Posts Tagged ‘Design’

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape Scenario #1

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015 by Matt<

In last week’s Tech Season we explored the fascinating concept that is the Presentation Landscape.

To recap, the Landscape can actually be used as a rather handy tool to help you give your audience and end presentation environment some well needed due care and attention.

And to put this into context we’ve created three differing presentation scenarios to show how you could use the landscape when preparing presentations.

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Scenario 1: A Large Corporate Event Presentation

The first thing to do is to look at the outer ring and consider the environment you are presenting in.

In this instance the presentation is taking place in a large auditorium, to an audience of hundreds of people with little audience interaction.

So in the outer segment you would be clearly sitting in the Formal segment.

Then working inwards, you can choose from the relevant presentation delivery tools and choose the best one for your specific audience.

For example, a Large Screen would be the right option to deliver to a large audience.

Now you know what the final output is you can easily choose the best tool to create your supporting visuals with.

Typical presentation tools in this formal area are PowerPoint, Prezi, or Keynote – with PowerPoint being the most likely choice.

One thing to always remember if you’re creating PowerPoint slides for a large event, the AV company running the stage will probably be running the presentations in 16×9 format – but you never know, so always check before creating any presentation collateral.

Then make sure that everyone in your company who is responsible for creating slides has been briefed to create them in the same ratio and using the same template.

The last thing you want to be doing right before a large event is trying to convert everybody’s slides into the same ratio and template.

If you need any help with planning your presentations for a large event, please do just give us a call.

We are well versed in pulling together multiple presentations into one large, visually stunning, perfectly consistent and formatted presentation.

In fact you could say, Eyeful are the aspirin to your event headache!

We’ll have another presentation scenario example soon and stand by for more Tech Season articles.

If in the meantime you have a presentation to give and feel some expert advice may be in order, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape

Monday, June 22nd, 2015 by Matt<

In this week’s Tech Season we look at a concept called the Presentation Landscape.

The Presentation Landscape is a fascinating concept that Eyeful’s founder Simon Morton came up with after spending many years working with customers and helping them to create more effective presentations.

It is a concept I absolutely love because it un-muddies the waters around presentations and the technology used to either create or deliver them.

And that is an important distinction to make here. The technology you use to create your presentation will not necessarily be the technology used to deliver it.

rsz_landscape_2

So, where do you start?

Newsflash – Presentations do not start by opening up PowerPoint. Those that do, are the presentations you hate giving and hate receiving even more.

The technology that would be used to create and deliver the end presentation is not where a presentation begins. It’s not an afterthought but a consideration for further down the line.

So you need to put the tech on hold and think long and hard about your audience, your message and your content.

The creation sequence is in 4 stages:

rsz_presentation_stages

Let’s assume you have read The Presentation Lab book, or at least our recent Story Season and thus you have considered your audience and worked out your message and story you intend to deliver.

If this isn’t clear to you, hold at this point and talk to Eyeful – our consultants are presentation messaging experts.

After stages 1 & 2 are ready, you actually just for a moment need to jump ahead to stage 4 and consider your live presentation environment and situation.

Your presentation delivery will sit in either the formal, interactive or informal area of the presentation landscape and it’s this which defines what the software and hardware options are.

Ignore this and you could end up presenting to ten people on a tablet device, sitting down over a coffee with a single prospect and pulling out a laptop and a projector. This isn’t just awkward – it’s plain daft.

So look at the landscape and choose the best and most relevant delivery software which then indicates what creation software you should use.

You can now get cracking on your support visuals.

So there you have it – the presentation landscape in all its glory. Use it wisely, keep it in a safe place and share it widely with colleagues who continually get their presentation technology confused.

If you haven’t already do follow this blog as we release more and more articles for tech season. This week we are releasing more blogs with examples of where differing presentation scenarios might sit on the landscape.

And next week we will start on the technology… there will be software reviews, technological tips and even a look at alternative technology such as using a phone to control PowerPoint.

And if you have any technical questions please feel free to ASK MATT! Just drop me a message at the bottom of this blog post and I’ll get back to you.

