Now – more than ever – digital media and marketing needs more presentation designers. While last year had a massive impact on live events and presentations, the multi-discipline skills of presentation design remain critical, particularly as businesses, presenters, and people everywhere adapt to new rules and audience expectations.
Presentation Designers’ Adaptability
With live presentations shifting towards webinars, presentation design has become more conscious of audiences’ varying circumstances, viewing devices, engagement expectations, and bridging the divide between presenters and viewers.
Designing for webinars incorporates some new considerations compared to live-event presentations. Beyond the added challenge of connecting with siloed audience members who are faced with countless distractions both on- and offscreen, webinars create a digital backend that requires management. From moderating audience interaction to managing presenters and onscreen presentations, designing for this emerging (and socially responsible) platform is growing more complex.
Since presentation design is a multi-discipline speciality that incorporates elements of user experience, adapting to social distancing and webinar uptake has made sense for our industry. Presentation design has always understood the value of connecting with audiences regardless of platform or circumstance, which makes online presentation and webinars an exciting channel for bringing engaging content straight into people’s homes.
PowerPoint Presentation Designers
We’ve boasted about PowerPoint’s value in adapting to digital presentation and setting a cornerstone for building content. Presentation designers reflect the software they use, since it’s the tools they use to create and the foundation of their educational background. Various designers we’ve hired over the years have learned just how powerful and diverse PowerPoint can be while working with us. PowerPoint designers understand how to get super creative with an oft-ignored program. And while we offer free resources and this ongoing blog – designing in PowerPoint is deceptively easy yet incredibly rewarding.
PowerPoint remains a neglected resource for designers. Schools do their part to educate kids about designing slideshows and businesses still use this software for presentations, but how often are they animating in PowerPoint, or adding interactivity?
Animation and interactivity are both vital in this age of working from home, especially as presentation designers compete with our notifications and timelines vying for attention. PowerPoint makes these design elements easy to incorporate when you get familiar with PowerPoint’s numerous features and capabilities.
Presentation Designers Community
While presentation designers have been adapting to the new world of webinars, our own events have been impacted by this pandemic. Our favourite presentation event, Presentation Summit is still happening in Florida, but being here in Sydney, we’re still able to attend via online streaming. Things have become both more accessible and restrictive simultaneously, which is challenging for all industries and communities.
The Presentation Guild asked us to assist in putting together their whitepaper, The Future of Presentations in a Virtual World, which helped us realise the importance of looking into presentation designers’ history and future especially while facing the uncertainty of this pandemic. The ability to reflect helps create clarity for forging a path ahead particularly when trying to build a sense of community.
Presentation designers still have a young history as an industry since our skills are diverse and our definitions are flexible, which makes our industry borders difficult to determine. This also makes community building a challenge as most of us are working from home and our live-event calendar is faced with cancellations. Regardless of your industry, it’s vital to connect with others, speak about common challenges and solutions.
Presentation Designers Education
We’ll never stop advocating for the value of presentation designers and PowerPoint education. PowerPoint’s importance in educating students and professionals around the globe only becomes more prevalent as many of us work and learn from home. If only more educators and businesses invested in presentation designers’ development.
Imagine a class of students that understand how to write, design, and present information in engaging ways. Regardless of whether from home or in person, the ability to process and create for audiences is vital. If more designers understood how to become presentation designers, businesses would be able to focus on core competencies while conveying their message intelligently and efficiently.
Our world has become more media rich and digitally enveloped. Designing for this increasingly gamified world takes a gamer, someone who understands how this digitalisation is impacting on audiences’ attention spans and expectations. It’s no coincidence most presentation designers are also gamers, they appreciate the art and interactivity of the medium, incorporating similar principles in their own work. Workplaces, educational institutions, and live-event spaces are all adapting to this world, but they should be taking cues from presentations designers.
Presentation Designers and the Future
It would be great to see more access to presentation design education, training, and resources. We’ll continue developing our own content and pathways for educating others, but more importantly, we need to demonstrate its value as a skill for students and professionals alike.
Presentation designers help diversify design disciplines, showing graphic and digital designers how to incorporate other elements and skillsets. As live presentations become more restrictive and dynamic, the ability to design for these experiences becomes both challenging and intriguing. Whether it’s connecting with audiences viewing from home or understanding how to improve the experience for presenters and audiences, the future for presentation designers will be determined by the digitalisation of learning and presentation spaces.
There are new platforms and considerations that presentations designers need to understand for designing in this new world. It’s more than creating engaging and memorable content for audiences, it’s about helping presenters operate under these new circumstances. The old rules and principles still apply, but presentation designers must be more conscious of how the intimacy of live events has changed and presentation design must follow suit.