What is a Presentation Designer?
As reported by 24 Slides, the average executive spends over 4 hours per week creating and modifying PowerPoint presentations. This figure may even be as high as 8 hours per week if you consider all the presentation tools used outside of PowerPoint. Assume an average executive salary of $150,000 and this equates to $15,000 to $30,000 spent per year by a single executive working on slide decks.
Is this the best use of their time and company resources? Should your company consider hiring a presentation design agency or a full-time employee to take over these responsibilities?
Individuals may also be asking themselves if this is a viable career they can pursue and what the core responsibilities would entail.
We’ll discuss all of these questions by breaking down the role of presentation designers, sample titles and salary, core responsibilities and qualities, if companies should consider hiring, and how individuals can enter this profession.
The Need for Presentation Design
As companies scale, they have an increased need to create slide decks for a wide range of purposes. Slides get created for sales demos with prospects, board reviews, conference speaking engagements, fundraising pitch decks, internal company presentations, etc. The use cases are abundant.
Not only is there an increasing number of slides being created, but the stakes also get far more critical as the company scales. The fact is that slide decks are reflective of the company brand and need to display the proper company branding, excellent design principles, accurate metrics, up-to-date product and design assets, and more. It’s extremely difficult to maintain this high bar of design quality and consistency when team members across the entire company are creating slide decks using their own designs and data sources.
A lack of consistency, quality, and accuracy across all of the decks being shared can damage a company’s brand. Audiences may lose trust and engagement. You may miss out on opportunities.
This is why presentation design must be taken seriously. If you’re a small company, it’s critical that you put processes and systems in place to ensure you’re only sharing slides that are using approved designs and data sources. And if you’re quickly scaling into a larger company and losing the ability to control these processes, it may be time for you to consider hiring specialized services or employees.
Responsibilities of a Presentation Designer
Presentation Designers should expect to spend the majority of their time working in presentation software, designing and formatting slides and supporting materials. Their core responsibilities typically include:
- Manage the presentation design process from start to finish. This includes working with stakeholders to craft the narrative, creating the slides, incorporating feedback, and hitting deadlines
- Responsible for establishing and maintaining the core design system including fonts, colors, styles, backgrounds, logos, etc. that are approved for use
- Creating processes that empower users to quickly create or modify slides according to acceptable brand guidelines and with the use of approved and up-to-date assets
- Create and maintain a library of core assets including templates, graphic resources, imagery, themes, etc. that are approved for use
- Collaborate closely with stakeholders to develop compelling storylines and accompanying presentations that clearly and effectively communicate the data story
- Serve as the final point of contact, responsible for reviewing all slides before they are approved for sharing
Qualities & Skills of a Presentation Designer
Presentation designers are creative storytellers with an eye for clean designs. Here are the qualities that set great presentation designers apart from the rest.
- Eye for clean, artful, and professional designs
- Captivating data storytelling skills
- Ability to translate complex concepts into digestible content
- Strong graphic design fundamentals (i.e. typography, color theory, hierarchy, contrast, and grid / alignments)
- Highly organized and detail oriented with an emphasis on accuracy, quality, and aesthetics
- Expert knowledge of presentation software tools in addition to supporting design tools such as Figma, Photoshop, or Sketch
- Excellent communication and project management skills
Sample Titles & Salary
In our experience, the average salary for presentation designers is typically between $60K - $80K. Whether an individual falls at the bottom or top of that range typically depends on the industry, their experience, and the stage of the company. Ziprecruiter has the average salary pegged at $73K.
Despite the responsibilities being nearly the same, there are many different titles that presentation designers can go by. Here are some of the most popular:
- Presentation Designer (213K jobs listed on Ziprecruiter)
- Presentation Specialist
- Graphic Designer (often includes a broader range of duties, cover entire organization)
- PowerPoint Designer (or other specific tools)
Should You Consider Hiring a Presentation Designer for Your Company?
As mentioned earlier, if key employees and valuable resources at your company are being consumed by the burdensome process of creating, updating, and formatting slide decks, then it’s probably a good idea to look into hiring either part-time design agency help or a full-time employee.
Aside from the opportunity cost of wasting precious company resources, there are other reasons to consider hiring for this role. One reason is if there are high stakes associated with your decks. If slide decks are being used for board decks, sales demos, investor presentations, etc. then it’s absolutely critical that the decks are professionally designed, on-brand, error-free, and accurate. Another reason may be the volume of decks produced. If your organization is creating slides at a pace that can’t be sustained by the current employees, then it’s a good idea to bring on someone full-time to take this load off everyone else’s plate. The last reason may be that the current employees aren’t well equipped with the proper skill sets to create beautiful and engaging decks.
The bottom line is your company’s employees have been hired to utilize their expertise in their respective functions such as sales, marketing, or development. If instead, they're spending their time messing around with clunky PowerPoint formatting, this diminishes the value they’re able to produce for the company.
If You’re Looking To Hire for This Role or You’re an Individual Looking To Get Hired, Where Do You Look?
Fortunately, there’s plenty of excellent online resources available to find presentation designers for hire, design agencies to contract out work, and platforms to apply for jobs. Here are some of our favorites:
The Perfect Wrap-Up - A Job Summary from If You Could
We stumbled across this job posting from If You Could and it felt like the perfect blurb to wrap up this piece on presentation designers. Let it serve as some inspiration as to the value that you can add by pursuing this career or by hiring this role for your company.
“Theatre is everywhere. And that includes boardrooms.
We’re looking for an experienced mid-level/senior Presentation Designer who sees clients as their audience and PowerPoint as their stage. Who hears the future purrs of delight with every click of their mouse – and won’t stop until a pitch presentation is so good they’ll want velvet curtains to unveil it.”