Or if you have a presentation to give and need some expert advice for any stage of the process just pick up the phone and give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Tech Season is Open

Friday, June 12th, 2015 by Matt<

After the excellent feedback we received for our recent blog series, Story Season, it got us thinking about the next logical thing to talk about that will help folk’s like you on the path to better more effective presentations…

And the next logical step? Technology!

PowerPoint has come in for some serious bashing over the years, phrases like ‘Death by PowerPoint’ and ‘PowerPoint is evil’ have been bandied about – some organisations have even banned PowerPoint.

I have my own thoughts on the small orange one and I’ll save these for later in Tech Season.

But if PowerPoint is so bad, let’s find out what else is out there and if there truly is a better option?

And that’s just talking about presentation production software, I’m not stopping there!

Over the next few months I’m going to be going into geek overdrive, I’ll be digging out new programs, apps, tools – any kind of technology that I can get my hands on that might help improve and make your presentation life a bit easier – from creating to standing up and presenting – I’ll thoroughly test them out and review their usefulness for you, I’m going to geek it up big time!

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Tech Season kicks off properly next week with an introduction to the Presentation Landscape, which will give you a full understanding of where technology sits when it comes to presentations. It might sound like the be all and end all, but technology only plays one or two parts in the presentation process.

So keep an eye out for this one, or drop us a comment below and sign up to be alerted to new blogs, as this information you don’t want to miss. If you can’t wait for the next blog to decide which piece of tech you should be using for your presentation just give us a call, we’d love to talk to you.

The Winning Edge Feature Life After PowerPoint

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 by Matt<

Are you baffled by presentation technology or do you have a total over-reliance on using PowerPoint all of the time?

Well, let us un-muddy the water for you.

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton has written an article on ‘Life After PowerPoint’ in the May/June edition of The Winning Edge magazine, where in a case study style piece, he carefully explains the situation one of our customers found themselves in…

“A quick review of the existing decks identified the issues – it was packed to the rafters with data, statistics and legal caveats that did little to build need or instil confidence in the solution for the prospect.”

“All of this would be troublesome on small ticket sales, but with an average order value of over
£2m – it was quickly becoming a major issue.”

Simon goes on to detail how we worked together to help the customer resolve this, using a combination of technology and aiPad Man blended approach – which lead to some great results…

“In terms of cold hard facts, average order values have started to move up and there is a sense that the ‘box shifting’ ethos of old has been swapped for a more value-added partnership.”

To get the full story of how Eyeful helped achieve these results, check out the latest issue of The Winning Edge, or click here to see a copy of the review on our website.

The Winning Edge is a member only magazine of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management. Here you can find lots of information with tips on sales and marketing and where you can sign up to receive the latest issues of The Winning Edge.

To find out what the best technological approach would be for your presentations, just drop us a line.

Microsoft Updates Office Apps On iPad – PowerPoint Gets ‘Cold Sweat’ Level Functionality

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 by Matt<

And of course the one we are interested in is PowerPoint

New in Version 1.9.2
• New storage options: open, edit, and save your work to iCloud and other online storage services.
(requires iOS 8)
• Change slide layout: make your content pop by changing the layout of your slide.
• Insert from camera: insert pictures and videos from the camera right into your presentation.

Saving was previously restricted to your OneDrive so this is good and the ability to take a picture directly from the PowerPoint is cute, but hardly screams professional presentation.

But the ability to change the slide layout – well, anyone reading this who has ever had to change the layout of a presentation at the last minute is probably breaking out in a cold sweat.

Let me explain…

Changing the layout is for example going from 16×9 (widescreen) to 4×3 (Tv’s from the 90’s) or vice versa – and doing this has consequences…

In older versions of PowerPoint (pre Office 13) if you switch from 4×3 to 16×9, all of your slide content gets stretched… the other way and it gets squashed. Thankfully PowerPoint 13 and indeed the iPad app are pretty smart these days and they don’t do this. They preserve the slide content and don’t stretch or squash it.

However, you do still get issues where content that previously fitted together seamlessly, now doesn’t fit the slide size – which means going through the whole presentation and tidying your slide content – a tricky process, possibly on pair with trying to insert a contact lens, whilst on an aircraft during a sever bout of turbulence.

