Managing Business Communications While Working Remotely

Published on
March 20, 2020
The recent outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) is pressuring businesses to find solutions that maintain their workflow while protecting their staff and clients’ wellbeing.

Whether working from home, moving meetings to digital platforms, or canceling events altogether, companies are making difficult decisions to maximize the public’s safety and minimize tolls on their business. Regardless of your location and industry, this is an uncertain time for businesses big and small. Most companies cannot afford to simply put a stop to their everyday operations—there are services to provide to customers in need. What are some ways to manage?

In times like these, it is important for businesses to be able to adapt. Now is the time to leverage the technology available that enables your staff to work from home productively. Here are some tips to ensure your day-to-day operations continue to run smoothly while maintaining transparency and dependability with your clients. Show your clients that while some events are beyond control, your company still has the ability to deliver with their best interests in mind.

Maintaining daily operations


Make the health and wellbeing of your staff a priority. If the nature of your work allows it to be done just as effectively from home, then strongly encourage your team to do so. To ensure productivity, The New York Times recommends a home office setup that helps create the divide between a home mindset and work mindset. Take the opportunity to protect your employees if there is no need to keep them in the office and traveling through public spaces. As a presentation design agency, our work lives on the computer and we’re fortunate to be able to have our entire in-house team working remotely.

Open communication

Whether all your staff is working remotely or only a few, communication is key. Your team likely already has an established communications platform, whether it’s through email or software like Zoom and Skype—now is especially important to encourage everyone to be attentive to notifications and conversations. Having message logs and announcements organized and accessible to the team are simple ways to keep everyone on the same page. At Stinson, our team uses separate chat channels for different categories of conversation, such as administrative, general, and project management. We’re a firm believer that in times like these, oversharing with the team is better than selectively and possibly under-sharing!

Be prepared

Identify the needs of your office, your workers, and your business. Make sure that everyone who will be working from home has everything needed for their setup, including the right hardware, accessories, and VPN connection for remote server access. Let everyone know what needs to be done, and how the nature of their work will change, if at all. It’s also a good idea to schedule more internal meetings to keep the team in sync.

Client interactions

Now, what to do if you have a number of meetings lined up with clients or other businesses? Good news! There are ways to conduct your meetings remotely.

Before the meeting

Consider audience and environment

Remember that these are still professional interactions—your meeting attendees shouldn’t know that you might be taking a call from your bed. Be aware of your environment and how it will be heard on the call and seen through your webcam. Try to stay away from noisy areas, and if you are on video, stay in a well-lit space preferably in front of a wall or clean backdrop.

Create an agenda

Preparation is the key to productive meetings. Send out an agenda so that everyone knows what to expect from the call and can prepare discussion points accordingly. The agenda will guide the conversation, ensure that all topics are acknowledged, and help make the most of everyone’s time by minimizing idle or tangent chats.

During the meeting

Start on time

Punctuality is a courtesy regardless of whether the meeting is in person or done remotely—it shows respect for everyone’s time. If you are hosting the meeting, make sure you start on time or let your attendees know when you’re running late.

Use video

If you and your team have the means to do so, video calls are the best alternative to in-person meetings. Seeing the faces of those you’re speaking to helps frame your mindset appropriately for the meeting.

Make introductions

If your meeting is with new faces, help make everyone feel comfortable by going around and introducing yourselves. It also helps to go over what you and your teammates do, and what your role in the meeting will be.

Budget time

Oftentimes, meeting agendas have timeslots for each item to keep the conversation on track. Make sure there is time carved out for discussions and Q&A. Regularly checking if anyone has questions or comments before proceeding to the next topic helps to avoid jumping between subjects.

After the meeting

Next steps

Have a virtual “water cooler” session. Even if people are signing off or prepared to go, be available to chat in a less formal manner. Clarify points from the meeting, have a more relaxed conversation, and be available for any more questions.

How Stinson can help

Still worried about conducting a virtual meeting? We’ve got you covered! Read our post with key tips for creating presentations for a virtual audience.

Stinson offers assistance not only with presentation design, but also with presentation consulting to make sure your presentations run smoothly and convey the right message to your audience. We help analyze and understand your target audience, and create your presentation accordingly to have the most impact.

Frequently Asked Questions

Working with Stinson: The Presentation Agency

What exactly do presentation agencies do?

We provide all the help you may need to design presentations that achieve your goals. This can include content consulting, presentation slide design, custom icons and illustrations, and presentation handouts—ultimately, our team of PowerPoint designers and consultants develop a comprehensive presentation solution that meets your specific needs.

Why do companies work with presentation agencies?

Consider how much time you (or your team) spend making PowerPoint presentations for meetings. Think about the back and forth over which fonts, colors, icons, and images to use. Is it okay to use bullet points? Did you use the right brand colors? Does the slide look too crowded and busy? Or does it look too plain? How do you create the look and feel that you're picturing? After the design is done, do you have enough time to practice presenting?

As presentation experts, it is our second nature to understand your goals and work with you to create the professional PowerPoint deck that you envisioned. You can learn more about our 3-phase process here.

By leaving the presentation design to an agency like Stinson, you save yourself the time and worry over the look, feel, and progression of your presentation—we make your PowerPoint presentation-ready so that you can focus on the presentation delivery.

Which presentation design service will I need?

As a presentation company, we offer every service you may need to develop your you may need to develop your PowerPoint—however, it's tough to say exactly which services of ours would benefit you the most without having chatted about your company, industry, and presentation uses.

We've generalized the scenarios that we regularly see and help our clients with. If your situation is similar to any of the below, then rest assured that our presentation experts have proven success in developing solutions.

