Posts Tagged ‘Design’

3 INNOVATIVE IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT PRESENTATION

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 by Matt<

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Eyeful’s presentation designers are the best in the business. If you’ve not yet been lucky enough to have one of them work on your presentation, then you are really missing out.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “yeh, sure, whatever… you’re a marketing person and you have to say that…”

Well yes you are correct – however, I ain’t telling any porkies. These guys (and gals) turn boring bullet point ridden PowerPoints into outstanding pieces of graphic design.

Here’s a quick example of a rather splendid corporate presentation they’ve created to prove it!

And they don’t just stick to PowerPoint, occasionally we let them loose on what we call innovation projects, which is where we give them the vaguest of briefs and let them loose on it with a free abandonment that they just don’t get when working within corporate guidelines.

GIF’S ARE GREAT

Helen for example has been experimenting with GIF’s and if you’re familiar with this rather fascinating file format you’ll know it’s never been a more popular format than it is today. As a GIF is actually an image that animates – yep, this juxtaposition of a file format is what the adverts you see all over the internet have been created in – here’s one of our own Helen made earlier:

And it was these re-marketing ads that inspired Helen to experiment:

I’ve been working on lots of marketing GIF banners for Eyeful, so I decided to try to find a way to make them smoother, more complex and quicker to produce…

Looking at the results I’d say Helen succeeded!

TOASTER chameleon2

Truth be told there isn’t a massive need for GIF’s inside business presentations, but there are options worth considering. As you could broadcast your presentation’s strong sticky messaging in the form of a web advert that is in line with your company’s branding.

WORDS ‘IN’ PICTURES

Next up is some artistic innovation that could definitely help take your presentation to a new level as Paula has been experimenting with image based typography…

I was keen to experiment with typography and image elements as they are both heavily used in many presentations. I wanted to see how I could manipulate aspects of them to create innovative artwork that could make an impression on a presentation’s audience.

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Paula was excited about the prospect of using this style of image and text treatment in future presentations.

I really think this style would be great featured as a title or divider slide in larger presentations. We could easily utilise a client’s image library and corporate font to create these. We could even implement animation where the image could build up around the typography or vice versa.

VERY COOL VIDEO

We round off this innovation inspired blog with a beautifully stylized video by Ed which was created solely in PowerPoint…

I wanted to stretch my knowledge on using PowerPoint as a video creation tool whilst trying to create a flowing story about working with Eyeful.

Ed too was keen to use this on a client presentation!

Businesses could use this as a promotional/marketing video to show off what they can offer to clients and also show them how the operations work within their company.

So there you have it 3 very different types of innovation creations, I hope they open your eyes a little as to what’s possible when it comes to business presentations and corporate messaging.

If we can help at all, you know where we are…

TECH SEASON VIDEO BLOG! POWERPOINT 16, A REVIEW

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015 by Matt<

Last week Microsoft’s flagship presentation program PowerPoint hit the shelves through Office 16…

But is it any good? Myself, Matt Roper, Eyeful’s self-confessed chief Geek and one of our amazing Technical PowerPoint Trainers, Ms Lorna Boyer sat down with a cuppa, a camera and chatted about all things PowerPoint 16.

So if you have 10 mins this lunchtime, why not put the kettle on, grab your lunch and check out what PowerPoint’s latest incarnation has to offer…

If you would like to skip to a specific section, the video chapters are:

0.00 Introduction
1.24 New Graphs
2.21 New Feature: Tell Me What You Want to Do
4.00 New Video Tools
5.35 Collaborative Working
8.18 Conclusion: Should you upgrade to PowerPoint 16?
9.20 PowerPoint 16 Technical Training information

We hope you found this video interesting and informative, if there are any pieces of presentation software or tools that you would like Eyeful’s take on, please do just let us know

TECH SEASON – POWERPOINT 16, A REVIEW

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 by Matt<

I’m sure like me you’ve seen the new iPhone 6s advert a whole bunch of times and Apple’s rather innovative (if slightly unbelievable) strapline of…

THE ONLY THING THAT’S CHANGED IS EVERYTHING

It’s a lovely line, if true.

And if I could think up a strapline to describe PowerPoint 16 it would be similar, but would read, “The only thing that’s changed is nothing”!

I tell a lie, the colour of PowerPoint is now a slightly deeper shade of orange.

