Presentation Training for Narrative and Design

PowerPoint is one of the very first applications that people use when first entering the world of work. They learn how to structure slides, add eye-catching images and how to stop the slideshow from jamming. But for many people, sadly, that is where it stops – they may never learn about the real structure of presentations. In short, many people become competent in the basics of PowerPoint presentation software, but without advanced PowerPoint training, never learn the “soft” skills that can make all the difference.

These skills include bringing out the key points of an idea, engaging language and an eye for visual design. Presentation training can bestow upon the trained employee or self-employed business owner the linguistic confidence of a copywriter, the pizzazz of a great graphic designer, and the clarity of a confident, convincing public speaker.

Narrative is an important part of any presentation. All too often listeners get confused by narratives that ramble off in unimportant directions. The reason for this confusion is simple: the presenter may know which points are crucial, but their audience has no way of knowing. The presenter simply trusts that their pitch will come across if they are passionate about it – but in fact listeners are very simple, and pay attention to concepts and key points that are repeated often and in prominent places in the speech’s structure. If jokes are more common than repetition of key points, all they’ll remember is the jokes!

Many people underestimate the power that a strong narrative and presentation structure has to convince key decision makers and make concepts stick in their minds – but most people are more aware of the power of great design. They know that when a webpage, poster or slide is visually striking, their attention will be grabbed. What they often don’t know, though, is just how to achieve design that will strike others as interesting, worthwhile and useful. In fact, the arrangement of elements on a slide, the nature and variety of those elements, and their relevance to key points and ideas can make all the difference between a pretty but forgettable presentation, and one which inspired the people who heard it.

All these skills, and more, can be learnt in a presentation training book, seminar or course of lessons. With the confidence that comes from knowing how to engage people, much of the nervousness often seen in people faced with giving presentations disappears – which of course will make the PowerPoint presentation even more memorable, persuasive, and likely to seal the deal.

https://eyefulpresentations.co.uk/

Invoice processing -speed, efficiency and a better brand

Not so long ago, every document in every office took paper form. Documents were always paper, and had been for around 2,000 years. Then, just a few decades back, desktop computers really started to become popular. Now, documents could be created on the screen and printed to be a hard copy – like everything else in the office. But as computers grew even more common and with the spread of the internet, there came a point when documents no longer had to be printed to be sent around – they could be saved online or on a network, in the office’s document management system. Now, there were two distinct systems: paper and virtual, and the difficulties this entailed – and still entails – could be significant. It can be messy, wasteful and inefficient. People trained in one system may not be quite familiar with the other. Documents can get lost in the paper system, perhaps getting piled up on one person’s desk, or taken out of the office and never seen again. Document processing aims to bring the two systems together, bridging the considerable gap between a paper-based office and a paper-less office. Invoice processing does the same for the accounts department – an important asset in an age where some invoices are sent through the mail and some are raised electronically, by bacs.

The technology used to achieve this has come a long way in the last few years. At one point, the best you could hope for was a scanned image – a picture file of a memo that could not be edited, and certainly not using a word processor. More recently, optical character recognition has enabled printed documents to be turned back into editable computer files. Further developments mean that even handwritten letters can be converted into Word or other documents. The technology generally takes a while to ‘learn’ to read handwriting reasonably, but boasts accuracy rates of greater than 97 percent.

This means that document processing is now very reliable and effective, and when combined with a good document management system can make for a much more efficient office. Everyone can access the documents they should have – and the documents will always be accessible to those who have permission to read them. Similarly, invoice processing means that your accounts department is less likely to miss a payment – something that always undermines a business’s reputation with suppliers and clients.

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Centralised document processing turns your data into assets

In a century where technological advancements are (almost) breaking the speed of light, inventing intelligent robots and making world wide connectivity a reality, it makes no sense to still be scrabbling around in filing cabinets looking for that important document placed there many years ago. If space travel is now a possibility, document processing should be a breeze. Document management systems gather all significant information into a central pool which can be made accessible to all your employees. It’s not rocket science, but using a DMS to optimise all operations from customer service to invoice processing will not only save you money but make it go further, and send your business soaring.

All too often, information is trapped in separate email exchanges or even in individuals’ heads. By altering your processes, all of this useful data can be utilised and consequently becomes an asset to your company. Once this data is collated into an electronic library, employees can use indexing, archiving and full text search functions to access thousands of files. Daily internal operations will be made more effective, and the ability of your company to provide a high level of customer service will be increased. This is thanks to the electronically collected material from which target audience data can be quickly and accurately pulled. All of your operations will gain in promptness and professionalism.

