Posts Tagged ‘Presentation Optimisation’


Thursday, March 2nd, 2017 by Matt<

We are a presentation design company that talk a lot about Presentation Optimisation™. We talk about it on our website, in our articles, our blogs and our client conversations. So, for this article, I thought I would catch up with Eyeful’s MD Rob Bailey to get some sage presentation advice as well as his take on what Presentation Optimisation™ really means…

Matt: To me, it’s the tried (and trusted) process that we put our customer’s presentations through to take them from their current state to become a really effective PowerPoint presentation designs, that resonates with their audiences.

Rob: Yes. To me, the aim of Presentation Optimisation™ is to create an audience-focused presentation which delivers on its intended use, whether that be to sell more products or services, arouse interest in a new offering, or to clearly communicate a new corporate vision. The key is that the final presentation fully engages your audience to such an extent that your desired call to action is clearly understood and acted upon.

Matt: To many people, processes are just a list of box ticking. But tell me, Why is the Presentation Optimisation process so important?

Rob: It’s a really powerful and well-structured approach that we take with all clients on their presentations. It has evolved over the last decade, as presenting needs have developed, but the core process remains as effective today as it was 10 years ago. It’s the foundation of Eyeful’s business; it’s what makes us different from other presentation agencies. The design of our clients’ presentations is (as you’d expect) extremely important to us; however when you combine that with a strong story structure, clearly defined messages, and engaging visuals that bring the story to life….that’s when you deliver a successful presentation.

Presentation Optimisation™ is the process that brings all of these elements together….it’s a process that keeps our customers returning to us week in, week out.

Matt: So, can you explain the process?

Rob: It all starts with a Presentation Optimisation™ workshop, either at our client’s offices or in our dedicated Eyeful Labs.

One of our presentation consultants will work with the client’s main presentation stakeholders to understand the purpose of the presentation (what end result is intended), the audiences it is being presented to, their requirements, and how the presentation can demonstrate how our client can effectively address those requirements.

The workshop is challenging, but importantly it provides an opportunity and environment for everybody to take a fresh look at what the presentation is aiming to achieve, to clear out any unnecessary noise and to develop a clear presentation structure which contains the key messages to be delivered.

It’s also important to note that design is very rarely discussed at this stage – this session is all about gaining clarity on the story, and the building blocks which underpin it.

The output from this session is a high-level Story Flow document which clearly outlines the presentation structure, along with the key messages for each chapter of the presentation.

The key to the success of any presentation is to develop a strong story – one that will resonate with the audience and deliver the intended response…..this is the purpose of the Presentation Optimisation™ workshop.

Matt: That sounds like an intense day!

Rob: It certainly can be, but sometimes it needs to be in order to get the right result. Presenting is always a privilege and sometimes a rare opportunity to be in-front of an important audience…..this may be your one shot at convincing them that your organisation is the right one for them to be engaging with. All of the time, effort and money you have invested in getting to this moment of truth, now depends upon you delivering that killer presentation.

It’s vitally important that all of that investment is not wasted via a presentation quickly cobbled-together in a Starbucks half an hour before the meeting.

Our consultants are presentation experts, with the experience and methodology to really focus the attention on what is important, and what is irrelevant to the audience. They provide a fresh pair of eyes, and allow the stakeholders to consider new ways of delivering their important message.

It’s a highly creative experience (and fun, we’re told), that consistently delivers powerful, engaging and, most importantly, effective presentations.

Matt: It sounds a bit like the Think element of our Think, Act and Deliver training [which has nothing to do with advanced PowerPoint training]…

Rob: You’re absolutely right… that element of our presentation training is based on the theories and best practices developed over 12 years of Presentation Optimisation™ workshops.

Matt: So do you use techniques like Audience Heatmaps, and Must, Intend, Like in workshops?

Rob: Presentation Optimisation™ workshops were where these ideas were born!

Matt: Ok, so after the workshop, the consultant sits in a dark room and draws out the presentation don’t they?

Rob: Yes, once the story, structure and key messages have been agreed, this is when the consultant hand draws the first iteration of the presentation… our storyboarding process.

Matt: Why go to the trouble of hand drawing? Why not just give it straight to the presentation designers?

Rob: This is where so many people go wrong when it comes to presentations. The first thing they do is open up PowerPoint and start dumping ideas onto slides. For anyone who’s ever used PowerPoint this is where you burn time. Even if you are pretty good with PowerPoint, you need to start on paper.

