Why Presentation Design?…

Why Slide Design?… Why PowerPoint?… Why, why why?!!

After setting up Slide Desk earlier this year, I have found myself needing to answer these questions on numerous occasions, so I thought I’d write the blog.

It’s fair to say that PowerPoint (along with other Microsoft products) is not one that us designers like to play with. In fact, most designers (once myself included) would rather do their tax return than try to get to grips with this clunky dtp program.

My “relationship” with Powerpoint properly began in 2013 when I set up as a freelance designer. My first freelance job was to create a set of animated presentations in PowerPoint. I didn’t want to take the job, I didn’t feel like I knew enough about the program and its capabilities, but the client was really eager to use Me and PowerPoint, so I reactivated my Lynda.com account and got stuck into it.

The project went well and I was commissioned to work on more presenations. I popped them up on my website and soon enough I found presentation design enquiries flowing in. I still wasn’t crazy about using PowerPoint, but I researched presentation design techniques, storytelling, read books and blogs and began to see how I could work wonders with the program.

The exciting thing about presentations is that they are packed full of data, statistics and facts. They have a clear job; to take the audience from one point of view to another. To achieve this outcome the designer needs to consider the audience’s pain points and areas of resistance and show them how the client’s product/service/strategy/idea is going to bring value to their client’s current situation.

The designer’s understanding of the crux of the issue is crucial to the overall success of the presentation. What’s the big idea or subject, what’s the objective of the presentation and the take home message for the audience? How can we pull all of this together into a story that resonates with the audience?

The process of designing an effective presentation requires storyboarding techniques to plot the flow and detail the requirement for content like infographics, imagery, typography, animations and transitions between slides. All the time keeping within brand guidelines. It’s a varied and exciting process that stretches your design thinking, especially when the subject matter is complex.

To date, I have produced presentations for companies in Manufacturing, Staff Training, Pharmaceuticals, Sales, Recruitment, PR, Retailer, Technological and more. Getting to grips with industry/company specific data is another skill crucial to the development of effective presentations.

So, as you can see, presentations are strategic selling/communications tools that require thought on many levels. What’s not to love for a ‘commercially minded’ creative who loves to change thinking with their well crafted design pieces?

If you want more information about what’s involved in the presentation design process, or you would like to discuss a specific presentation then please get in touch.

Do you need help with a Presentation or Slide Deck?