Presentation Agency Selection

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 0 comments

presentation-agency-selectionAs businesses have come to realise that presentations are an important part of their communication strategies, a number of presentation agencies and multi-media companies have formed to offer professional presentation services. How can a company looking to improve its presentations choose the right presentation agency? What questions should you ask to really understand the work a presentation agency can do?

Which Presentation Agency?

All presentation agencies can show some impressive slides – so looking at show-reels will only get you so far. Most presentation agencies have worked for at least some blue-chip clients – so looking at logos will only reveal so much. Presentation agencies mostly have attractive websites, and seem to know a thing or two about PowerPoint presentation design. So, what questions reveal the differences? What should you ask presentation companies when trying to decide who to work with? Which presentation agencies deliver real value?

  1. Does the presentation agency use bullet points? Will the presentation firm make your bullet points look better, or will they show you an alternative to bullet points that actually works? Do you need prettier slides, or effective communication?
  2. Will your presentation work as a leave-behind? If it will, then ask whether the presenter is going to have a role to play when delivering the slides face-to-face. If slides make sense without a presenter, then why bother paying a presenter’s salary? The audience will just ignore the presenter and read the slides.
  3. How does the presentation agency assess design quality? Is everything subjective, or has the agency built up an understanding of what works in presentation design? Do presentation designers work to any company rules or guidelines, or does each designer just do their own thing? If the company doesn’t have any guidelines in place, what will guarantee the quality of your presentation?
  4. What does the presentation agency do to make each presentation memorable? If a presentation is forgotten soon after it was delivered, it won’t achieve its goals. How does the agency build the presentation so that key messages are sticky? Does the presentation agency understand the science of mnemonics and memory?
  5. How does the presentation agency make sure that customers are satisfied? What happens if a company wants some tweaks to their new presentation once they start using it? Is this all part of the service, or a chance to make some more money? Does the company get back in touch once you have used the presentation, to ask if you want any changes made free of charge?
  6. Is the presentation produced and delivered in PowerPoint? A lot of presentation agencies use Photoshop and Flash because this is what their designers know, and because it can be easier to get impressive effects with these tools. But then, if you want to change some text in your presentation, you need to go back to your supplier, or learn some new software. A quality presentation agency should be able to make PowerPoint look like Flash.
  7. Can the presentation agency provide PowerPoint training and the raw files so that your staff can keep your presentation up-to-date? Will the presentation agency help train your staff so that they can make brand new slides without you having to go back to the agency? Does the presentation agency leave you self-sufficient or dependent? If all a presentation agency offers is slides, but not training, how will you ever look after your own needs?
  8. Does the presentation agency provide presentation skills training? Is this training delivered by the agency’s own staff, who understand their approach to presentations? Is the presentation skills training generic – how to stand, how to breathe and so on – or does it train your presenters on delivering your new company presentation?

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