First impressions aren’t just quick – they’re stubborn.
Within the first few moments of meeting someone new, we know right away if we want to find out more about them.
It’s the same with business presentations: at the first slide, we know if it’s going to be as interesting as watching paint dry or if we’re going to be blown away.
A sloppy design or a few commas in the wrong place and your audience has switched off (or eaten your children).
You can avoid death by PowerPoint (or bullet point) by hiring a professional for your business presentations.
Well-designed presentations don’t just inform, inspire, or persuade: they influence their audience’s behaviour and achieve results.
Mastering the software tool (PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote, or the many others) isn’t really enough anymore. You may have a beautiful branded template, but unless you’re an accomplished designer, that formulaic template is a missed opportunity to create a compelling story that sells your message.
Using the same deck design for all your presentations will quickly turn them all stale, and won’t grab the attention of your audience. Professionally designed presentations bring added value: a good designer won’t just create a beautiful looking presentation: they’ll also understand why that design works, and how your content (spoken or written) can shine.
It’s time to kill the bullet-point deck. If you don’t, they’ll kill your presentation.
Five reasons to hire a pro
1. A great first impression that’s not forgotten
There’s a great deal of care given to customer-facing marketing materials, whether an ad placed in a national paper or a stand at a busy tradeshow. When you make a presentation, you’re representing your brand, and that amount of care and effort should be the same for your presentation.
A slide fills itself very quickly. It’s not just about placing large images or killing the slide with text. You’re not going to grab the attention of your audience with ubiquitous graphics, distracting images, and flat colours.
Getting everything right, throughout the deck, is what tells the cohesive story and grabs the attention. Professional designers live and breathe design. They’ve carved a career out of creating custom presentations because they know how important every element is.
A presentation design expert will follow the latest design trends to impress your audience and get your message across for each individual slide. A beautifully made, effective deck will leave a long-lasting impression on your audience.
2. More confidence for your delivery
Experienced designers can create a final product that resonates with your audience, that represents your brand, and that transmits your message successfully. They take the struggle away from designing to let you focus on content.
A pro will design for maximum impact without overwhelming your audience: consistent visual style, high-quality modern graphics, informative graphs, clutter-free slides, elegant fonts, a clever use of colour, and just the right amount—and kind—of text.
Professional designers will work with you to help better define and enhance the content, helping you refine your story.
Knowing that your deck is pitch-perfect, you’ll breathe a sigh of relief, and you’ll be able to focus on your delivery and enjoy your achievement.
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3. Gain a storytelling advantage
You can keep your audience engaged and interested by investing in a presentation that tells a good story.
Telling a story on a slide deck means being ruthless about what makes it on to a page, and sometimes we’re too close to our own content to see where text and graphics detract from the narrative.
In addition to helping you to define your target audience and align your message to your brand, a pro will help transform a boring slide deck into a strong and interesting narrative.
Like a good book or an Oscar-worthy film, an expertly designed deck rich with insight and design will tell a story that sways emotions and influences decisions.
4. Meet your goals
Whether it’s to increase sales, share knowledge, close a deal, or create another opportunity for your business, your presentation should have a clear objective.
It can be a challenge to express complex ideas simply in the tiny space of one slide. And it’s easy to lose sight of those objectives when we get bogged down with the details and the time-consuming tasks of creating a slide deck.
A powerful presentation can make or break an opportunity. When there’s a mission to complete, that’s where an expert’s knowledge and talent make the difference.
Great design can help you accomplish your goals, helping you communicate clearly and effectively.
5. Save money and time
You may not initially see it that way, but hiring a pro to create your presentation could save you money.
Creating an effective presentation means taking the time to strategically map out the content. How do you tell the best story you can in just a few slides? And how much time will you lose fiddling with the software, searching and buying images, streamlining fonts, lining up text, and tweaking each slide?
Have you ever tried to align text boxes in PowerPoint? Or tried to fix the text size of a slide? Or tried to stretch an image so it fits perfectly? There are dozens of style decisions to make for every single slide of your deck—not including the actual text.
Designers do this for a living: they do it quickly and expertly, so it will resonate with your audience in the best possible way. You could save yourself hours and days by hiring someone who not only knows the ins and outs of the software, but also knows how to tell a powerful story—and can create your slide deck, fast.
The question is, can you really afford not to hire the right professional for your presentation?
Save lives: hire a pro
Of course, there’s a good time and a bad time to hire a pro. Planning ahead is essential: as soon as you know that you’re going to present, give your designer a shout so you can start the process together.
If the stakes are high, maximize your chances of success by getting your message across professionally with a presentation that supports your expertise.
Save lives and don’t suggest eating children: hire a pro who’ll tell your story and get results.
Carole Alalouf is the President and founder of Exaltus, and primary contributor to the Exaltus blog. In her Content Marketing role, she focuses on turning her clients’ complex information into a compelling story. Carole particularly enjoys visual storytelling in the form of presentations, whiteboard videos, websites, and infographics. Sign up to her email list and get powerful marketing tips in your inbox, 2-3 times per month.