Remember that at this stage we are still concentrating on the structure and messaging of the presentation. The idea is to create a story structure and key messaging which can be delivered consistently whatever technology (or lack of it) is available to the presenter. So, although the end presentation may well be delivered via PowerPoint, it could also be delivered via Prezi, Keynote, or sketched out on a whiteboard (or napkin!), depending upon the environment in which it’s being delivered and the technology available to the presenter (the Presentation Landscape is a whole separate discussion for another day!).

Drawing on paper allows you to sketch out the concepts, see how the flow works, and amend where necessary before committing any time and expense to the development of the deck. It’s also a great way to filter out the noise and concentrate on visualising the key messages for each section of the presentation.

Matt: So, is planning and storyboarding on paper your number one tip?

Rob: Absolutely.

Remember though, when an Eyeful consultant does this they rigorously test the presentation to make sure it has the right flow, structure and key messages to effectively communicate to the audience.

Matt: So this isn’t something a client could do themselves?

Rob: They could certainly try, but our consultants have years of experience. They can do it quickly and know what works in any given situation! They are also able to provide fresh thinking where a client may be too close to the project presentation.

Matt: So, then it’s onto the designers, isn’t it?

Rob: Nearly. We bring one of our project managers up to speed on the project and they manage this through the design studio.

Matt: So, they check the files and send onto the clients once they are happy?

Rob: Exactly. They manage the communication between all parties and make sure that files are sent on time and feedback is managed correctly and smoothly.

Matt: This is when the client gets a PowerPoint presentation that doesn’t look like a PowerPoint!

Rob: Absolutely, but remember… it doesn’t have to be PowerPoint. The final output could be any of the things I mentioned earlier.

We create the final presentation in whatever technology or format works best for the presenter to effectively engage with their audience. We even repurpose presentations for different presenting environments.

Matt: Once the presentation is signed off, is that Eyeful’s work done?

Rob: In years gone by it was, but over the years we have become more and more involved in supplementing the presentation with training. This can take the form of our consultant coaching the presenters through the new presentation structure, how to effectively present it, and the key messages to deliver at each stage.

It may also involve developing a script, or key points for each slide, or it could be as simple as demonstrating the delivery of the presentation through a recorded video. The key thing is that we are here to support our clients to ensure that the final presentations are as effective as they can possibly be.

Matt: Rob, thanks for your time and for putting Presentation Optimisation™ into perspective.



Friday, January 20th, 2017 by Simon Morton<

For many years I’ve made it a policy not to talk politics in the workplace.   When conversation in the kitchen turns political, I either quietly retreat or look to move the topic onto something less divisive (money, religion, football teams).

Strange then that my first blog of 2017 should focus on a politician – President Barack Obama.  As the World prepares for the inauguration of Donald Trump, we’re reminded of the many faces of Obama. 

Fun Obama

Serious Obama

Controversial Obama

…and Obama the Orator.

No matter what your politics, it’s difficult not to recognise his ability to engage an audience, clearly state a message and then deliver it with focused passion.  This ability to connect with audiences goes deeper than the natural charisma required of any prominent politician – much of his success came from the fact that President Obama and his speechwriting team worked damned hard at it.

The web is littered with analysis of his presentation style, timbre and speech rhythm…and I have no intention of adding to what has already been said.  There is one element of his presentation style that I do feel is worthy of celebration – his storytelling.

Take a look at the following video of his ‘Fired up, ready to go’ story.

Through one story, he engaged and enthused his supporters.  He demonstrated a humility on the campaign trail and, a rarity among politicians, used it to show that he was fallible.   That’s right – the man who aspired to lead the World’s most powerful country wanted to show that he didn’t have all the answers and was learning lessons every day.

If the outgoing POTUS valued and used the power of storytelling ignite audiences and prompt change, don’t you think it’s worth trying to weave story into your next presentation?  Just a thought…




Thursday, November 10th, 2016 by Matt<

I was recently tasked with composing a video presentation highlighting our CEO Simon Morton’s mission to promote the good name of Eyeful in our quest to rid the world of ineffective business presentations…

You see, Simon is regularly asked to share his insight and knowledge through business publications such as BBC Technology, Communication Director and Sales Initiative, and as a keynote speaker at events such as Microsoft Future Decoded, Citrix Webinars and the B2B Marketing Expo.