If these sound like the bitter and twisted words of some pro Prezi, PowerPoint hater then you couldn’t be more wrong.  I absolutely love PowerPoint and particular PowerPoint 16. So if nothing’s changed, why do I love PowerPoint 16 so much?

Because it’s exactly the same as PowerPoint 13, which is an absolutely brilliant version of the worlds most used presentation tool.

So please don’t think for one moment that PowerPoint 16 isn’t good, because it’s great. It’s just not the progressive leap that PowerPoint 13 was from 2010.

Ok, so I’ve taken a good look around and there a few and I mean few new things!

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Charts have had an upgrade with the introduction of 5 new creatively named graphs, including “Box and Whisker” (which I promise is not a form of cat food)…

Remember data tells a story and there is no point showing your audience an interesting nice new looking sunburst graph if all it does is confuse them. Whatever the story is in your data, make sure that it’s crystal clear to your audience!

Clipart
The ability to add in clip-art has gone! Gone and hopefully never, ever to be seen again…

 

Tell me There’s a new box at the top of PowerPoint, that allows you to type into it, for example you could select an image and start typing “hyperlink” which would bring up the option to “Add a hyperlink” which is kind of handy.

This is more useful when the function you need is hidden away in the menus, so you could type “Align” instead of going to “Format” and then “Align”.

It’s not much of an improvement for accessing regular tools, as its best to keep links to these in a well organised “Quick Access Toolbar”.

But if it’s a function you know exists but don’t know where find it, then it will come in very handy.

I also think this is more for people with devices using Cortana, as using voice recognition will speed things up no end, compared to typing.

In terms of additional tools and functionality, that’s about all that’s new to PowerPoint 16.

So I guess the strapline should be, “The only things that’s changed is a couple of things!”.

The official strapline of Office 16 is actually…

rsz_office_strap_1Collaboration

The real changes to Office 16 are to its real time collaborated working environment…

The online videos that demonstrate this in Word look absolutely amazing, with 2 or more people logged into the same file, at the same time, typing as the page live updates in front of their very eyes.

Sadly, the PowerPoint experience really depends on how your organisation’s data is arranged.

At Eyeful we work like many others, we have an HQ with multiple users in different offices and users, along with individual team members who are field based, with us all accessing files from a central server, so true collaborative working would have been a game changer – sense the tone.

Myself and my designer colleague Lorna have recently upgraded to 2016 and thought we would put the real time collaboration through its paces…

Alas, when Lorna went onto the server and opened the same file as me, she got the age old error message:

“Matt Roper is working on [doc name]. Do you want to open a read-only copy in the meantime?” Great, not much collaborating going on here then!

After some researching and testing, we found by saving the file onto our corporate OneDrive account, we could both open and edit the file in PowerPoint at the same time.

The collaborative experience was quite clunky though. If I made a change, Lorna could only see it if I saved the file. She would then receive a notification in a tiny grey box that an updated version was available.

Updates Avail

We took our stroll through the virtual collaborative working arena into the cloud and things got a little better.

By collaborating in the cloud based PowerPoint App, we started to see changes happening in real time, great, but…

Unfortunately the solution was also the problem…

You see the online version of PowerPoint is and, how can I put this gently, RUBBISH!

It lacks so many features, it doesn’t even have the most basic of tools such as “Align”. How can anybody create a new presentation without the ability to align objects and keep things looking consistent and neat?

The PowerPoint App is better for making small text and image changes, it’s simply not cut out for designing and creating proper presentations and thus has little to offer when it comes to live collaboration.

For us, the hassle of moving files back and forth between our server and Onedrive means this form of collaborative working is simply not an option.

Moving away from collaborative working, PowerPoint 16 is a really excellent piece of presentation creation software and if you would like to master it we have an excellent course to support you, it’s just not the leap and bounds jump we got from Office 10 to Office 13, nor the truly collaborative working environment that Microsoft are promising.

Our verdict is if you have PowerPoint 2013, it’s probably not worth upgrading.

If you have PowerPoint 2010 or older, 2016 is a must have presentation creation tool, but when it comes to true collaborative working, it really isn’t as good as what Microsoft are suggesting…

So when it comes to PowerPoint and collaborative working, please do insert your own word to compete the strapline…

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And let us know your thoughts once you’ve tried out the latest version of PowerPoint…

Tech Season – Is Microsoft’s Sway A Valid Presentation Option?