This also begs the question, why are Microsoft even giving you a task to do, that’s the PowerPoint equivalent of repeatedly poking yourself in the eye, anyway?

As surely, the very reason you have a PowerPoint on your iPad is that you will be giving the presentation in a conversational 1-1 style environment and thus the screen ratio isn’t really important, it’s not like you’ll be connecting to a projector for this type of informal communication.

rsz_1rsz_ipad v2

And if the deck is 4×3 it will pretty much fit perfectly on an iPad screen and worse case, if it’s 16×9 all that happens when you play the PowerPoint is some black bars are added to the top and bottom – which don’t really jar anyway, as the same thing happens when you watch a movie on your iPad.

The only reason you would really need to change the ratio, is if your presenting on a projector in a more formal environment – and if that’s the case, the PowerPoint file has no business going anywhere near an iPad!

The lesson here is – consider your presentation environment.

If it’s a formal area of the Presentation Landscape, so ‘1-many’ then you need to know what ratio the AV person needs your PowerPoint to be and have the deck designed properly on a computer, in the right ratio from the off – and hopefully in this day and age it’s 16×9…

If it’s an informal ‘1-1’ small conversational style meeting, then an iPad or tablet is perfect… and like I say, a 4×3 file would be perfect, but if it’s in 16×9 I really wouldn’t sweat it.

If you would like a technically perfect presentation either on a PC, a tablet, Prezi, or even on a Whiteboard – then give us a call on 01455 826390 or send us a message – I’m off to find my tape measure.

Google, Loch Ness And Some Rather ‘Different’ PowerPoint Inspiration

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 by Matt<

Lock Ness

For years the Loch Ness Monster has been hunted by journalists and tourists alike, all eager to spot the mythical beast and get a great picture!

Well google has now taken it a whole heap further by sending their street cams to Scotland to map the entire loch.

You can literally head to google maps now and type in Loch Ness and instead of traveling around the roads of the loch, you can now drop onto the water itself and travel around on a boat – nice, if slightly pointless!

So if Nessy is real, the poor old dear doesn’t stand a chance of staying hidden now!

In all seriousness though it’s amazing how far people like to push technology and indeed the strange uses we find for things that weren’t actually created for that use.

For example, there’s the classic story of builders using their van engine to cook a bacon sandwich (not really advisable from a health & safety angle), right up to the ultra-modern testing of drones to deliver packages for Amazon.

We at Eyeful too, hold our hands up. We’ve done some pretty unusual things with PowerPoint over the years!

We’re all about pushing it to its absolute max and yes we create presentations so good you won’t believe they’ve been made with simple old PowerPoint, but this isn’t what I’m talking about.

There are actually some really useful things you can do in PowerPoint other than creating presentations.

On our designer’s innovation page you can find examples of both inspirational and slightly offbeat uses of PowerPoint.

We have some lovely animated videos, a Christmas gift picker and Jack has even created ‘Lil Phil’, a PowerPoint game!

For a bit of fun and an office round of Catchphrase, I created a PowerPoint soundboard of Roy Walker Catchphrase quotes and sound effects – which worked really well!

And we don’t stop there, that’s how we push PowerPoint at work, we also use it in some pretty weird ways at home too. For example I used it to design my decking project, whereas an anonymous colleague says he, “used PowerPoint for designing Valentine poems for previous girlfriends.” Who knew you could be romantic with PowerPoint?

Optimized-quiltpatternAnd finally, perhaps the best ‘odd’ use of PowerPoint, was by our designer Hannah, who has used it to design a patchwork quilt!

So if you ever need to create the layout of something, then PowerPoint can be a really handy tool to use, because it’s just so user friendly, you can re-size a slide into the same square or rectangle shape of a room or object and you alter the size and create a diagram to scale of whatever it is your creating.

Unfortunately, the easy to use nature of PowerPoint is also the reason there are so many poor presentations out there – and why PowerPoint gets such a bad rap.

If you’ve created any odd things with PowerPoint, perhaps you could share it with us? But, if the weirdest thing you’ve created is just your everyday slides, then my advice would be for you to go ahead and use PowerPoint as an unusual tool, design your decking, layout your lounge.