After staring at a blank page for a few minutes, it suddenly dawned on me that I should be asking…how would Eyeful set about assisting a client who needed help from a Presentation design company such as ourselves?

Suddenly everything became clear…

One of our expert consultants would take you through Eyeful’s tried and trusted Presentation Optimisation process…

Your objective…
We would start by considering your objective. What do you want your audience to do off the back of your presentation? My goal was to get Simon speaking and writing opportunities.

Your audience…
We would then analyse your audience. Who are they? What are their motivations? What are they looking for from you? We get the really deep insight by creating an Audience Heatmap like in this example…


Get a free audience heatmap profile of your audience here

Which then leads to the big question…

What’s their problem?
Through an understanding of your audience we will challenge you to truly address the main challenges faced by your audience, before planning a presentation message and structure that clearly demonstrates how you are the absolute solution to those issues.

I established that my audience’s (senior editors of publications and event organisers) challenge was the need to generate high value content for a very senior business audience on a frequent basis.

Applying this insight to my script, I showcased how Simon’s experience and credentials make him a perfect source of content for their publication or event.

Prove it…
The next stage in our process is in convincing your audience that you’ll deliver on your promise…the all-important proof points. It’s all well and good proclaiming that you’re the answer to their prayers, but people aren’t just going to take your word for it.

So I pulled together a selection of the positive feedback that Simon received from his most-recent speaking and writing opportunities and applied these to my script…

Call to action…
So many presentations just stop at this point and don’t have any strong call to action – which is crazy. If your audience doesn’t understand what you want as a result of your presentation, then everyone’s time has been wasted – no next steps, no sale, no point!

We would always plan a very strong call to action into your presentation’s structure…

Once the structure of your presentation is defined, the messages and content debated, and the whole thing has been clearly storyboarded, we would hand it over to our world class presentation designers to bring the whole concept to life – which is exactly what I did, and they delivered me this amazing video…

We’ve already received several booking requests for Simon to either speak or write for publications in 2017, demonstrating what we already knew…the Eyeful way works…

To enjoy similar results with your own powerful presentations, just get in touch.


Friday, June 10th, 2016 by Simon Morton<

Much has been made of my lack of football knowledge by friends in and outside of work.  I manage to bluff my way through the occasional pub conversation with a well-timed “What about that Jamie Vardy, eh?”…but that’s about as far as it goes.

Yet, like millions across Europe, I’m finding myself getting pulled along with the excitement of Euro 2016 as we prepare for the big kick off in Paris this evening (pun intended).  For reasons I don’t fully understand, most of the home nations are in play so there is a palpable sense of anticipation wherever you happen to be at the moment (sorry Scotland).

I completely understand – the Euros are a very big deal in football terms and the culmination of a lot of hard work, stress and anxiety for both team and fans alike (yes, even if one of the ‘obstacles’ in your way was San Marino).  Simply qualifying and having the opportunity to demonstrate your abilities on this stage is a big deal…and certainly not a given:

Yet all the hard work, injury worries, ‘kiss and tell’ tabloid stories and the stress that each team has battled thus far has just been a journey to today.  As each team takes to the pitch, they will no doubt take time to reflect on the hard work put in to date but also recognise that when they cross that white line, their Moment of Truth has arrived.  Fans, journalists, critics, family and the players themselves will put all the stresses and strains of the journey behind them and judge success or failure on what happens in the next 90 minutes on the pitch.

It’s their Moment of Truth.

We talk a lot about the Moment of Truth in business presentations.  In much the same way as a high profile football tournament, all the hard work, long days and sleepless nights aren’t worth a jot if you don’t perform on the day.  Similarly, you and your presentation message will have it’s own set of ‘supporters’ within your business – stakeholders who want to see you succeed.

The Moment of Truth doesn’t allow time for excuses – this is about delivering results for you…and your supporters.

Getting the result you deserve is about being prepared, confident and focused on the prize.  In football terms, this might be getting through to the next round.  In business, it might be winning the pitch, securing funding or selling a new idea into your business.

No matter what the end result, it all boils down to the Moment of Truth.

So if England run out on the pitch tomorrow night looking tired, confused and with no clear plan in place, I for one will be disappointed.  More importantly, my football fanatic friends (the real supporters) will be devastated.  Similarly, if you fail to deliver a clear, engaging and valuable presentation, your audience will disengage and your supporters will be left frustrated and disheartened (and all your combined hard work will have gone to waste).

