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Who Needs a Presentation Designer? You and Here’s Why

presentation designer sat at desk looking at presentation on computer screen
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We recently featured an article with great ideas for designing your own presentations – all made so easy nowadays with the vast range of software available. But sometimes, even with all the user-friendly tips and tricks out there, you need more. Your presentation is still lacking something… but what? Most likely a professional eye could tell you exactly what. In this article Damon Nofar, who runs presentation design agency Slides, explains what you get from a professional designer. Read both articles and then you can decide – what does your situation call for?

 

 ‘A presentation designer is just a glorified graphic designer, right?’

I’m sure lots of people have had this thought. It’s a common misconception.

Ten years ago, the job description of ‘Presentation Designer’ was almost unheard of. Cut to today, and this title is thrown around by every junior designer that has come to realise, “Damn! I can make money redesigning PowerPoints!”

Presentation design is a small niche within graphic design, but it is getting larger as an industry each day as more companies come to realise the value of a good presentation deck to back up the speaker. A good presentation designer brings your ideas to life by weaving together a striking mix of storytelling techniques and visual aids that will grab and keep your audiences’ attention throughout your speech.

 

The Difference Between a ‘Meh’ Designer and a ‘Wow!’ Designer

Anyone can make a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation look nice with resources that are readily available online. But that’s not what you want. Oh no. What you want is an experienced designer who really gets your message and understands the audience that message is for. And they keep that message always in the back of their minds as they work with you on story, flow, visuals and brand alignment.

Every good presentation designer has a key goal in mind – to engage audiences. Whether you are persuading a prospect to become a customer, guiding someone through a project demo, or announcing the latest and greatest product in your line, it is their responsibility to help you step up your presentation game.

A ‘Meh’ designer will:

  • Settle for stock themes, use inconsistent fonts and make the slides ‘too pretty’, which can be a distraction to your audience.
  • Include too much ‘useless’ information that may be considered ‘essential’ by the presenter.
  • Include too much text and not enough compelling visuals.

In short, sub-par designers will cut corners to bring you the finished product quickly and cheaply.

A ‘Wow!’ designer will:

  • Use top quality design in a purposeful way to highlight your message and give sense to your data.
  • Expertly harness the narrative that is accompanying the presentation.
  • Challenge you to rethink your way of presenting and how you use slides.

Most people, when preparing for a board meeting or a sales pitch, don’t consider the slide design until the very last minute. This is a mistake! That is why good presentation designers are in high demand. They usually need to be hired weeks in advance of your presentation. A good story and presentation is developed together with the designer, where you break down the key concepts you want your audience to come away with.

It would be hard to do that with a 24-hour delivery which ‘meh’ designers often promote.

 

A Good Presentation Designer Takes your Pitch to the Next Level

Good designers are obsessed with the subtle details and will work with you to produce an effective and engaging – even entertaining – presentation. And when the situation calls for it, they are not afraid to think outside the box. Truly great presentation designers will push the envelope and offer a fresh perspective to an otherwise stale sales pitch.

Slides that have too much information, a stale format and boring visuals is an arch enemy they will fight at all costs. A skilled designer will always break the mould – each and every time.

A presentation designer can make all the difference in how you are received in a professional environment. They establish a direct link to how prepared and organised you are, how much attention you put into the details, and also, how well you communicate.

People are visual. They will more likely remember what they see just as much (or probably more) than what they hear. A good presentation designer is your best ally and often the deciding factor on whether you win or lose a customer, or an investor. After all, the pitch is the most important event in your sales funnel – when you’re right in front of your prospect.

So, how will you present yourself?

 

Damon Nofar

Damon Nofar

Creative Director at Slides
Damon is the founder and creative director at Slides – a leading presentation design agency helping some of the world’s top brands present their ideas with more impact. As an extension of your design team, Slides agency is fully dedicated to creating impactful PowerPoint presentations that will help you present your message with more clarity.
Damon Nofar
3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Joe Pops

    15th February 2020 at 2:55 am

    Is presentation design a niche within graphic design?

    I guess that depends on your definition of the word “presentation”. I define a presentation as a live experience that is created (and delivered) for a specific audience. The design phase of a presentation doesn’t happen in PowerPoint, Keynote or Prezi. The design phase happens on sticky notes, in a notebook, on the back of a napkin or maybe in a Word doc.

    Many presentation podcasts, blogposts and websites are focused almost exclusively on “the deck”. (Presentation Guru is not one of them). Creating a great “deck” isn’t creating a great presentation. A presentation designer helps the presenter create an interesting and memorable experience for their audience. This is done by using a variety of communication tools/techniques. This may, and often does, include slides but not necessarily.

    I argue that presentation design is not a niche within graphic design. Slide/visuals design for a presentation certainly could be a niche of graphic design. And graphic designers certainly can be presentation designers. However, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to be a presentation designer. Unless you assume that the slides are the presentation. To me slides/visuals are only one element of presentation design.

    • Rosie Hoyland

      Rosie Hoyland

      18th February 2020 at 8:52 am

      We couldn’t agree more Joe – and I’m glad it’s clear that at Presentation Guru we do not just focus on the deck. As you rightly point out, that is just one part of what makes a great presentation. Ever fancy writing more on this subject for us? Get in touch if you do.

  2. Philippa Leguen de Lacroix

    Philippa Leguen de Lacroix

    18th February 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Totally agree that presentation designers were a rare breed 10 years ago. And now too many freelancers are simply trying to make a simple buck without any understanding of the brain science that goes behind the communication within presentation design.

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