The pros and cons when you outsource presentation design

Outsourcing is commonplace in business. It makes sense to contract out functions to third parties when you do not have the internal resource available. Companies outsource all sorts of functions from marketing to sales, customer service and HR.  Taking the outsource of presentation design as an example, we’re going to look at some pros and cons.

So, let’s get into it. Why should you outsource presentation design?

  • Outsourcing PowerPoint design gives you access to skills and expertise that you do not have in-house
  • You don’t have to employ a dedicated presentation designer, which saves you money on benefits, training, recruitment time etc
  • Your presentations should be a much higher quality once they are professionally designed, which makes you look good
  • It’s easy to budget for some external design help
  • Outsourcing presentation design will free up your team to work on what they are good at
  • You’ll gain competitive advantage when your presentations are more impressive visually than those of your rivals

Of course, handing over control of a business function to someone else, brings risks of its own:

  • The presentation design may not meet your expectations (less talented freelancer perhaps?)
  • The work may miss your deadline, depending on the workload at the design agency
  • You may experience communication problems which can cause delays
  • There is a risk of confidentiality breach (of course this risk can be easily mitigated with an NDA)
  • Outsourcing design can be costly if you don’t shop around

Taking all of this into account, if your external presentations could do with a design refresh and if you have the budget available it is definitely worthwhile looking into outsourcing your presentation design.

And do we need to say we’re the best presentation design agency to outsource to? We don’t need to. But we just did.

How to share presentations online (or host on a website)

You can share interactive, animated and fully functional presentations online!

This avoids the problems of sending presentations via email: such as high resolution images and videos, making the file size quickly mount up. And fixes the issue with fonts not embedding (which you can’t do on a Mac, but you can do on a PC providing it’s the right font type!). Sharing a presentation online also solves the problem of which PowerPoint version viewers have installed… and of course the potential issues of viewing on a Mac vs PC.

Here’s how to share your presentation online:

1) Simply convert PowerPoint to HTML5 to share your presentation online

We’ve used software from iSpring Solutions. They offer a free trial so you can give it a go, or we can convert for you.

Take a look at the HTML5 examples we have created below:

Access Sport sample
Video overlay sample

2) Once converted, just upload the files to your own website

Whilst you may need to ask your web dev team to do this, it’s simply uploading files. No coding, and is easy to do yourself with an FTP uploader.

Once uploaded, you can send a link to your presentation that can be opened in any web browser. Safe in the knowledge that fonts, animations and visuals will show up as expected with quick load times. Naturally – test the results before sharing 🙂

The conversion software at iSpring handles most animation effects. There are a few it doesn’t (yet) convert. The most significant lack is the Morph transition. This isn’t a deal breaker of course, there are traditional animation methods that can replace the morph effect. (Ahhh, what we used in the good ol’ days!)
Full list of PPT animations that are converted into HTML5.

And that’s it.

Get the software, convert, upload. Sounds good? Need our help? Get in touch with the team to discuss your needs further.

How to look good in a virtual presentation

Tips on how to look good in a virtual meeting

How to look good in virtual presenations from Presented.

1. DECLUTTER DON’T LET YOUR BACKGROUND BE DISTRACTING

You might think you’re adding interest and quirkiness, but having a messy background is distracting. The most distracting are items with text – your viewers will be reading those. Sure, you might want to show off your bookshelf, but if those spines are readable, well, just know some audience members will indeed be reading instead of listening to you. So if your meeting is an important one – declutter your background. Pick up stray items, plan what’s visible.

You can often change the angle of your screen to find a better view without rearranging furniture, so try different angles. A friend had her drying laundry out one time – we agreed the best place for that was behind her chair. Blocked from view, but her clothes were still drying!

 

2. CAMERA TEST YOUR ANGLES RAISE YOUR CAMERA TO YOUR EYE LEVEL

You don’t want to be looking down your nose in a virtual prseentation, i.e. at people. Neither do you want them to be looking up your nostrils!

Likewise if the camera is too high it may mean your eyebrows are constantly raised… surprise isn’t always the right look to have on your face 🙂

A great tip is to set up a dummy meeting and record it. Position your camera in various places and heights and when you play back the recording you can objectively see what works best for you.

 

3. DROP THE MIC

You don’t just need to look good, you need to sound good in a virtual presentation. Using in-built microphones generally gives you below par voice quality. If presenting is an important part of your job then invest in a mic so that you sound beautiful! Vocal clarity and power will help you to convince and connect with your audience. There are many brands out there – and many recommendations for different price points.

