I am friends with many professional presentation designers. They do great work. If you want to hire a presentation designer, check out the Presentation Guild at www.PresentationGuild.org. These professionals understand the needs of corporate presenters. Why do I recommend these professionals and not just any designer? Because there is advice from some designers that you should ignore if you are a corporate presenter.
All of the advice you should ignore relates to some designers not understanding the requirement of corporate presenters using a mandated corporate template. The first piece of advice you can ignore is to not have your corporate logo on each slide. They will tell you that it isn’t needed and you should remove it. Logo usage is dictated by the corporate branding group. It is important to maintain your corporate presence internally and externally. If your branding or marketing group has decided that the logo should be on every slide, leave it there. Trust the judgement of your branding and marketing professionals.
The next piece of advice you can ignore is to replace the font in the corporate template with a downloaded font that matches the “mood” of your presentation. Not only is this another example of ignoring the decisions of the branding group, but it can cause huge problems for others. If you use a downloaded font and others view the presentation, their system will substitute a system font, which may make all the text unreadable. If a colleague wants to use any of your slides or your slides are part of a group presentation, it will cause a problem that will waste time for others. Just stick to the fonts your template has in it.
The third piece of advice that doesn’t make sense is to select a different color scheme for each presentation. Your branding group has decided on the colors that promote and reinforce your brand. They have set the colors for shapes and graphs so that presenters have the best colors automatically used when diagrams or graphs are created in PowerPoint. Why go off-brand and select different colors?
The final advice to ignore is use a different template for each section of the presentation. Again, this goes against the branding guidelines set by the organization. If your template includes different section divider slides, feel free to use them to visually indicate that your presentation is moving to a new topic. You can add a set of icons or text at the bottom of each slide to indicate the topics and which one you are currently covering. Another option is to come back to your agenda slide with the upcoming section in bold or highlighted visually.
Corporate presenters are required to use the organization’s template because everyone is working to build and reinforce the organization’s brand, especially when delivering external presentations. Ignore the advice of designers who don’t understand corporate presentations. If you need presentation design guidance, work with one of the professionals from the Presentation Guild who understands your needs.
Dave Paradi has over twenty years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written nine books and over 100 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don’t overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of less than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel and PowerPoint communities. He regularly presents highly rated sessions at national and regional conferences of financial professionals.