Find out what makes a good presentation designer in Silicon Valley and learn about the unique challenges.
- [Instructor] So, is being a presentation designer just about creating a bunch of slides? Nope, it took me awhile to figure out what makes a really good one. We have to wear many hats. We have to be designers, communicators, story tellers, speaking coaches, and AV techs. Okay, let's break each of these roles down. First, we have a designer. This is our core responsibility.
We have to be able to take a few bullet points, some awful clipart or a half fleshed out concept and come up with some of the most amazing slides people have ever seen. We have to be mindful of color palettes, animations, tables, charts, resolutions, file sizes, slide dimensions, missing fonts, master templates and much more. We also have to be excellent communicators. In any given day, I'd have to attend several meetings with an engineer, a scientist, maybe a product marketing manager and sometimes even a VP or CEO, and be able to effectively communicate with each one of them without missing a step.
Sometimes, I might even get a idea scrawled on a napkin or a white board. Or be thrown an idea in passing in the hallway. The expectation is for me to knock these ideas out of the park on the first try, everytime. Next, we have story teller. Story telling is a buzz word these days but it's for a really good reason. Any good deck, no matter how mundane, should have some sort of story format incorporated and it's up to us to develop that story. Next we have speaking coach.
Often, I'll be working with the speaker the entire life cycle of the talk. From the kick off meeting through weekly meetings to tighten up the concept, to the actual talk itself. I'll often give feedback to the speaker on different ways to enunciate or highlight certain sections of the talk. I'm often the first one to high-five the speaker when they get off stage. Next we have AV tech. Now, a lot of times at conferences I'm backstage sitting with the AV guys making sure that everything goes smoothly. Sometimes there's version control issues, teleprompter problems or even a corrupted deck.
Presentation design is a complex, nuanced profession. It's really rewarding, but requires you to be able to switch roles more than your average print or web designer. It's not an easy job but it's an awesome one.
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