyeful is perfectly placed to explore the options and potential benefits), we can get truly excited. For the minute, it’s cool…but that’s as far as it goes…”

So for now enjoy the prospect of one day using elements of 3D to help share your presentation messages and when the time comes we’ll show you how it could make your presentations even better.

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…