Having spent his early career in a variety of sales and marketing roles, Rob Bailey successfully transitioned into managing sales teams’ growth across a variety of industries before joining Eyeful Presentations as a senior consultant in 2011. Over the past 5 years, Rob has developed a deep understanding of Eyeful’s proposition and people whilst managing a significant number of strategic Eyeful clients. In his new role as Managing Director, his passion for the business will further establish Eyeful’s position as the most innovative, exciting and influential consultancy in the presentation sector.
In this conversation, Rob explores the changes at Eyeful, and also how Brexit influences the EU’s presentation industry. Simon Morton, the founder of Eyeful Presentations, joins Rob in this conversation.
The video below is transcripted on this page.
Geetesh: Rob, what’s your vision for the business of presenting and presentation design for Eyeful? Also, what’s your big idea for presentations, looking at the larger picture worldwide?
Rob: I think there has been a sea-change in the world of presentations over the last 5 years. Rather than coming to us, wanting their slides making pretty, on brand and consistent, perhaps with a nice animation, business are really taking a step back and revisiting the main purpose of their presentation. Whether the presentation is an initial engagement with a potential client, a final pitch after a long and expensive sales tender process (or an internal communication piece to disseminate a message company-wide), they’re realizing that a huge amount of investment has gone into getting them to that engagement with their customer (or potential client). They’ve realized that this is their moment of truth; this is the point at which they live or die, the moment when all of the work that they’ve put in up to this point either pays off or fails miserably.
Simon: It’s refreshing; we’re eleven or twelve years down the line now at Eyeful.
From day one, we talked about something called the Presentation Paradox, which was this frustration that the presentation was the very last thing somebody thought about as the end phase of what could be a very expensive, very time-consuming, very stressful process.
I think people recognize that that moment of truth is so important that they’re thinking about the presentation way earlier on.
Rob: Absolutely, and they’re not coming to us just for their final presentation. They’re coming to us for help in formulating their message, and that might be a message that’s going to cross the whole organization at a very high level. I should also say that they’re not just looking at PowerPoint or Prezi, they’re looking at the whole communications piece, and how that can effectively be presented; it’s a bit of a sea-change in the way that we’re engaging with our customers.
Geetesh: Does the UK exiting the European Union make a difference to your EU plans?
Simon: We’ve been very vocal in our willingness to get into Europe and make the most of that European opportunity.
Geetesh: And also is Brexit a cause for concern for the presentation industry in Europe? What are your thoughts?
Rob: Well I think there’s a short answer and there’s a long answer. The short answer is no, it has no effect on our European strategy, and indeed our global strategy, over the next few years here at Eyeful. There’s no getting away from the fact that, straight after the referendum, there was a huge amount of uncertainty, a lot of browbeating, in terms of what Brexit would mean to the UK.
Interestingly, recent research has shown that, amongst sales leaders, the referendum result was seen as overwhelmingly negative; the main fear being that uncertainty in the marketplace would have an adverse effect on short-term sales. At Eyeful, we really don’t see it negatively impacting us at all. In fact, at the last time of real uncertainty, during the last big recession, we had unprecedented growth within the business. I think that is a time when businesses need to stand out from the crowd.
When they’re worried about what’s going to happen to them, when they’re worried about a lack of investment, about a downturn in sales, those are the exact times that their customer and prospect engagement has to be better than everybody else’s. Success will come through them standing out from the crowd.
Simon: I do think that, in spite of all of the red tape that happens when you trade internationally, it’s never stopped us having the conversations. We’re fortunate enough to engage in with our customers around the world. We totted it up recently and we’ve worked on every continent apart from Antarctica.
Rob: Presentations don’t have borders or boundaries as such and there isn’t a feeling of dealing with single locations around the world—the same presentations are being used across the globe.