 

4. LIGHT UP!

Whilst natural light is often going to give the best results, we can’t always control where windows, power sources, desks and other obstacles might be. So for good lighting, use a lamp at 45 degrees. Again, record your set up and see what works best for you. And what works at different times of day. A lot of pros use a halo light. Avoid “arty” lighting where half of your face is in shadow. It might look “cool”, but you shouldn’t be going for that look. You should be connecting with your audience and showing you are open, honest, transparent (not literally transparent we hasten to add). Shadows look arty, but don’t display openness in a virtual set up.

 

5. KEEP EXPERIMENTING – GET IT CHECKED

Ask a friend or colleague. You can’t always be objective about your own appearence. If you have recordings get some votes on what works. And keep working on improving this. Once you have your set up sorted – it’s going to boost your confidence knowing that you look good.

And it might help you to look at your own camera feed less when in that virtual presentation. We all have a glance to check we look good right?

 

6. NOW YOU LOOK GOOD, MAKE SURE YOUR SLIDES DO TOO…

You didn’t think we wouldn’t mention that your slides need to look good in a virtual presentation too right?
Don’t waste hours of your time sorting and formatting your slides – outsource that stress and time drain to the professionals. We’ll help you to look good.

Interactive PowerPoint Samples from Presented

Interactive Presentations have many benefits

Have you seen interactive presentations in action? Please check out this screen recording of one of our portfolios. We’ve collated a number of cool features in PowerPoint that we think not everyone will know about. Press play and see which are familiar to you.

There’s no secret behind these interactive presentation skills. We use a mixture of hyperlinks and animation triggers. It’s all in native PowerPoint, so if you have Office 365 installed (and updated) then you’ll have the ability to use all these interactive PowerPoint features. Easy!

Interactivity boosts engagement

Having a non-linear presentation gives a more personal feel when you are delivering any kind of pitch or presentation.

Clicking through a PowerPoint menu can for many reasons: driven by your own curiosity, your prospect’s questions, or the bespoke relevance to your audience for example. This non-linear exploration improves attention as viewers believe the option choices are more relevant to them. And they’re right! (or they should be!) Relevance is a big deal when it comes to engagement.

Interactive features can keep your screen uncluttered

By using space “off the screen” we can make the most of the viewing space on each slide. Cluttered slides are BAD for audiences. They pose a risk of cognitive overload, and hierarchy of information can be lost: viewers don’t know which bit of content is the most important so eyes jump around and so does focus.

Having content “enter” draws attention to it – and the “exit” feature (like for a video) is ideal to lighten their load too.

Interactive presentations impress your prospects / leads / clients / audience

Interactivity is such a good way to present case studies to your clients.

A full page of logos is perfect for every eventuality. Then only click on the ones that are relevant to that meeting: so you deep dive into that story alone. You may click on ones that your prospect asks about, or ones that you feel are the best to demonstrate your value. Either way the benefit of having a full page or menu list of all the case studies gives more credibility about your experience and expertise. Nice bonus!

If you think interactive presentations would give you more of an edge – get in touch. We’d love to help you.

The best presentation structure

Need a presentation structure for persuasion, for selling, for convincing…?

Since founding Presented we’ve always been interested in the part that neuroscience plays in the presentation experience.

As well as how information is displayed to best be understood by the brain (and quickly), there are also scientific-based structures that will help your audience to recall your messages.

Cliff Atkinson’s celebrated presentation book “Beyond Bullet Points” details a strategy that forms the backbone of our “go to” presentation structure here at Presented. It ticks the neuroscience box in several ways: repetition, engagement, relevance, repetition, clarity, proof points, conviction and of course repetition.

If you remember one thing from that sentence it’s likely to be repetition right? Because it was repeated in the text. It’s just a clumsy way to demonstrate that it works. It’s not rocket science but it is neuroscience.

The best presentation structure, full stop:

1. We set the scene, we make sure it is relevant for the audience, we engage with a challenge of how to get from A to B, and state a call to action.
That’s the beginning.

2. The middle is stating and proving 3 key points that support a call to action. Assuming you have 3, and we recommend that number but we can stretch to 5 if it’s necessary (it probably isn’t).

3. And the end is a recap of the 3 key points and that call to action.

So in summary, we engage the audience, and tell them what we’re going to tell them. Then we tell them. And then we tell them what we’ve told them. The repetition.

