Easy money: how to become a freelance PowerPoint designer and make some serious bucks

What kind of profession is presentation designer and how he differs from other designers?

In 2014 the profession of presentation designer did not exist on most markets. Now this profession has become more relevant. I attribute this to several factors:

  1. people have developed a sense of taste – we constantly have cute websites, applications, magazines, and presentations have to match;
  2. the boom of training courses and events, where presentations have become part of the product, that’s for sale;
  3. the development of the startup industry, where presentation is the main tool for obtaining investments.

Presentation designer is a separate specialization.

Powerpoint Presentations do not win awards for design, they do not even have their category in competitions, but it is with presentations that they bring their ideas, get investments and win tenders.

Therefore, a presentation designer needs good analytical skills – to understand the topic and to understand how best to visually explain the information.

Not every freelance PowerPoint designer can make good presentations. The point is that you need to know the performance itself – to understand the difficulties the person faces on the stage, to know the possibilities of programs for presentation and how to use them. The presentation should be convenient for the person who is speaking and help, not interfere with it. If a designer has never performed and has never seen how the process is arranged from the inside, he or she can make a beautiful but silly presentation.

illustration of a freelance powerpoint designer job

How popular is this profession and where does a presentation designer work?

It feels like the market is developing a lot. There are constantly new companies that make presentations. Every year we have more people coming with a request to develop a presentation. But it is still a rare profession – the request for specialists in Ukraine is much inferior to Europe and the USA.

You have three options where to go to work if you plan to become a presentation designer:  

  1. get a job in a presentation design company, for example, to visit us in Reprezent, or to find companies abroad (but there are still few such companies, and teams consist of about ten people and are usually already staffed);
  2. become a freelancer and make presentations working for yourself;
  3. go into the corporate sector, as companies increasingly want to have people on staff who are good at making presentations. We sometimes receive such requests.

Which programs does a presentation designer use?

First of all, PowerPoint and Keynote.

A PowerPoint designer does not need to make presentations in programs that are not designed for this purpose (Photoshop, Illustrator, Figma, Sketch, etc.) – this creates unnecessary problems for the client. We started making presentations in Photoshop, and it was an error. A presentation is not always a ready static product, something is constantly changing in it. And when the client doesn’t have the ability or skills to change something by himself, it becomes his and, accordingly, your constant problem. You send back and forth a pdf file for one letter.

You can’t do without Photoshop, Illustrator or similar tools, but as additional ones. You can make presentations without them, but then PowerPoint will limit you in graphics capabilities and you will have a certain ceiling above which it will be difficult to jump. 

I also think that shortly 3D objects will be actively used in presentations, and the tools will actively pull up the possibilities in this regard. Designers who know how to work with 3D will be ahead of the rest.

illustration of a freelance presentation designer job

 

What does it take to become a PowerPoint designer?

As I mentioned above, a freelance PowerPoint designer needs to have an analytical mindset and the ability to understand the data, and also to search for information from different sources, to evaluate… 

Is it a stable job?

Design roles are fickle. The regularity with which agencies gain and lose personnel is shocking. Put a bunch of people with similar formal training, various experience and different ideas they are passionate about. Everyone thinks their idea is the best and egos clash. As a presentation designer, you’re usually just a small team, or even just a solo operator and the work of bad PowerPoint designers are still likely to be better than 90% of all PowerPoints ever made. What’s more, you’re often employed by non-design function corporate companies and out of a company of 1000s, you’re the goto person who saves asses by making somebody’s much-coveted idea look good to their boss/client/stakeholder. They don’t get rid of PowerPoint designers very often, not even the bad ones.

What is a PowerPoint designer’s salary?

For those graphic designers out there that disregard PowerPoint as a medium of communication and refuse to deal with it, this one hurts. As an example, a Graphic designer salary averages $73,000 in New York, whereas a Presentation designer charges a median of $103,000. That’s an additional $30,000 in hazard pay for working with PowerPoint. Averages across the world have similar gaps.

What are the prospects?

There aren’t enough PowerPoint designers to fill the roles presently out there. It’s a seller’s market for those with talents. There isn’t a week that goes by without myself or some of my teammates receiving a job offer. Companies are realizing they can no longer have their staff produce external-facing Presentations. This is evident by the panicked decisions of business electing to ditch PowerPoint across the whole company (a poor choice, if you ask me) and by the companies hiring teams of designers or partnering with expert design agencies to create their PowerPoints.

 

Last year we were approached by the insurance company Uniqa to prepare a presentation for the tender from “Novaya Poshta”, for which all major insurance companies fought. We were invited to a meeting to set a task and launch the presentation in one hour. As a result, we stayed at the meeting for 5 hours to understand the topic well and together with the client to determine what and how to show.

The presentation that resulted does not look super cool, there are no unrealistic special effects or cool illustrations, but there are exactly those meanings and visualization that should have brought the essence of the client’s idea. Its advantage is the won tender on VHI, the largest in the history of Ukrainian insurance and doubled the company’s portfolio.

One thought on “Easy money: how to become a freelance PowerPoint designer and make some serious bucks

  1. Hey, this is Eric and I ran across freelancejobss.com a few minutes ago.

    Looks great… but now what?

    By that I mean, when someone like me finds your website – either through Search or just bouncing around – what happens next? Do you get a lot of leads from your site, or at least enough to make you happy?

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