by Lyndon Nicholson, founder and lead consultant at F5 Presentations
One thing I know to be true is that all new businesses will have to give a presentation at some point. As PowerPoint can be a difficult beast to tame, you should outsource the work to a dedicated design agency – just like you did for your web design work.
However, there is a lot to consider before meeting with that potential agency. Here are five things to think about.
Your desired outcome.
Think big picture, weeks or months further down the line. Ask yourself these important questions:
- What is it you’re trying to achieve?
- Are your presentation outsourcing needs short or long term?
- How would an outsourced PowerPoint agency fit into the existing structure of your organisation?
- If you have a marketing team, how would the two groups work together?
I recommend you know, without a shadow of a doubt, what you need those all-important presentations for. Are you using them to win new clients in a sales environment? If so, think how often those PowerPoint files might need to be updated with new stats, logos, and testimonials. Do you want to be able to do that yourself, or should the outsourced agency handle everything going forward?
What do YOU need?
Now that you have a clear idea of why you are seeking a presentation design agency, think about how you want the relationship to proceed. Do you need an agency who will take on small, easy tasks with a just a few emails? Or do you need to meet them face-to-face to talk through your brand requirements, your thoughts, and your ideas?
Handing large and important tasks over to an external presentation agency is a big deal – I’m more than aware of that. Doing so will impact the rest of your organisation and potentially alter your existing systems. Think about what you can do now to manage that change, before the relationship begins.
But, most importantly, if your goals are to have the outsourced team handle all aspects of your presentation needs, you’ll need to find an agency that you trust with your brand. Or your marketing department will riot.
Quality of work.
The best things never come cheap, especially where design work is concerned. But when choosing which presentation outsourcing agency to go for, the idea of quality needs to apply to your own sense of what works.
Despite impressive credentials, if the work the agency produces for you doesn’t quite match what you’d hoped for, it’s going to cost you. Sending completed slides back to be redone will take time and end up jacking up the costs.
It’s complicated territory, but I recommend that you appreciate that the outsourced agency might know best about what kind of slides are most effective in certain situations… but ensure that you get what YOU want. It’s your brand, after all.
In my experience many presentation outsourcing agencies price their services per slide. This can be useful to know how much you’ll be spending per job, but it isn’t the best for everyone. Organisations that need a large amount of PowerPoint development, be it for ongoing sales pitching or internal communications, require something else more reliable and consistent.
I truly believe that taking on a presentation agency with a fixed retainer makes everything simpler, faster, and more cost-effective. With them permanently on call there is no need to worry about having to explain your brand requirements to them with each new job. All they would need is an in-depth ‘get to know you’ at the beginning of the relationship, and then you can essentially consider them a branch of your own organisation.
Costs won’t increase if you need to send work back to the agency, as you already have an agreed upon contract. And anyway, the more presentations they make for you, the fewer times work will need to be sent back
Time needed for high-quality PowerPoint presentation work can vary. I’ve had clients approach me with demands to get work completed later that day, so I understand how different those demands can be.
Will you have last-minute slide decks to complete for your sales team, who score meetings with potential clients with only a couple of hours to spare? Or do you favour long-haul jobs with weeks of development and plenty of back-and-forth between you and the agency?
Your team, be they in marketing, sales or other departments, might soon find how much more effective their presentations are after using an outsourced PowerPoint company. More successful presentations mean more client wins, which will result in your own expansion. Timing requirements will change over time, but if you opted for a retained presentation outsourcing service, they will change with you as your relationship grows and develops.
Those five considerations are very important when looking into presentation outsourcing. Approaching an agency that offers that service will always be easier if you first know exactly what you want from them, and they’ll appreciate the help with getting the job done correctly for you, first time round.
Lyndon Nicholson is Founder and Lead Consultant at F5 Presentations. Over the past 20 years he has shaped the presentation design industry, working with some of the world’s most influential brands like Facebook, Red Bull, Samsung, and Microsoft.