Explore the rise in popularity of presentation design in Silicon Valley.
- Okay, so for those of you that are new to it, presentation design is an amazing profession. I got into it slightly by accident about 10 years ago, back when I had hair. I was a graphic designer who loved Photoshop and Illustrator, and I was working for a temp agency at the time. I got a call to work on a project for CareerBuilder to be building Keynote. Sure I'd messed around with Keynote before, and I knew how to do a couple of cool things, but it was amazing how naturally I took to the program. I realized I could take all the things I was good at in Photoshop and Illustrator and just port them right over to Keynote, and I could animate them.
It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I ended up killing the presentation, and I became that agency's go-to presentation designer, which really wasn't even a profession at the time. So I tell you about my humble beginnings, because now presentation design has become one of the hottest careers in the design community, especially in Silicon Valley where companies are sometimes made or broken from huge product announcements and developer conferences. Presentations have gone from somebody doodling on a whiteboard in a small boardroom to huge productions with lights, smoke machines, and scores of AV techs, sound people, and engineers working behind the scenes making sure everything runs smoothly.
So when did this shift happen? Well you may have heard of this guy named Steve Jobs who worked at this company called Apple. Yeah, Steve made product announcements a huge event with his dramatic unveilings, unparalleled showmanship, and slick slides. After a few years, every company in Silicon Valley followed suit, and now you're not really considered a player if you don't do some kind of huge presentation to announce your product or service. So do you think CEOs like Elon Musk, Tim Cook, or Jeff Bezos make their own slides for these huge events? No, no, they have large teams of dedicated presentation designers that work tirelessly for months to make the slides perfect.
Presentation design is an amazing profession and it's taken me further than I'd ever thought I'd go. It's taken me to places like the Sundance Film Festival, where I got to play in the snow and design slides for Joseph Gordon Levitt for a small Oculus insider event. It's taken me to Barcelona where I got to work on a presentation for Workday, and see some amazing sights, and take photos of myself in front of legs of aburical ham. And I've been able to work behind the scenes at incredible venues like the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California where the Oscars are held.
Alright, I'm gonna be honest with you. Presentation design isn't for everyone, but if you're a designer, and you're looking for maybe a little bit more recognition in your career, maybe a little bit more dynamic environment, or you just want a little bit more recognition or visibility, I highly recommend you looking into presentation design. It might just be the right move for you.
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