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015 by Matt<

Welcome to Eyeful’s latest toe dipping into the world of technology as we report on the hard working folks over at Microsoft – boy, have they been BUSY!

Windows 10 has recently launched, Office 2016 has just hit the shelves (more on this later this week) and Microsoft Sway has been officially released.

There’s been a LOT in the press about Sway and many have focused on comparing it to PowerPoint and claiming that Sway is PowerPoint’s natural successor…

Sway is like PowerPoint, but it takes away the hassle of having to decide where things are placed.

Elyse Betters

Many have pigeonholed Sway as a lightweight, consumer version of PowerPoint, and there’s some validity to that… Sway may not offer as many design templates, clip art items, animations, and editing tools as PowerPoint, but it makes up for this with…

Michael Muchmore of PC Mag

I had to stop Michael there, as for a moment I thought he might have been suggesting that not having clip art is a bad thing? Yes, yes he was. Oh dear.

Ok so after that quick google of Microsoft Sway in the news, it would appear that the majority of technology journalists out there are simply trying to compare Sway to PowerPoint. Understandable perhaps… but that is kind of missing the point.

The reality is Sway and PowerPoint are not really comparable. PowerPoint is a presentation tool and, in the right hands and when used at the right time, a damn fine one at that.

Sway isn’t a presentation tool. So what IS it? An easy way to create web documents? An electronic scrap book? An attempt to formalize the creation of a ‘Slideument’? The reality is that very few people, including Microsoft, are 100% sure what Sway is, or where it sits.

As bemused as the rest of you, we decided to let the Eyeful Design team loose on Sway, put it through its paces and figure out the Good, Bad and Ugly around this new Microsoft tool.

Want to know more? Read on!

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The First Step To A World Beating Presentation

Friday, September 25th, 2015 by Matt<

It’s such a terrible feeling when you’re stood in front of your audience and things just aren’t going well, you get that knot in your stomach, your palms go sweaty and from nowhere a stutter appears.

It’s so frustrating when you genuinely know your stuff, but for some unknown reason, you just can’t get your audience to understand that you are genuinely trying to help them. That’s one kind of awful presentation experience.

But there’s an even worse one…

Where the presentation goes great, but for some illogical reason the audience isn’t interested in following your call to action.

Where did you go so wrong?

Well, this is where Eyeful can help, we offer a completely free Presentation Healthcheck Service.

All you need to do is email us your presentation and one of our expert presentation consultants will give you a call back to get the full picture of what you’re trying to achieve.

They will then fully review your slides and figure out where your presentation isn’t working as well as it could and provide you with invaluable feedback to take your presentation to the next level.

The next level being where your presentation’s key messages flow effortlessly, visuals look impressive and you stand head and shoulders above your competition.

Getting your Presentation Healthchecked won’t cost you a dime, so what are you waiting for? Just send your presentation over and we’ll get to work on suggesting how to make it the very best it can be…

12 PLACES TO SOURCE BRILLIANT PRESENTATION IMAGERY

Thursday, September 17th, 2015 by Matt<

During our numerous activities, such as presentation training, live webinars or even articles on this very blog, there is one particular question we get asked all the time…

Where can I get good stock images and graphics from?

rsz_1graphics_picThis is because we are always advising our customers on how to strengthen their presentation messages, how to make that slide or that message more easily digested and remembered by the audience.

Strong imagery is a great way to connect with your audience, using the right picture can set the tone and emotion of the presentation and likewise using the wrong imagery can harm this communication…

“Well-chosen images not only help demonstrate a point, they lock it into your audience’s psyche. The visual is often the key to them remembering and being able to share/act on your message; it acts as the synapse to recall.” Eyeful’s founder Simon Morton, The Presentation Lab

Images and graphics are a key building block in all presentations, but where do you get good ones?

When it comes to sourcing images, google images is NOT the best place to go due to the possibility of copyright infringement.

You don’t need to rely on search engine websites either, there are numerous free and paid websites out there with great quality imagery.

To save you from trawling around the web, we’ve pulled together a few of our favourites in a rather useful stock image guide, which we’ve broken into those that are free and those you have to pay for…

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Don’t forget to bookmark the page for future reference and to vote for the site you think is most useful…

TECH SEASON – THE BEST TECH FOR YOUR SALES TEAM

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 by Matt<

We continue Eyeful’s Tech Season this week and look at a scenario where you could use the presentation landscape to your advantage when planning and preparing for your presentation.

