Skills Needed To Be A PowerPoint Designer

Published on
May 20, 2016

Contrary to what many people believe, it takes a lot of effort in honing your skills to be a professional PowerPoint designer. Designing an impactful presentation is not just limited to the usage of graphics but includes the proper alignment of images, text and the right usage of words. PowerPoint designing is indeed a mixture of art and science, which combines creative and intellectual skills. Not only that, but PowerPoint presentations require extensive amounts of storyboarding and content editing in order to maximize the impact of your message.

Understand all the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint

To be successful as a PowerPoint designer, an individual should be familiar with all the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint. Without a firm grasp of how the tools function, a designer will not be able to maximize the usage of these tools. For starters, a budding PowerPoint designer should go through each and every tool and practice using it to improve his skills in that area. We recommend you take online PowerPoint courses on, it’s easy and comprehensive.

Match graphics to the intent of the presentation

A PowerPoint presentation is not appealing if it lacks the necessary graphics. Adding graphics to a presentation does not mean bombarding it with images. It is important to find images that relate to the text and the context of the presentation. For example, if you are designing a presentation for an investor presentation, you should include images that implement confidence or that relate to your product. Hence, a professional PowerPoint designer should have the basic knowledge of which images to use in every situation while keeping them impactful.

Aside from images, a designer should be well-versed in animations and special effects. We are slowly but surely moving away from the era of 2D to 3D. So, a designer should be on par with the technological advancements and enhance the quality of a presentation by adding innovative and creative stuff to the deck of slides. There are times when a designer will have to resort to third party tools to create an impressive deck of slides because the necessary tools are not found on Microsoft PowerPoint application. So, a designer should be familiar with the tools outside of the PowerPoint domain too.

Get the content right

There are many elements that go into making a powerful presentation. Apart from the images, text also plays an important role in conveying the intended message to your audience. A designer should ensure that the content on a slide is succinct and captivating. Coming up with catchy phrases that stick in the minds of the audience is an art by itself. It takes a lot of practice and constant exposure to advertisements to reach a stage where you can come up with amazing words in the snap of a finger. This is why all PowerPoint designers should have advances copywriting skills or have professional copywriters on their team.

No one is interested in reading endless number of words on a slide. So, it is the responsibility of the designer to ensure that the audience gets the gist of the content without boring them to death. This is possible by focusing the attention of the audience on keywords. A professional PowerPoint designer should have the skill to fully understand the embedded message in a slide, create a set of targeted and relevant keywords and make an impact on the audience by using subtle animation to emphasize on these keywords.

Step into the shoes of a psychologist

Sometimes, PowerPoint designers have to become psychologists to understand how the mind of the audience works. Color psychology is definitely one area that a designer has to look into to make a powerful presentation. A professional PowerPoint designer should have a good understanding of the impact of different colors on the moods and emotions of the audience. This is especially important when a background color for the slides is being selected. Colors fall into two domains—cool colors and warm colors. If a designer is preparing slides for a travel agency, it is ideal to use cool colors like light blue and white so that potential tourists feel relaxed even before visiting the destination.

So, it is important to understand the message you want to convey to the audience and use the right hues and colors to make a point. Apart from the colors, how you align the text also makes an impact on your audience. If it is a client meeting and you want to show that the organization is methodical in its approach, you may want to align the text neatly, in a symmetrical manner. On the other hand, if you are preparing a deck of slides for a marketing pitch you may decide to follow some specific graphic design guidelines and less classic text alignments.

Maintain consistency

For any presentation, a PowerPoint designer needs to maintain consistency. For example, if a designer is making slides for a business meeting, he has to ensure that the font and size of the text is constant throughout. This makes a presentation appear professional. To maintain consistency, you need to be meticulous and even a perfectionist for that matter. In addition, a designer should never use more than 4 colors in his presentation. You need to bear in mind that a presentation is not a coloring book, where you add all the colors in the universe. You need to choose colors that will create the right impact and stick with them.

Ensure a smooth transition

Many times, designers fail to create smooth transitions between slides. This is because they do not see the big picture, failing to understand the gist of the presentation. To ensure that the transition between slides is smooth, designers need to weave a story in their presentation. The first slide should be linked to the second slide and the second slide should be linked to the third and so on. Creating a story is an important skill that needs to be cultivated over time. To ensure that the audience is glued to your presentation, you need to avoid abrupt transitions.

Just like how an interesting movie keeps you glued to the television screen, you need to work your magic on the audience in a similar way. Many elements go into making a powerful presentation and a professional PowerPoint designer needs to be a master of PowerPoint tools, graphics and content to make it big in the industry. If you need help feel free to contact us.

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.

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