And when it comes to high stakes presentation creation, contact the experts who can create fantastically designed presentations – and lovely patchwork quilts.

A Very Pinteresting Place Indeed

Monday, April 13th, 2015 by Matt<

Are you ready to have your proverbial Pinterest related socks blown off? Good!

Because Eyeful are very proud to announce the launch of our very own Pinterest page.

We’ve already got all sorts of boards, pins, images, videos and links all live and ready to wow Pintrested people.

On Pinterest we have:

The Board with Innovations

This is where you can find some great examples of projects that our designers have created in their downtime. None were produced for clients, they are all 100% the designer’s own personally inspired pieces.

It’s a place where new things get tried out and programs get experimented on.

The results can sometimes be ridiculous, but as you see here, for the most part they are simply sublime.

The Board with Awesome Animated Videos

This board hosts a selection of customer stories that we’ve created using nothing but a voiceover and PowerPoint.

The really nice thing about these videos is that they show what it’s like to work with Eyeful and the positive impact we can have on our customer’s presentations.

And because they are 100% created in PowerPoint, they are a really great source of inspiration and an example of just what’s possible when the only program you’ve got access to is good old Office.

The Board with the Blog

If you’re reading this, then you are all too familiar with the Eyeful blog and its collection of presentation musings all aimed at ridding the world of terrible presentations. Well, we thought we might share these with Pinterested parties who are searching for their own presentation ideas.

What’s Next?
So that’s what we have on there right now. But as they say, this is just the beginning! The dream is for the Eyeful boards to grow into a presentation go to place where you can find everything from advice on planning your presentation right at the beginning, right up to design inspiration.

Things like examples of dry content such as graphs and tables that have been re-designed and infographic examples of real work – basically all types of inspirational content to help create better presentations going forward.

The next update will be the addition of the Eyeful Lookbook – which is an online brochure of example presentation look and feels. Keep an eye out for this being added later this week…

So it’s going to be a really handy page absolutely bursting with useful presentation related material that you won’t want to miss – so follow the page now!

If you have any suggestions or requests for useful boards and pins just let us know.

Or if you’ve had a look and are already having a funny tummy feeling about just how great your next presentation could be with a little Eyeful magic, then just give us a ring.

Story Season – What Is Your Favourite Customer Story?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015 by Matt<

In this week’s edition of Story Season we join the Eyeful team for the final time as they reveal their own favourite presentation that used story in a significant way.

In here we have some pretty interesting examples, ranging from a book tour presentation for “The Wisdom of Phsycopaths”, how a brewery used a time travel concept and a presentation that tells the story of Noah’s Ark in a very visual way…

And we’ve included clips of the actual presentations so you can really see how it’s possible to merge story and presentations together.

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We hope you enjoyed the video and found some motivation and ideas on how to take your next audience on a journey through your own presentation story.

If you need any help with authoring the perfect presentation story, then just get in touch.

Story Season – What Does Story Mean to you?

Friday, March 20th, 2015 by Matt<

In this chapter of story season, we enter the Eyeful rabbit hole and meet some senior members of the Eyeful consultant and design teams and get their own personal take on how stories and presentations are linked.

In this first episode of a three part series, we share the minds of the people who work with business presentations on a daily basis. Discover how they simplify the process and gain some inspirational ideas for your own presentations.

Over to Team Eyeful…

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In the next edition of Story Season the team talks about how story (or lack of) can have a major impact on presentations…

Stay tuned for this or if you’d like to speak to an expert directly, then just give us a ring on 0845 056 8528.

Has PowerPoint 2016 for Mac Been Worth the Wait?

Friday, March 13th, 2015 by Matt<

It’s amazing to think that PowerPoint was originally created for the Mac OS, back in 1987…

…When today PowerPoint is very much PC first and Mac second. This week we got our hands on a beta version of PowerPoint 2016 for Mac and put it through its paces.

It’s fair to say we normally get pretty damn excited about new versions of PowerPoint. But sadly when comparing this it to PowerPoint 2013 on the PC, there was nothing really new about it.

The Mac vs PC versions of PowerPoint have always been pretty similar, but the Mac one is always released later, I suspect it’s a case of nailing it for PC before handing over to the Mac team to develop.

