Tools Used By Pro PowerPoint Presentation Designers

Published on
May 19, 2016

PowerPoint presentation designers are termed ‘pro’ for one reason and that’s because they can transform an ordinary presentation into an enticing piece of information. Designers make a presentation stand out with attractive designs and eye-catching graphics. Ever wondered what tools that Powerpoint designers use to create magic in a presentation? Well, read on as we discuss them.

Some of the tools that professional presentation designers use can be found in Microsoft PowerPoint itself; however, there are some third-party tools which are also used to enhance the overall look and feel of the slides. PowerPoint presentation designers create slides with one and only aim in mind is to stun the audience with impressive graphics while ensuring that a message is communicated effectively.

Perspector

Perspector is a tool used by designers to create 3D images on PowerPoint presentations. Instead of having the same old 2D images and regular slides, PowerPoint presentation designers now have a new way of keeping the audience interested in a presentation. 3D graphics definitely capture the attention of the audience and keep them glued to presentations.

Perspector comes with a set of templates, with images, that can be easily transferred onto PowerPoint slides. In addition, designers can customize these slides based on the user’s requirement and preference. If designers want to draw 3D images from scratch, they can do so using the drawing interface provided by this application.

PivotViewer

The Silverlight PivotViewer is yet another tool frequently used by PowerPoint presentation designers. It is especially useful if there are huge amounts of data that need to be captured in the PowerPoint slides. As you know, presenting large amount of information in a table format is not user-friendly or attractive. It is difficult for an audience to read and understand the data. Plus, too much information makes the presentation look cluttered.

This amazing tool allows designers to present data in a powerful manner, by showing trends in the data that would otherwise be difficult to observe. This makes a presentation informative as well as fun, without overwhelming the audience with a flood of information.

Autodesk 3DS Max

If a designer is making slides for an architect or a civil engineer, he will find the Autodesk 3DS Max tool extremely useful. This tool allows professional PowerPoint presentation designers to create as well as simulate models, which makes it an enriching moment for the audience. Generally, architects face the challenge of transferring their visualizations from paper to the screen and this tool does just that. Showing a building or a bridge in 3D on a PowerPoint presentation is no longer an impossible task with the amazing Autodesk 3DS Max.

VisualBee PowerPoint Add-In

Believe it or not, professional PowerPoint presentation designers too sometimes fall short on time and resort to automatic design tools for last minute enhancements. One such tool is the VisualBee add-in, which can be installed on the PowerPoint application. This tool allows designers to populate the deck of slides as usual and then, alerts the system to take care of the enhancement. There is a button in the tool called ‘Enhance Presentation’, which allows designers to select designs and styles in a jiffy, if they are rushing for time. Most designer will avoid this, as there is very little customization involved but it can help you for presentations when time is of the essence or you don’t have the budget for a professional designer.

SmartArt

Most of us are already familiar with the SmartArt tool that is present in the Microsoft PowerPoint application. However, not all of us take full advantage of this tool. PowerPoint designers use this tool to create diagrams, charts and graphs. Instead of merely presenting data in the boring tabular style, designers go one step further and add the ‘glam’ element to the slides. Again, this is a powerful tool but lacks a lot of the customization we usually like to work with.

Animations and Transitions

The animations and transitions found in the Microsoft PowerPoint are great as long as they are handled smartly. It is not difficult to get a firm grasp of this tool, yet many users do not use this tool to an optimal level. To emphasize certain key words, professional designers use animation on the relevant text but try to do so in a minimalistic manner. This immediately draws the attention of the audience to the information which ensure their focus is exactly where it should be.

Professional PowerPoint presentation designers also use consistent transition between slides to exude professionalism and keep the audience entertained throughout the presentation. Professional designers maintain the right amount of activity when it comes to transition so that the audience does not get distracted by too much movement on the slides.

Wordle

Many times, PowerPoint presentation designers come across slides that are simply bursting with way too much content. Sometimes, it is important to include the text, even though it is plenty. So, what do professional designers do when they come across this situation? They make use of the Wordle tool to add funk to the slides. This tool builds a word cloud based on the text and acts as a unique backdrop to the slide.

Cacoo

Cacoo is a drawing tool that many professional PowerPoint presentation designers use to create flow charts and diagrams that may be difficult to draw using the in-built tools in Microsoft PowerPoint. Cacoo not only allows designers to create standard diagrams but enables user to customize the diagrams and flow charts as per his requirement. In addition, once the designer completes his diagram, he can save it as an image and incorporate it into multiple PowerPoint presentations.

Oomfo

Oomfo is yet another tool that enables professional designers to create charts and graphs, with animation. When designers use Oomfo, in a reasonable manner, they can really create powerful presentations. Oomfo stuns the audience with the visuals and makes it fun for both the user and the viewer. In addition, Oomfo makes graphs and charts interactive. It allows 2D images to be converted into 3D images in a split second and enables slicing and rotation of pie charts to engage the audience.

Thanks to the advancement in technology, professional PowerPoint presentation designers as well as amateurs have the opportunity to create powerful presentations. Though these tools may help you better your presentation designs, they are to be used in moderation, and are often difficult to adapt to certain brands, which is why we tend to create all of our content custom.

Clipchamp

Clipchamp is a great platform for creating video presentations. Whether you need videos for sales pitches, tutorials, or virtual events, their platform will help you create an impactful video every time. Not only do they create videos for business presentations, they also optimize your content for social media, so you can showcase your work across multiple platforms. A pre-recorded video presentation is a great way to give yourself a break, and take some of the pressure off when presentation day comes.

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!

Technology

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.

Security

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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