The impact of failing to deliver at the Moment of Truth is seismic.  Don’t go into your next presentation half-hearted – when that happens, nobody wins.

Good luck at your next Moment of Truth, Oh, and enjoy the football!


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…

Two Important Presentation Lessons

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by Matt<

Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton’s has been very busy recently, last week he was speaking at Microsoft’s Future Decoded event in London and the week before he was also in the big smoke speaking at the Customer Champion B2B event

Simon’s speaking events are all coming from the success of his first book, the richly acclaimed, “The Presentation Lab”.

The Presentation Lab reveals the difference between great slides and great presentations based on Eyeful’s proven Presentation Optimisation approach. It challenges everything you thought you knew about creating and delivering engaging business presentations.

Using practical tips and drawing on Simon’s experiences working with companies around the globe, this book will help everyone who ever needs to present by revealing what works, what doesn’t and, more importantly, why.

The in-depth insight, analysis and ideas within the book have proved to be a great basis for Simon’s speaking events and in just two weeks he’ll be speaking at his biggest event to date, in Barcelona, at Microsoft Convergence.

Well if you can’t wait for that and you would like to get a taste for what Simon is all about, then check out this double bill of short video interviews that Simon has given to Grant Leboff of Sticky Marketing…

When can a bad PowerPoint presentation, prove to be lethal? In this lesson Grant and Simon discuss how not to ruin a presentation…

If you’re making a presentation to a group of accountants does it have to be exclusively factual or is there another way to gain their trust? In this lesson Grant and Simon discusses how you put the audience first…

If you would like Simon to speak at your event or company, then simply drop us a line and we’ll book (pun intended) your date in the diary.

The new way to ensure your presentation is up to scratch

Thursday, November 12th, 2015 by Matt<

Over the past 10 years, we’ve performed hundreds if not thousands of Presentation Healthchecks.

This is our (now) completely free service, where our seasoned presentation experts thoroughly review your presentation and provide honest feedback on what works, what doesn’t and what to do about it (with or without our help).

But our presentation is just fine”, we hear you cry…


With the constant change in technology and business, your once powerful presentation can quickly become out of date, in terms of its tone, message and structure.

Couple that with the fact that just 28% of business presentations are actually regularly reviewed and the reality scenario is a little more than alarming.

The Eyeful Healthcheck is your easy way to make sure your presentation stays on target.

It’s a well established service – and it’s just got better… Eyeful Presentations proudly present: the all new Presentation Healthcheck 2.0.

Step 1- Getting To Grips With Your Audience
The process now begins online, simply fill in our short online form, which will give us all the information we need to create you a high level Audience Heatmap.


This powerful piece of audience analysis will identify your audiences profile in the areas of Factual, Visionary or Emotional types of people (it first came to light in our founder’s acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab).

You dismiss your audience and its profile at your peril. Showing up and delivering the same tone of presentation to a range of different audiences is a recipe for disaster. It’s the equivalent of booking the same entertainment for a bachelor party and the subsequent wedding reception. These are clearly two different audiences who require two different types of engagement.
Simon Morton, The Presentation Lab


Step 2 – Maximising Your Presentation Potential
Eyeful have been working with companies large and small across the globe for over a decade, over this time we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t across all manner of different business presentations.

The Healthcheck allows us to firmly and honestly advise you on how to focus your presentation, in terms of structure, tone and objectives, to make sure it really connects with your audience on their terms.

We don’t just advise on content… Because we look beyond the slides, we can advise on you on the best tools and technology to use (Breaking News – PowerPoint and a projector aren’t the best solution for all occasions).

After you’ve submitted your audience information, you’ll be directed to an online file transfer site, where you can upload your presentation and send it to us securely and easily.


Step 3 – Into The Lab
Presentation experts with years of experience will then check your presentation thoroughly against your Audience Heatmap and advise where your presentation can be improved…

We’ll provide this in the form of a comprehensive report – detailing strengths and weaknesses and a benchmark against your market and audience type.

We’ll also provide a detailed “Action plan” with recommendations on how to improve your presentation and take it to the next level…
Healthcheck Stack for blogThen it’s up to you…

Follow our fiercely honest feedback and you’ll be on the road to giving presentations that get you the results you deserve for doing everything you can to deliver a great presentation…

What have you got to lose?