PC                           Mac

Office 2003         Office 2004

Office 2007         Office 2008

Office 2010         Office 2011

Office 2013         Office 2016

But it’s never been released this late before!

So with such a delay, I was expecting to see something new and improved, rather than just a very late re-hash. But sadly, a rehash of PowerPoint 2013 it is.

So putting my personal view to one side, how good this program actually is and how much it will make your presentation creating life that bit easier will depend on your point of view…

If you are a loyal Mac user who is currently using PowerPoint 2011 and will definitely continue with Office for Mac then there is good news, because the new version is leaps and bounds ahead of the previous…

Visual Layout – this has changed a lot, it’s sleeker and the default screen ratio has moved from 4×3 to 16×9.

The menus have improved, the home tab now has some useful buttons for adding pictures, shapes and text boxes. This is really useful as these are probably your 3 main tools all handily grouped together – you don’t even get this in the PC version!

Inserting images now gives you direct access to iphoto and Photo Booth.

When CMD clicking, the format shape window now appears locked to the right, rather than appearing over the top of the item clicked on which is handy.

Template Structure – is the same as the previous version and is built the same as the PC version, meaning files can be worked on both new and old versions and across operating systems.

The Eyedropper Tool – this is a game changer. When you go to change the colour of an object you can select the eye dropper and hover over anything on the slide and the eyedropper will pick up the colour. So if you see a colour on a webpage or another document you like, you can copy and paste this into PowerPoint and use the Eyedropper to get the exact colour in just one click.

Auto Alignment Tool – Now upgraded so that when objects are dragged around the slide, lines appear showing you the alignment to other objects on the slide.

The Yellow Diamond – if you insert a rounded rectangle and alter the curvature of the corners, the elements showing you have the shape selected, vanish – giving you a clearer view.

The Combine Shapes Tool – a great feature that allows you to create unique shapes by either cutting one shape from another, or alternatively by combining them together.

Animation – has also been improved a lot, we now have the animation preview option, so rather than having to wait for all the other animation to play through, we can start at any point – a great time saver.

Motion Path Ghost – another awesome upgrade here, a tool that shows you exactly where the object’s animation will end.

So plenty of new features to keep Mac disciples happy.

However this new version of PowerPoint for Mac is just as much about what it doesn’t have as what it does. As the features that are missing when compared to the PC version (out for 2 years now) is just astounding.

There are a whole host of really key features missing:

The Quick Access Toolbar – is there, but it doesn’t seem to be customisable like it is on PC.

Selection Pane – a key tool to be able to hide objects on a slide and thus get to other objects layered behind – on PC for years, but still no sign of it for Mac users.

Custom Shows – miss the show and return function.

Animation – the timeline visual representation is missing, making it much harder to work with animations.

Save as Video – on PC you can save to WMV or MP4. On Mac it’s not even an option.

Some other less important features missing are:

Online Pictures – uses Bing to search for Creative Commons online images (use with legal caution) and insert directly into the slide.

Screenshot – a handy tool for inserting an image of any program you have open.

Photo Album – a tool that allows you to select a folder containing multiple images and load them all onto separate PowerPoint slides in seconds.

Zoom – in presentation mode on the PC, you can hit a magnifying glass and zoom directly into around 25% of the screen.

So it really does feel like Mac users of PowerPoint have been an afterthought.

It’s not all doom and gloom, if Mac is where your heart lays, then it is a good step forward. But when it comes to serious presentation creation, then your life will be harder than your colleague (or competitor) that has the PC version.

To put the difference into context, I asked one of our designers what he thought the impact would be if the Eyeful design team switched to using PowerPoint 2016 for Mac…

The knock on effect would be huge. We could manage without some features, but things like not being able to convert to video would be a huge loss for many of our clients. And things like not having a clear animation timeline the selection pane missing, would really slow production time. It would take us so much longer to do things that it just wouldn’t be a practical option to even consider switching. Jack Biddlecombe

If you are an ardent Mac user who is fed up of struggling with PowerPoint, then grab a cuppa, ditch the mouse and give Eyeful a call – we can take the hassle away and create you a stunning presentation, with clear content and messaging.