Archive for the ‘The Presentation Lab Book’ Category


Thursday, April 27th, 2017 by Matt<

We all know that sinking feeling you get when an email request from your big boss arrives asking you to present at the next quarterly meeting.

A positive and polite response “certainly, I would love to”, masks an inner monologue that screams “are you kidding me?!”.

You have two choices…

You can either hide in the stationery cupboard hoping that the presentation goes away (which it won’t), commit career suicide and refuse to present, or you can take a deep breath and meet this challenge head on like you do every other.

Take that breath, because we have your back.

At Eyeful we are used to presentation SOS requests heading our way and we tackle these by following a structured and sensible approach that is about using the time wisely and to maximum impact.

5 Steps To Remove Presentation Panic…

Step 1 – Prioritise your workload

Assess your to-do-list and push back anything that can be until after the date of the presentation.

Now assess honestly how many hours you can dedicate to your presentation preparation before dividing your time up percentage wise in the following 4 steps…

Focusing and prioritising your time will help to keep you calm and you’ll create a better, more effective presentation at the same time. It’s win-win.

Step 2 – Create A Message For Your Audience

Allocate 35% of your time early on to consider your presentation objectives (Must, Intend, Like).

Write these down and they will help you to identify the content and visuals that are truly engaging your audience and point them in the right direction.

Now profile your audience, a quick and easy way to do this is here in our free Presentation Healthcheck service.

An audience heatmap

With your objectives clear in your mind and your audience in focus (with an audience heatmap), you will now have some strong ideas on how to best to share your message.

Get this down on paper as a storyflow, which is essentially the flow of the presentation in a list of chapter headings. Share this with some trusted colleagues and ask for honest feedback. Listen and action accordingly.

Don’t be tempted to keep changing it as you will burn time. Trust your instincts.

Step 3 – Plan Your Content

Review the storyflow against the slides you have and remove anything that doesn’t support your message. Don’t forget to make sure you have a call to action that it is aligned to your objectives and key message.

Work your way through the slides removing as many words as you can and highlight any gaps in your story.

A presentation storyboard

Sketch out new slides that need to be created on paper and again ask colleagues for their honest feedback. Planning a storyboard on paper easily allows you to see what works and what doesn’t easily and quickly.

Once this is done you can start to create your final presentation…

Step 4 – PowerPoint Presentation Design


Firstly, go for some quick wins. You can easily swap text based content out for images or diagrams? PowerPoint 2016’s new Icon functionality makes visualising key messages a lot easier too.

PowerPoint’s new icon tool

Always play your presentation through making sure titles and colours are consistent and that all the animation works as it should.

Step 5 – Rehearse

When deadlines are tight there will be a huge temptation to forgo the practice stage and work on the creation of your presentation right up until the last minute. But you must fight this.

Working on your presentation into the late hours the night before is not advisable. The last thing you want to be doing is heading into your presentation in a tired state with unfamiliar slides.

Presenter rehearsing to an empty room

You must leave at least 10% of your time for practising delivering your presentation. Doing this on your own is fine, but if you have access to a tripod you could video yourself on your phone and review yourself. This is a great way to self improve before testing your delivery out in front of your colleagues.

Follow these 5 steps and when you present you will come across more authentically, look more professional and give all the hard work you’ve done the best chance to succeed.

Best of luck.

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…

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.

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.

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…


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…




Thursday, November 17th, 2016 by Matt<


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.


Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Matt<

I was casually chilling on the sofa on Sunday, my young son Jack cuddling up beside me as some boring factual programme my wife was watching flashed along on the TV – I say boring as I had just enjoyed a rather epic Peppa Pig session…

As the use of adult (normal adult speech not naughty) language reset my brain away from toddler talk, my attention was drawn into the TV show “What Britain Buys” on Channel 4, presented by retail guru Mary Portas.

It was quite an interesting review of the weird and wonderful products that the British public are spending on at the moment from new supermarket food trends, 2000 calorie freekshakes to adults playing with Lego.

Story ThemesBut what caught my attention was the revival of the book… The story starts in 2007 when internet retail giant Amazon launched the Kindle E Reader which sold over half a million units in its first year. This rapid rise saw analysts predicting printed books would be history by 2015…

Britain’s largest chain of bookstores Waterstones came very close to closing, which would have had a terrible chain reaction…

“The greater number of proper stock holding bookshops in the UK would have disappeared. Most independents would have to go with them because publishers would have been impacted, so yes we came within literally a few hours of catastrophe for our industry.” James Daunt MD Waterstones

However, by 2014 Waterstones were breaking even and this year has been the first year to see sales of printed books increase by 3%…

Which, according to Portas is a massive milestone in the revival of the oldest form of written communication…

The resurgence of the book comes down to two key things…

The way in which publishers are now designing book covers and the evolution of the buying experience developed by bookstores such as Waterstones…

And it was these reasons that resonated with my presentation head…

Publishers have been very clever… they’ve repackaged old books with beautiful covers, these are things that you want to have on your coffee table at home. You are now buying something for its aesthetic value as much as the literature inside it.

We are spending more time and money on our design than we ever did before.

Portas: Do you think beautiful covers sell books?

Definitely yeah, I mean no question. You don’t have to pay to read Lady Chatterley’s Lover, if you want to read it on your E Reader, we’ve got to give people a reason to want to own this book and the only reason they’re going to do that is because we make it look absolutely fabulous.
Joanna Prior, MD Penguin

Looks and aesthetics are often something we shy away from here at Eyeful. Our view is that the look and feel of the design of your presentation is only going to get you so far…

We are of the strong opinion that if you’re asking for presentation help, you know there is an underlying issue with your presentation not getting the results your offering deservers.

