An interview with Beatriz Diaz, Presentation Designer

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An interview with Beatriz Diaz, Presentation Designer

I’ve been working for Slidesho as Beatriz’s Personal Assistant, Project Co-ordinator and content contributor for just over a year and a half now.

I still clearly remember the day I came in for my interview with Beatriz. She explained to me what she did for a living and told me about the services Slidesho provided their clients. The reason I so clearly remember that day, is because her business concept, and the samples she showcased to me of her work, impressed me so much.

When people ask me what I do for a work and I tell them I work for a presentation design agency, they always press for more information, because it sounds unique and interesting to them.

So, I thought a great way for our readers to get a better insight into the presentation design industry, would be to interview the lady that has dedicated 12 years to professionally improving the way her clients are perceived through their presentations.

I hope you enjoy “An interview with Beatriz Diaz.”

Beatriz, if you were asked to briefly explain to someone what it is that a PowerPoint presentation designer does (your elevator pitch), what would you say?

From a visual point of view, we take care of all the graphic design aspects of the presentation; the look and feel, the branding, finding ways in which to communicate complex concepts in a visual way, with as little text as possible, etc. And from a content point of view, we need to read and understand the key message/s on the slide and possibly re-write / condense the copy so as to ensure the message is clearly delivered to your audience.

My elevator speech goes something like this: “We help craft your presentation slides and visual communications into powerful and memorable visual stories.”

Can you give us the background of what led you to becoming a professional presentation designer?

To be honest I fell into the job, or perhaps the job found me. After working as an interpreter and translator for several years I was looking to do something more creative so I started teaching myself to use PowerPoint and Photoshop. This was at a time when both programs were new to the world, no internet, no email, life was simple. I happened to stumble upon a job advert for a presentation designer at a research consultancy and showed up to the interview with no experience at all, I was fortunate enough to get the job and had lots of hands-on training, from there on I never looked back.

What are some of the things that you love about your job?

I love that every day brings something different, different challenges, different brands, different looks and designs, different outputs too. We do so much with PowerPoint these days, I don’t think people realise, things like icons, animations, videos, etc.

Are there things that you dislike or find challenging about your job?

Well… we are at the very end of the presentation writing process; the research has been done, data has been analysed, content has been written, meetings have been scheduled, but the presentation design itself is generally left to the last minute so it can be very fast-paced, it needs to be turned around on time, every time, no ifs, no buts, no ‘dog chewed my homework!’ So, it’s not unusual to see a presentation designer working at 2 am for an 8 am delivery because the client is presenting at 9 am. Or the client has hopped on an international flight and while they’re up in the air we’re crafting away so that the presentation is ready by the time the client lands.

The only other thing that can be challenging at times, is understanding the brief correctly, making sure both the client and designer are on the same page.

When you tell someone what you do for a living, what is the general response you get from them?

That’s an interesting question, actually, quite a lot of people say ‘Really?! I didn’t know that job even existed.”

Do you have a favourite type of presentation that you enjoy working on?

No, not really, I love them all. Sometimes it’s nice to work on presentations with very strict guidelines, and other times it’s great to let the creativity flow. I particularly love working on presentations where I’m starting from scratch, a blank canvas, which can also be daunting but therein lies the challenge and the feeling you’ve created something beautiful is priceless.

Other than graphic design skills, what are some other skills that a presentation designer should have?

Very good attention to detail, being able to spot a missing full stop, or a slightly smaller bullet point, or the alignment of headings across multiple slides, everything needs to be absolutely perfect. Creativity of-course. Adhering to timelines is also incredibly important in this job. Ability to use not only PowerPoint but other tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, Prezi, etc. And communication, being able to interpret briefs as I mentioned earlier, copywriting skills also come in very handy and a good command of English.

If you had to give someone 3 tips to keep in mind when putting a PowerPoint presentation together, what would they be?

Less is more
Visuals are far more impactful than words
Use a template

And lastly, (for a bit of fun), if you could be anything else, other than a presentation designer, what would it be?

A fashion buyer. Just like most ladies, I love clothes and shoes!

 

Interviewed by Almis Mestrovic – for Slidesho

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