Presentation design agencies are a relatively new type of business. When Pani and I started Presented*, back in 2009, very few other agencies could offer a high level of PowerPoint design. They would tend to design a bog standard background or two (or a nice one), then save it and call it a template. This is not enough and their clients would demand more! We partner with a good number of creative agencies to give them the niche PowerPoint wing that they need.
Likewise, over the years, we’ve seen an increase in the number of presentation design agencies in existance. From the one-man-bands freelancing at home, to the larger international conveyor belts. But we’re not alarmed by the competition. In fact, it’s all good news that more and more people have become aware of the importance of getting presentation design done right.
If all the presentation design agencies now operating can collectively raise that design bar: then it creates more demand for good slides, and in turn hopefully prevents some of the low and frankly unacceptable level we see around us.
*For the sticklers, our name was “Cornerstone Presentations” back then. We rebranded in 2015.
Why use presentation design agencies?
In the early years it was challenging to describe what we did for a living. People ask out of politeness and expect a one word answer, not something along the lines of “we improve PowerPoint presentations through a mix of communication science and good design”. The reaction I generally received was one of confusion. “You can make a living out of that?” someone once asked me. They simply didn’t believe that there would be any demand for presentation design services.
Surely everyone is capable of using PowerPoint by themselves?
Yes, so capable that “Death by PowerPoint” is a well known disparagement. And rightly so. Neuroscience regarding how best to use presentations is widely ignored in the boardroom. Connection, resonance, engagement and being memorable are end-of-the-rainbow type concepts that are hardly associated with your typical presentation. It’s assumed you have to be charismatic public speaker to do a good job. Not so: armed with good slides, you can present brilliantly and clearly.
Which brings me back to the competition: one of the reasons we’re not alarmed is because many of these new presentation design agencies simply aren’t very good. Sorry to say that in print. Yes, they are capable of applying a new design, or using some smart-art, but not at transforming content by making it more engaging or simpler to understand.
And sadly the majority of creative design companies who include a PowerPoint template in their offering rarely build them correctly. And they often build them on a Mac. Which means it won’t work in the same way on Windows (where the majority of our clients live).
The template functionality, layouts, and interactive options are nearly always lacking. Indeed, a good portion of our own clients are creative agencies and PR companies – they are smart enough to know they need help, so they simply outsource to us experts! See our client split in the purple section in the pie chart below.
Design and PR companies use specialist presentation design agencies to save time, stress and frankly, they have better things to do!
Agencies outsource their PowerPoint needs to us because it saves them time, we have the right software compatibility (PC) and expertise that their end-clients expect. We often work as a white label service as well as being up front as a presentation partner. (So their clients don’t know it’s outsourced). We troubleshoot problems, fix issues and faithfully replicate in-house design.
The pie covers our financial year back in 2016… it hasn’t changed much over the years. As well as 22% of our work coming from design agencies, it also shows that 17% of our income is from clients who use us just one time only (so far). We have an 83% rate of repeat work from clients – they know we’re essential!
It really is great news that people are looking for presentation design agencies – and if you’re reading this… you might be one of them! Well done you’ve found us! 😀