I had the absolute pleasure of having lunch with a presentation industry colleague and delightful person, Emma Bannister of Presentation Studios. As a fellow Microsoft MVP for PowerPoint, we’re responsible for community involvement and contributions to the PowerPoint technical community, so our interests are aligned. We were discussing some plans for collaborations and engagements together, which I think will produce some amazing results and serve to lift the presentation industry into a higher standing and more recognisable platform. My hat goes off to her for all the work she is doing, and continues to do, for the community at large already.

Like a well-practiced sports team, I’d like to work together to increase overall industry recognition and engagement. Whilst we both run our own agencies, we both agreed that we don’t consider each other competitors and I truly believe that. We both do things different ways and there is more than enough space in this fledgling industry. The opportunity to collaborate on a larger scale is more appealing. Hopefully more on this later in the year…

Good sports teams operate as a single unit. Seamlessly moving forward and building towards something bigger. We’re currently reaching out to other presentation industry leaders and agency owners in Australia. If you fit this bill and we’ve not met, contact me directly here. I’d personally love to see a semi-annual get-together to brainstorm how we can build the industry and communicate the value of presentation design as a whole. What a team we’d be!

But sometimes, just like in well-practiced teams, there can be rogue players. I wasn’t surprised to find out there are agency owners and operators who see themselves as solo players. If someone wants to do their own thing and doesn’t want to be involved, then who am I to persuade them otherwise. The door is always open. I was, however, surprised (and a little flattered to be honest) that there are agency owners employing direct negative campaigns against Synapsis Creative and other agencies in the industry. For those that know me, I’m an open book. I’ve discussed the Synapsis Creative engagement strategy on open forums, I openly talk about our rates card and quoting methodology and happily chat with many other agency owners, freelancers, and presentation specialists about what our approach has been – what worked, what failed and what I’d do differently. I hope I don’t come off preachy (unless you get me started on my favourite project management platform, Podio) but I don’t think our industry at large deserves this open hostility.

Does our industry or our community need this? Presentation Industry, Hostility in the Presentation Design Industry

The individual results of searching each reputable presentation design agency in Sydney.
The negative “Better than?” AdWords campaign by the Persuaders and Presentation Design Co.

I hope as a community we can be “better than” that.


  • Rob Nachum says:

    If that’s their approach to advertising, I can only imagine their approach to presentation design. But, nice of them to point at all of the leading designers in the one spot.

  • Rick Altman says:

    Sounds like we need a Presentation Summit Down Under to build a healthier community… ?

  • Emma says:

    Well said Tom.

  • Suhair says:

    Hey look at the brightside… these ads mean that Synapsis Creative is a bechmark in Australian presentation design industry. It is sort of a compliment.

  • Neil Malek says:

    Wow – I’m like you, I really think we can be collaborative in business, or at least professional and polite. They definitely could have hired a marketing firm that thought this was a good idea, but even then they’d have to approve of the tactic. I even think this is an awful tactic, as a standalone. If you want the kind of clients this would appeal to, you can have them. I know I would be immediately turned off.