  • You have an upcoming presentation with investors or clients. You feel your slide deck looks outdated or dull, and you don't know how to help it. You're also not sure if the content in your presentation conveys your value. View our case study where our presentation development and content consulting services helped our client achieve their investor funding goals.
  • Your company has regular internal department presentations. Everyone works on their respective slides, which are then combined into one presentation deck. The resulting PowerPoint does not have a cohesive look and somehow, there are five new shades of your corporate colors. We can help you identify your common slide layouts and design easy-to-use custom PowerPoint templates so your team members can create seamless, unified slides.
  • Your company has a great PowerPoint template that strongly reflects your branding, but your team tends to include too much text and irrelevant images on their slides. During the presentation, key messages are lost. We offer presentation training for exactly this—we'll train your team to create better slides more efficiently.

Expectations when working with us

How does partnering with a PowerPoint designer work?

Once you contact us, we'll meet with you and ask for as much context as possible regarding the project: what materials you already have, who is presenting, who is the audience, and so on—this is our Discover phase. From there, we move onto Develop and Design where we start defining the narrative and visual characteristics of your new presentation. For more details, please read our process.

How long do projects take?

Our standard turnaround for presentation development is 2–4 weeks; for custom presentation templates, our typical turnaround is 3–6 weeks. We know this is a wide range, but due to the collaborative nature of our presentation design process (i.e. asking for and incorporating your feedback), our turnaround time also relies on your responsiveness and availability. We do offer a rush service if your timelines are short.

How much does a presentation design cost?

We price on a project-by-project basis, involving a number of key factors outlined in our pricing model. However, we do require a minimum project cost of $1,500.

We often see companies that do not have budget allocations for presentation design and are hesitant to make the initial investment. We understand—at first, it can be difficult to see the value and difference a well-designed, practical presentation can make. For our clients that started in this situation, we worked on a smaller pilot test project; when they saw the positive ROI of the presentation, they were able to secure larger budgets and found more presentations that needed our help.

What are the final files that I will receive?

All of our final PowerPoint (or other presentation software) deliverables are shared with you in its native, editable file format. We are also able to provide a PDF or video version of your presentation if you would like.

Any presentation collateral we design for your project is shared as a ready-to-print PDF, unless if you specify a different preference.

Have you worked with other clients in my industry? Can you share related samples?

Our list of clients spans a wide range of industries, some of which we hadn't known of prior to the client's project. Since our approach involves familiarizing ourselves with the client's business and industry, we've become a team of jacks-of-all-trades for industry knowledge.

We're able to share blinded, industry-specific samples of presentations that our clients have consented to. Contact us if you're interested!


Aside from PowerPoint, do you work in Google Slides? Keynote? Prezi?

Yes! While we prefer designing PowerPoint presentations due to its robust features that let us create advanced designs, we've created custom presentation designs in Google Slides and Keynote at our clients' request.

We generally do not design presentations in Prezi since it does not support the level of design customization that we need for our clients. Instead, we use PowerPoint to create the same animations and layouts that are characteristic of Prezi presentations—you can view examples in our portfolio.

Will we run into issues if we use Mac and/or Windows PC?

There are some differences in functionality between PowerPoint for Mac and PowerPoint for Windows—but these are not for your concern! We use both Mac and Windows computers at Stinson, so we're able to ensure cross-device compatibility with every PowerPoint presentation we design. During our initial call with you, we'll ask you for these tech specs so that we know to bear them in mind when working on your project.

Does it matter which version of PowerPoint we use?

Yes; the latest versions of PowerPoint have new functions and features that earlier versions of PowerPoint cannot load. We'll take note of your tech setup to ensure that our presentations for you run as intended.

Designing with branding

How are you able to design with our company's brand?

If you have any brand guidelines, we ask you to provide them early on in the process so that we can familiarize ourselves not only with your logos, colors, and fonts, but the overarching brand tone. Our collaborative process includes rounds of revision for you to provide your feedback on the presentation design.

Are you able to design within our very strict corporate brand guidelines?

Absolutely! Many of our clients are companies with well-established brand identities. We do our due diligence to maintain the integrity of their branding when designing their presentations and collateral.

Strict brand guidelines do not necessarily restrict the possibility of creating a sophisticated PowerPoint; our presentation designers thoughtfully use photos, animations, and other visuals to build the story.

We don't have concrete branding yet or we're in the process of updating our brand. Can you work without defined brand elements?

Yes! When we work with clients who are still ironing out the details of their branding, we ask them to provide us any materials they have already and to share their design inspirations. From there, we lay out moodboards of different tones and styles to see which resonates the most with what our client has in mind.


We have highly sensitive information. Will my data remain confidential?

Absolutely—we respect the proprietary nature of businesses, and enforce a strict confidentiality policy company-wide. From the first point of contact with you, we assume a non-disclosure agreement (NDA); we are happy to sign your company's NDA as well.

Where do you store my files and data?

All of our files are stored securely in an industry-leading content server. The server exceeds regulatory standards and encrypts each file using AES 256-bit encryption in diverse locations.

Additionally, the Stinson team works completely in-house, so your files will not cross borders.

How secure is my data?

We take data security seriously. We enforce numerous internal policies and procedures to ensure that Stinson continues to meet compliance and security standards for data protection, including multi-factor authentication for all company accounts and access restrictions.

Stinson Design logo icon

We’d love to hear about your project.

Complete the form below and one of our consultants will reach out within 24 hours.

Thank you!
Your request has been received.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
This site uses cookies and similar technologies to analyze traffic.
Learn more about how we use cookies