Scenario #3: A Sales Presentation To Be Distributed To An Entire On The Road Sales Team

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This is a common type of presentation and one that requires thinking ahead more than any other.

As always start at stage 4 and work backwards, put your audience at the forefront of you mind. Let’s imagine your team are sales representatives in company cars who attend small sales meetings with prospects in varying locations.

Usually in the prospects office, with 1 maybe 2 people whilst having a coffee. This puts us in the Informal segment.

Also, time is critical, the more important the prospect the less time you have, so this must be considered at the presentation creation stage.

Into stage 3, what piece of hardware are they going to use?

With a small office, a small audience and probably very limited time, your prospect isn’t going to appreciate waiting while a laptop and a projector are set up, before being taken through the bog standard company sales presentation.

It’s time to create and deliver smarter presentations.

A web presentation can be useful for access on the road, but be very careful not to rely on someone else’s internet connection and always, always have an offline back-up.

A smartphone is ok, if the screen is big enough. But on the whole they aren’t, even an iPhone 6+ with its gigantor screen is a bit on the small side compared to a full size iPad.

The best piece of tech here is the tablet, an iPad or Samsung Galaxy being the most popular devices.

Overall in the situation described, your sales teams two main weapons are their conversation skills and a tablet presentation that has interactive navigation.

I mentioned earlier that time in these type of meetings can be on the low side. So does your prospect really want to know every little detail about your company?

Well, they might, maybe they want to get into the nitty gritty of your products before finding out more about you ethos and reputation.

This is where interactive navigation is your best friend, forget the old fashioned click through presentations where you have to ask them to hang on a sec while you skip through all the ‘about us’ slides.

A menu with interactive navigation will allow the sales person to start the conversation, assess then and there where it’s going and tap effortlessly to the areas the prospect wants to talk about.

This gives the prospect an element of control and the sales person the flexibility and the power to go with it.

I really hope you’ve found this Tech Season scenario useful and that you can put the Presentation Landscape into good use on your presentations in the future.

If you need any help with anything though, you know where we are.

8 Awesome Innovation Designs

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015 by Matt<

It’s that time of year again, where the Eyeful design team proudly unleash their innovation projects to the world!

Over the past couple of months, every ounce of downtime they’ve had, has seen them get their heads down and work on their individual pieces ready for this moment.

The brief was to take a piece of audio from a movie, book, story or a poem and to create a visual version.

And boy have they delivered… prepare to be wowed and amazed at what can only be described as ‘visual masterpieces’.

All 8 are packaged up below for you to peruse, share and save for future inspiration.

Enjoy and don’t forget to vote for your favourite…

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Tech Season – The Presentation Landscape Scenario #2: An Educational Presentation

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 by Matt<

We continue Tech Season this week with a look at a second presentation scenario where you could use the presentation landscape to your advantage when planning and preparing for your event.

Scenario #2: An Educational Presentation (CPD Or Training)

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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 classroom environment, to an audience of between 10-30 people who ideally the presenter or trainer would want to interact with, to support their learning.

So in the outer segment you would be sitting in the Interactive segment.

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

You could also consider a blended presenting approach. This is where you would create elements of your presentation in different formats, for example you might start off the presentation using a traditional linear PowerPoint before moving to a Flipchart to note interactions from the audience.

You could also consider using an interactive PowerPoint presentation. This is where the presentation can be set up with custom shows and hyperlinks and work a little like a website. The benefit here in a training environment is it allows for interactivity with the audience, perhaps asking someone to answer a question, to which you click on the answer and ‘correct’ or ‘incorrect’ is displayed.

Your training could also be supported with ELearning material. This is where you would add voiceover or a video presenter to your presentation material and convert this to a web format.

The benefit here being your audience can leave the training, but dip back into an online version later to refresh their memory or possibly take online quiz or test, the results of which would then be emailed back to the presenter/trainer for marking or feedback.

So, now you have some food for thought on what your final output could be, it’s time to decide what it will and plan it out. Once you’ve done this the software and tools required pretty much choose themselves.

Typical presentation tools in this interactive area are PowerPoint, Whiteboard and Web Presentation.

If you have any questions on how best to tackle any of the above, 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 or a colleague will be giving a CPD presentation or delivering training in the future, be sure to give us a call on 0845 056 8528 when the time comes.

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.