More than this, DMS systems can produce very tangible improvements to your company’s financial processes. As already mentioned, centralising your resources makes the most of its asset value. Dependable invoice processing makes the most of your working capital, helps to prevent against duplicate or overdue payments, and improves cash flow. Finally, the costs of paper storage facilities are eradicated as digitising information hugely reduces the space needed to store all this data.

Security improvements are another advantage. On-paper vulnerability to fire, flood, theft and vandalism and over-handling are a thing of the past, thanks to data retrieval facilities. Regulatory compliance is another positive of increased security and centralised control as DMS files are extremely trackable and the chances of withdrawn licenses or legal action are correspondingly reduced.

To implement document management systems within your organisation, look for an expert provider to advise you on how best to optimise routine but necessary tasks. Enabling shareability and integration across your business, document processing systems increase professionalism and value, simplify security and control, and save money. Leave your competitors to labour over manual, non-electronic invoice processing. Installing DMS will bring your business up to date, make significant savings, and raise your level of professionalism.

Please visit http://www.bottomline.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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Next generation access on offer today

Although some regions of the country have an excellent ICT infrastructure, in others the technology is years behind – which might as well be decades in such an important and fast-moving area. next generation access might be an aspiration for the government, but it is far from the reality across Britain. Some rural areas have little or no broadband access, or rely on antiquated copper cables capable of carrying only a fraction of the information demanded for the high-bandwidth use of a modern business, for example. Community broadband is one way that groups of people have been able to address this reality, sometimes referred to as the ‘digital divide’.

The regions where the ICT infrastructure is patchy are often called ‘notspots’ – the opposite of the ‘hotspots’ that are home to a concentration of wifi networks or broadband coverage. If you live in one of these then you are likely to struggle to get online. Although there are some solutions, these can be expensive. Plus, some notspots are uncovered areas for mobile networks as well as broadband. This means that connecting via a smartphone is a non-starter, too.

That can be a real difficulty. Whereas some fifteen years ago internet access was considered unusual, or at least a luxury, now most people could not do without it – not without major changes to their lifestyles and company practices. We rely on email for quick, easy communication. We access information about goods and services on the web. Work often heavily depends on it. Businesses trade online, orders are placed and bills paid. Broadband access is a utility, like electricity or water. Not having it is a major disadvantage and represents a form of inequality.

Community broadband involves getting together with a group of other people in the same situation as you and procuring the next generation access that much of the rest of the country uses without thinking about it. The group may be a collection of local residents, who require better internet access. Or it could be a cluster of businesses on the same site, who know that their operations would receive a real boost from a 21st century ICT infrastructure. There are companies who can take account of these needs and address them by installing the architecture needed to bring you up to speed. These initiatives may be subsidised or organised by the government, who recognise the importance of UK-wide coverage.

Please visit http://www.broadbandvantage.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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Advice on introducing invoice processing to your office systems

Document management is by all accounts a revolution hitting the modern workplace.  Piles of paperwork and thousands of pounds lost from human error could soon become a thing of the past.  By way of explanation, a document management system is an IT system or set of computer programs used to track and store electronic documents and/or images of paper documents.  This allows accounts departments to get on with document processing and invoice processing in a much more effective way than ever before.

A document management system is often also capable of keeping track of the different versions of documents created by various users, which is termed history tracking.  The term has some overlap with the concepts of content management systems.  It is often seen as a component of enterprise content management systems, and is related to digital asset management, document imaging, workflow systems and records management systems.

The progression towards this type of system began in the 1980s, when various vendors began working on systems to manage paper-based documents.  For many businesses, the sheer number of paper documents that were piling up was becoming something of an issue.  The new systems dealt with paper documents, which included not only printed and published documents, but also photographs and prints.  Later on, developers began to create another type of system which could manage electronic documents.  This meant that all documents or files created on computers and stored on local file systems could be controlled electronically.  The older electronic management systems managed either proprietary type files, or a limited number of file formats.  Many of these systems became known as document imaging systems, because they were effective at the capture, storage, indexing and retrieval of image file formats.  The systems enabled an organization to capture faxes and forms, to save copies of the documents as images, and to store the image files in a repository for security and immediate retrieval.