9 times out of 10, this isn’t because your presentation doesn’t look good enough, it’s because your messaging and structure of your presentation isn’t having an impact on your audience.

And this is the other reason books are making a comeback, bookstores are playing their part by evolving the book buying experience…

I love going to book shops, they’re like my happy place. I like to go and sit and have a coffee, explore the book and it’s nice just have them in your hand to be able to kind of feel the amount of effort that’s gone into it…

Sure this approach is a little bit idealistic, but you can’t knock it if it’s working.

And the same goes for presentations…

If you’re delivering a shab, drab looking bullet point bonanza, you’re giving your audience the same level of thrill and excitement as you get from downloading a book in the app store – yay.

But if you work on your story, your message and create presentation content that’s going to react with your audience and get them thinking – plus give it the Eyeful level of
PowerPoint presentation design…

Then your audience isn’t just going to receive a great piece of communication, they’re going to be wowed by the design in the same way book shoppers enjoy the artistry and tactile nature of new book covers…

And that’s a whole new level of experience for your audience, who having been beaten and bored into submission by years of death by PowerPoint, will be more than blown away by a presenter who has bothered to take their presentation experience to a whole new level of professionalism.

The Eyeful level…

If this has got you in the dual mood of upping your presentation level and a bit of light reading, then here’s the perfect book for you…



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


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

TAD Modules Image

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…


Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 by Matt<

Simon Morton, Eyeful’s illustrious MD and author of the acclaimed The Presentation Lab book, has once again made his regular foray into the video studio of Sticky Marketing’s Grant Leboff.

This time Grant has been quizzing Simon on ways to simplify really complex presentation messages.

Simon reveals two great and easy to use techniques from his book that you can apply to your own presentations to make them a whole lot less cluttered and more structured.  They’re techniques that can be applied outside of presentations too – even in blog posts!


To help you!

If you create any kind of PowerPoint presentation design, this interview will give you the advice you need to avoid content clutter and overloaded, confusing and ultimately very dry presentations.

But if you create technical or scientific presentations and struggle to keep slides focused and not stuffed full of dry detail – then this video is an absolute must see…

The very best of luck in cleansing your complex presentations, it’s not the easiest thing to do so we really hope the methods that Simon has shared prove useful…

If you would like to learn the techniques mentioned above in more detail, then check out our CLEARING THE DECKS module from our full suite of Think, Act & Deliver presentation training.

We can teach this module  as part of a Tailored Training course or in any of our Fast Track days…


Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016 by Matt<

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has been talking to Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing again this week…

This time he’s been discussing a really important part of presentations, that most presenters don’t even consider – the objectives…

In his acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, Simon goes into great detail about a really useful technique we use all of the time on our client’s presentations, called Must, Intend, Like…


Get the lowdown on it now from Simon and Grant in just 5 minutes…

If Must, Intend, Like is a technique you think could give your presentations some much needed direction, then check out ‘Objective Setting’ in our suite of modular presentation training


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)…


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.


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…

Bid Presenters Get Expert Presentation Insight In The Eyeful Labs

Thursday, February 18th, 2016 by Matt<

Last night saw the Eyeful Labs host an event for around 30 APMP UK members, all of whom got to enjoy some fancy sandwiches whilst getting lots of great presentation related advice from Eyeful’s Simon Morton.

Simon, a renowned presentation expert and author of the acclaimed book The Presentation Lab was fresh from speaking at Microsoft events in London and Barcelona. Happy to be on home turf, he was delighted to share concepts and examples of best practice from both his book and experience of working with clients on ‘must win’ bids.

The audience were a lovely group of people from all different businesses, their commonality being that they were all members of the APMP…

APMP UK is the UK chapter of the ‘Association of Bid and Proposal Management Professionals’ which is the body that defines and supports best practice in the areas of bids, proposals and business acquisition.

Bids and presentations go hand in hand as we only know too well at Eyeful, having worked on so many of these presentations over the years.

I think back to the time a client told me how the presentation we created for them played a significant part in helping them win a bid worth £90m… You don’t forget that sort of feedback!

Last night’s audience were treated to a bespoke ‘bid specific’ lecture based on content from Eyeful’s modular presentation training suite – which covers the entire presentation lifespan from creating the initial story right through to Advance PowerPoint Training.


The first part of the lecture was about changing the way the audience thought about presentations, which after years of bullet point conditioning and overloaded slide content, this a lot harder than most people think.

This was about learning to break old habits and to basically plan your presentation in a whole new way. It was about discovering the right balance between message and content

Simon also focussed on the most important element of any presentation, the audience, introducing concepts such as the Audience Heatmap.

Delivering a presentation is about way more than simply standing and talking. So many presenters believe a click by click linear presentation is the right tool for every scenario.

Simon introduced the concept of the Presentation Landscape and the theory behind using the right presentation tool at the right time, for example smaller informal meetings would be better suited to an interactive tablet based presentation.


The aim of the evening was for people to leave with a whole new mind-set when it comes to creating presentations…

“Very interesting and helpful, I am actually looking forward to working on my presentation tomorrow morning!”

“Thank you for opening my eyes to a new perspective towards presenting.”

Based on the feedback we received, it was clearly mission accomplished…

To have your event members or indeed your large team get some expert presentation advice in the Eyeful Labs, just give us a ring on 01455 826390 and we’ll tailor a course just for you.