Eyeful’s MD To Speak At Major Marketing Event This Week

Monday, November 2nd, 2015 by Matt<


Eyeful’s MD Simon Morton is speaking at yet another event this week, hot on the heels of delivering for the likes of Citrix, RIBA and at the Leicestershire Business Event 2015 last week, 2015 is proving to be a very busy year for Simon.

This Wednesday, Simon is speaking at the prestigious Customer Champion B2B event.

The day, which kicks off at 08.30 and ends at 18.30, at The British Library, Euston, promises to be an exciting and interesting event for all types of marketers…

This year’s B2B Marketing Conference will give practitioners the insight and practical guidance that they need to become a Customer Champion and transform their marketing, in one inspirational day.

Key topics include:

Customer psychology – understanding the mindset of your buyer
Customer engagement – how to create resonant interactions
Customer service – how to manage customer expectations in 2015
Customer forecasting – how to predict future demand levels.
Customer loyalty – how to drive repeat purchase, renewal and upsell
Customer advocacy – how leverage the power of your network
Customer intimacy – how to get close to your customers and become a trusted partner.

The event is billed as,

An essential one-day forum featuring compelling, authoritative and inspirational speakers from across the B2B sector. An in-depth examination and exploration of the significant challenges in terms of how to understand, engage, nurture, convert, service and delight your customers.

If you are going to the event, Simon is in Breakout 1 at 13.50 – 14.20, in Session C: The Final Hurdle in the customer Intimacy Journey

Simon’s presentation is NOT about PowerPoint or Death by PowerPoint. It is about rebooting and challenging the way people think about presentations. The seminar will equip its audience with a number of new techniques and tools to apply when preparing their next presentation.

It all starts with a new appreciation of audiences…

The Presentation Lab Book - CompressedBy using tools like ‘Audience Heatmapping’ and concepts such as ‘The Presentation Landscape’ and ‘Blended Presenting’, Simon will share insights into how to build documents and presentations with the audience and their needs at their core. These concepts, along with a series of real life examples of them at work, feature in his acclaimed book, The Presentation Lab, which is quickly becoming a defining text in this fast moving sector.

If you would like to attend, you can book tickets for Customer Champion B2B here

Or you can find Simon speaking at two further major events before the turn of the year, in the form of:

Microsoft Future Decoded, in the ExCel, London, 10th – 11th November
Microsoft Convergance 2015 EMEA, Barcelona, Spain, 30th November – 2nd December

If you would like to let your audience in on the secrets of creating the very best presentations and have Simon speak at your own company event, then check out his bio and simply drop us a line to check his diary…

Bringing our Presentation Labs to Life

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015 by Liz<

We love nothing more here at Eyeful Towers than the buzz of a really busy day in the office, especially when we have customers coming in for training in our Presentation Labs. There is something about the smell of fresh coffee and posh biscuits that we just can’t resist.

Couple that with a great bunch of customers as well and we’re really onto a winner! We recently had the pleasure of working with a lovely team from Jaga Heating Products.

The Jaga team consisted of Project Managers, Technical Consultants and Sales Managers who all received our two-day training course which focussed on equipping them with new strategies and approaches for both the preparation and delivery of their presentations.

Every aspect of the programme was tailored to the team’s day-to-day needs, from the sector specific scenarios we asked them to prepare and present back, to the slides they used to present with.

This approach allowed us, and more importantly them, to see real-time, instant transformations to their presentation delivery. The methods and approaches shared were put into practice during the training and not forgotten about the minute they left the session.

One of the team was delivering a presentation the very next day and reported back to us that he had found himself with a new spring in his step.

“I have a new found confidence, not only in my presentation skills but also in the content that I am delivering.

The optimised presentation and new delivery methods taught during the training, mean that I have really been able to give the presentation my all. Thanks Eyeful”

In terms of ROI, the senior management confirmed that the training programme had delivered beyond expectations, reinvigorating the team and equipping them with new skills that were already being put into practice.

One of the team loved The Presentation Labs (and the biscuits) so much so that he popped back in for a second visit and kindly gave us the great feedback in the video below…

To find out more about our Training Courses or to visit The Presentation Labs for yourselves then please drop me a line, I would love to hear from you.

All of our training can be delivered onsite in our Presentation Labs, at a venue of your choice, or via a variety of other methods, including video and online resources. Whatever works best for you, although we do not take responsibility for the quality of any other venues biscuits, only our own!


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…