The creation of complex and effective document management systems has made a significant difference in improving processes in many modern offices.  The sheer convenience of automating document processing systems leaves one wondering why it did not become the norm years ago.  For anybody whose job involves invoice processing, this certainly seems to be something worth sitting up and taking notice of.  The only problem may be for filing cabinet manufacturers, as storing piles of paper documents is becoming increasingly unnecessary.  Perhaps they will need to think about diversifying and creating products to support electronic products.

Please visit http://www.bottomline.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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Is it necessary to make audio visual conferencing standard practice?

The uses of video conferencing in the business sector are well documented, as the need for many businesses to communicate frequently with colleagues around the world grows increasingly in our modern day ‘global village’.  Telepresence video conferencing is so well developed that we can fairly accurately create the experience of a face to face conference with participants from Texas, Adelaide and Dublin all able to take part from the comfort of their own offices.  It seems odd, though, that audio visual conferencing seems to be struggling to take hold of the personal communications market.  Although Skype is very popular for those who wish to communicate with friends and relatives abroad, there seems to be very little demand for mobile telephones which allow us to see the person we are chatting to.

In its early days, video phone technology was extremely pricey, costing users about 90 dollars a month.  Currently, however, modern technology has reduced the costs to next to nothing.  Webcams and highly advanced smart phones mean that cost is no longer a factor in discouraging us from using video conferencing. In its early days, many people thought that videotelephony would become widespread, but it is still used fairly rarely.

This may in part be because videophone calling tends to be a poor substitute for real face to face conversation.  The conversation tends to be focussed around a video screen and a small camera, and participants often look at the screen rather than the camera, which prevents them from having direct eye-to-eye contact with each other.  Some have theorised that videotelephony may be less popular than expected because people actually prefer less direct communication. Texting, instant messaging and email are much more popular than video calling, which suggests that written conversations which can be executed at one’s convenience is, for most people, preferable to recreating the experience of face-to-face conversations.  In addition, some people see video cameras as an intrusion.  ‘Why does my friend need to see what I am doing?’ ‘I don’t want to feel I have to look nice for a phone call,’ and ‘I don’t feel comfortable being watched’ are all common responses when people are asked about this kind of technology.

It does seem interesting that video conferencing has proved so popular and effective in business, but most of us are reluctant to embrace it on a daily basis. Perhaps telepresence video conferencing puts too much pressure on us to be fully involved in a conversation, when actually we quite like to be able to do the gardening or cook dinner while chatting to our friends and family.  audio visual conferencing does seem to be here to stay, though.  Perhaps we had better just get used to it.

Please visit http://www.edgevision.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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Sales presentations frequently fail to stand out

PowerPoint presentations are the conventional means of transmitting messages in a wide range of business contexts. They are used as sales presentations, business pitches to potential clients, suppliers or partners, or internal performance evaluations, to name just a few of these contexts. In any case it is not controversial to say that PowerPoint is an absolutely vital business tool, and it follows that a company with a tight grasp of quality PowerPoint design holds a significant edge over competitors who do not. This applies to all contexts of business where PowerPoint is a necessary tool.

To make good quality presentations you will require several ingredients. Most obviously, you need an excellent grasp of the software and its capabilities. This means having an in-depth understanding each of the functions available in the program. If we’re honest we’ve all come across a hurdle and had to consult a forum, asking “how do you do x, y or z in PowerPoint”. It takes time, with no guarantee that a satisfactory answer will be found.

Beyond an awareness and a proficiency in the workings of the program, you need the ability to integrate its possibilities with the overall message that you are trying to convey. This requires something more than mere computer skills: it requires skill, forethought, even creativity. This is as important as the message you are trying to get across. When a job is not done carefully it is in danger of coming apart at the seams, and PowerPoint presentations are no different. Many a great idea has come unstuck in the world of business exactly because of issues in the presentation.

Imagine, say, that you are trying to motivate your workforce, perhaps by showing statistics of the previous year’s achievements, or by sharing with them your objectives for the year ahead. If you cannot provide the information or data in an inspiring way, a large portion of your PowerPoint presentations will be lost in tedium resulting from uninspired presentation. Similarly, your sales presentations to potential clients need to be eye-catching and concise; there is no room for irrelevant information. Sometimes the people you pitch to have to watch over ten pitches in a day: this can be very boring, and you must not leave it to a tired audience to filter through poor PowerPoint design to find out that your ideas are worth listening to.

Please visit http://www.eyefulpresentations.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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