You’ve started your online hunt for a slide designer by typing the phrase “slide design.” Up comes dozens of pages of people and companies claiming to be excellent presentation designers. They probably all say they excel in PowerPoint, Keynote, Google Slides and Prezi. They may even have portfolio samples you like. But how can you really tell if this particular slide designer is right for your project? Here’s a handy-dandy list to help you filter out the pros from the hacks.

  1. Do they connect the dots? – There are a lot of very talented designers out there. But finding a slide designer who can take your business goals and translate them into a visual that really emphasizes your points is a little harder. Ask specific questions like, “I want people to see how our app cuts down on noise when selecting a restaurant. How would you relay that visually?” or “I want the client to see that Austin, Texas, is the reasonable place to locate their medical device company. How would you do that with these analytics?”
  2. Do their portfolio samples show visual consistency? – When going through their portfolio, does the first slide relate visually to the 3rd and 50th slides? Do the images look like they’re part of the same photo shoot? Do the visuals look like visuals from your company?
  3. Are they asking environmental questions? – A big part of designing a presentation is understanding the environment of the presentation location. Will people be talking and having cocktails? Does the room seat 20 or 200 (hint: it makes a difference on how small you can go with the fonts)? What time of day will the presentation be delivered? Believe us, it matters a lot if the audience has seen five other presentations before yours. Sometimes it’s an opportunity to include a brand video or to pair down key points.
  4. What’s the goal? – A good presentation designer should be curious about what you want your audience to feel and do at the end of your speech. This will help them select images and fonts that relay a certain mood and help you structure your narrative so that it ends on the right points.
  5. Are they flexible and firm? – We’re not talking about how good they are on the balance beam! We mean, how do they react to your feedback and opinions? If you’re speaking to them and sometimes they agree with you and sometimes they don’t, THAT’S the type of person who can see a point and adjust to it but also a person who can stand up and offer advice when appropriate.

It’s not a perfect science. Sometimes people are nervous on the phone during an initial interview but they can still end up being an excellent slide designer. However, we feel if you use the tips above as general guidelines you’ll have a better chance at finding the right person or team for your project. If you find a great designer we’d love to see! Post a sample to Instagram and tag us at @deck_presentations. We can’t wait to see what you create.