It’s important to point out that with this presentation strategy that the call to action is not as simple as a “next step”. It’s more a fulfillment of the presentation objective.

For example, a call to action is likely to be: “Partner with us for the best software solution” (a bit generic, apologies). “Partner with us for…” or “Enroll today for…” or “Embrace the changes to be at the forefront with x…”. The call to action should be motivating, it should lead to a benefit or an advantage. And from the rest of the presentation content it should be as clear as pie exactly why it’s the right action to take.

We don’t treat the call to action as a “phone us to make an appointment” or “visit our website to find out more”. It is however the objective of why you are presenting. In its simplest form it’s usually to motivate or persuade.

So make the most of the opportunity you have to present to an audience. By wall means include a next step, it can appear on a final slide to add some practical clarity, but it’s not what we mean here by a call to action.

The best structure for investment decks

Pitches for investment can follow the same structure that we’ve loosely described above. But there is a difference.

Here the angels, investors, dragons, call them what you will – they are all looking out for some key business information that they need to see in order to judge the merits of the business case being presented.

Guy Kawasaki has listed out 10 slides that are required, and we created our own guidance PDF to cover these. (The link will take you to a LinkedIn doc post).

You’ll need to detail: The scene, the problem and the opportunity that your service or product will solve, the size of the marketplace, how you’re going to tap that market, what your personal credentials are, where you’ve got to so far and your timeline for the next 3 years. You’ll also need to acknowledge what the competition are doing and what differentiates you from them.

Ideally you’ll have just one slide for each of these areas. If you go off topic – it might be entertaining for you, but it’s unlikely to be needed for the angels at the initial pitch stage. They’ll do their research and due diligence so you won’t want to drown them in details too early on.

Another recommended structure

The next best structure to mention is a non-linear presentation!

You’ll still need to create a powerful beginning, of course, and a call to action that fulfills your goals.

A non-linear structure involves letting the audience decide where to go. Although it works well with small meetings, it can work with big meetings also where you can set up voting and really let the masses choose their own destination.

Hyperlinked content, menus, case studies that are chosen for that particular client or customer – all are non-linear features that you can click at will. It keeps the presentation fresh, and makes it feel far more bespoke and special for the customer.

Need more ideas regarding presentation structures?

Talk to the team and we’ll help you smash your next presentation.

What value does presentation design bring?

You may need more than presentation design…

Of course, our team does superb presentation design. We’re simply expert graphic designers and can give you even more. So whether you need to save time, up your presentation ante, get your teams producing consistent material or need a creative blast. We’re here for you.

Messaging:
Our team boasts some amazing wordsmiths and strategists. By crafting a convincing storyline, your presentation will convince and convert more of your audience. Whether you are raising investment, pitching, updating internal stats or running through some change management – your story should be memorable and clear. We’ve studied the neuroscience behind communication and can help your presentation hit the mark.

Be surprised by PowerPoint:
Avoiding a Death by PowerPoint experience is even more of a challenge now so many of us are presenting remotely. It’s too easy for an audience to multitask, and our attention spans are getting shorter by the week.

To increase engagement we can recommend several of PowerPoint’s latest features. From Zoom dashboards to Morphs and from Hyperlinked Menus to Triggers. Interactive presentations allow you to respond to your audience’s needs and interests. Movement and a non-linear approach will help you to captivate attention. And you’ll likely get kudos points too.

Template services.
Yes, even the word templates sounds a bit boring, but they are genius! A correctly built user-friendly template will save you masses of time and will ensure that your teams produce nice looking (on brand) slides time and again.

Just say the Word.
For a long time we’ve kept it quiet that we’re expert in Word. But step into the light dear team – yes we can take your Word woes away. We set template styles, colour palettes to match branding, and basically make Word look more like InDesign. Indeed, if you have an InDesign and want it to be in Word instead, or even PowerPoint (yes of course), then we are your team.

Some surprising things too.
We’re graphic designers. So can turn our hand to many areas, such as infographics, and ad hoc items like conference banners, chocolate bars & wrappers, logos, lorry curtains, postcards etc. If you aren’t sure we can do it – just ask, we’ll always answer honestly about our expertise.

Pimp us out.
We already partner with many agencies, often working as a white label provider. If you want to offer your clients a little of what we can do – then we can provide you with an unbranded portfolio for you to share.