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Welcome to The Presentation Team.

PowerPoint Design by Business Presentation Designers + PowerPoint Training and Public Speaking Coaching.

The Presentation Team specializes in PowerPoint Design + Writing & Consulting and Training for PowerPoint + Presentation Skills / Public Speaking Coaching.  

The firm's expert PowerPoint designers also specialize in creative and business presentations in Apple Keynote, Prezi, SlideRocket, Flash, + Video production.

Based in Washington, D.C., The Presentation Team has worked with hundreds of clients around the world, including Motorola, Office Depot, Oracle, Ryder, and UBS Financial as well as numerous smaller firms and professional speakers. Giving a Presentation? We can Help.

Time-saving 6-Step process helps create great looking PowerPoint presentations fast and easy

Presentation Time ManagementMost people dread presentation design. Tell someone they need to create a PowerPoint show and present it and you'll likely hear a sad list of excuses...

"I don't know where to begin!"

"It takes too long!"

"I don't know how to make it look good!"

Creating presentations need not be viewed as a time-consuming chore! After years of creating professional presentations for myself and for clients, I've developed a time-saving 6-Step Process to create a great looking and full-featured PowerPoint presentation, without frustration -- in under four hours. Here's how...

Segment one (0:00 - 0:15 = 15 Minutes)
Define presentation objectives

The key to fast and easy presentation development is to start with a clear definition of the goals/objectives of the presentation. Take 15 minutes to clearly answer these questions which will help direct the focus of the presentation:

  • What is the primary objective of the presentation and how will it be used?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is their level of understanding of the material to be presented?
  • How many people (on average) will be watching this presentation?
  • What tone do I wish to set (i.e. look and feel) with this presentation? (high tech, conservative, fun, etc.)
  • Once you have answered these questions, you should have a clearer picture of the goals and scope of the presentation, which should help drive its overall look, font size, and content.
  • Segment two (0:15 - 1:00 = 45 Minutes)
    Outline and visualize

    Now it's time to really focus on your message. Start by writing a basic outline of the points and subpoints you want to cover in your presentation. Craft your outline on paper, whiteboard or word processor -- whatever works best for you. You can even use PowerPoint's outline feature. Start with a blank presentation and enter your bullets and titles on each page.

    One word of caution, resist the temptation to play with PowerPoint! It's a fun program, but tinkering with the graphics and options can eat up valuable time. As you write out your outline, keep the points succinct so they can serve as the titles for each page.

    While writing the outline, visualize yourself presenting. Don't be afraid to speak extemporaneously, as if you were presenting the presentation. Without any notes, role play as if you were addressing the audience, ad-libbing your presentation as best as you can.

    "Welcome ladies and gentlemen. I'm [name] and today we're talking about [topic]. Before I leave here today, you'll have a better understanding of [presentation objectives]. The three points I'm covering today are...[Points 1,2,3]…."

    It may seem silly, but you will surprised at how your thoughts will flow effortlessly and your main points will come together. Indeed, our subconscious minds are often more skilled than we know, and can be of great help in drafting presentations. Try it!

    Work through this process until you have refined your message and the main supporting points of your content.

    Segment three (1:00 - 1:45 = 45 Minutes)
    Develop look, feel, template and title/body master

    Now we're ready really get into PowerPoint. Creating the graphical look of the presentation can be a time-consuming activity. But by limiting this front-end design to 40 minutes, you can quickly set up the shell for the presentation to allow for more efficient development.

    Choosing an effective template is the most critical step of creating a good looking presentation. To speed development, choose a title/body master from an existing template or perhaps your company has a background template already. You can use PowerPoint's built-in templates if you're in a pinch, but in my opinion, PowerPoint's built-in templates are often overused and too generic.

    Once you have chosen your design, modify your stock template as needed in Photoshop or another digital imaging program. Then import it directly into PowerPoint as your Master Page. Simply open the Master's page view (View > Master > Slide Master) and then Insert > Background > Fill Effects > Picture.

    With the background in place, it's time to establish the master color scheme (Format > Slide Design > Color Scheme), as well as your choice of fonts, typesizes, bullets, body layout, line spacing and more.

    If you developed the outline with text in the body and title master blocks, they will automatically assume the look and feel of the new template, and your presentation will suddenly look polished and professional, putting you on the fast-track to completion.

    Segment four (1:45 - 3:15 = 90 Minutes)
    Time budgeting and text/graphics development

    The bulk of presentation development, of course, is gathering up graphics and placing text. But before you dive into the meat of the presentation, take a quick moment to estimate the number of pages you plan to have. Once you have a total, divide that number by 90 minutes to get a rough average of the amount of time you should spend on each page.

    For example, I present at a moderate pace of 1 to 2 slides per minute, so a 20 minute presentation would have 20 to 40 slides. Time-wise, that calculates to an average of 30 slides divided by 90 minutes, which equals an average of three minutes of development time per slide for the text and graphics. Now that may seem fast, but by pacing yourself at this rate for development, you'll find the presentation comes together much more quickly. Some people actually work better under a deadline, and setting the average time per slide (or overall timeframe) may actually make it easier to develop material.

    For the text, go through the slides and elaborate upon the outline that's been written. Collaboration often speeds the process; get a colleague or a small group together to throw out ideas to help add bulk & bullets to your message.

    For efficient graphic selection, it's helpful to use the clip-art library built into PowerPoint especially when it's linked to the Internet (Insert picture > Clipart). Alternately, there are numerous other services for good graphics. Try collections from Digital Vision or Photodisc or again The Presenter's Toolkit or Ultimate Combo.

    Don't get too stuck on any single graphic or thought process. If you're having trouble, move on to the next page and return back to that trouble spot. The trick is to keep the pace moving, and refine trouble spots later. I often go through the presentation in various iterations, making a few more enhancements each pass. The empty spots will ultimately fill themselves in. Just keep going!

    Segment five (3:15 - 3:30 = 15 Minutes)
    Slide transitions and animations

    Spend a quick 15 minutes to assign transitions to all the slides. This is easier than you think, as the transitions between slides should be consistent throughout the presentation. The animations on the master-page bullets should also be consistent. A simple wipe effect is a good no-nonsense effect.

    Segment six (3:30 - 4:00= 30 Minutes)
    Final edits and revisions

    The last 30 minutes of this accelerated presentation design is focused on final edits and revisions. Run through the entire presentation in slideshow mode to ensure the transitions/animations work effectively, and identify any areas that still need refinement. Then, go back and make any necessary edits.

    Pay careful attention to the amount of text on screen. If any page is too crowded, split it onto a secondary page, for example "Topic: Part 1" and "Topic: Part 2."

    Ensure the graphics are consistent and relevant to the textual material on screen. Use the guides/grids to keep the graphics from jumping around. Make several more passes, and keep tweaking until you're satisfied. Remember to saving versions of your presentation to prevent any catastrophic data loss or to allow you to revert to something that was deleted. I like to save every 30 minutes using titles like "Filename-v1.ppt," "Filename-v2.ppt.," etc.

    By sticking to a focused process and defined timeframe, your presentation will be developed more efficiently and effectively than by an ad-hoc approach. It's a simple but workable strategy: plan...prepare...present!

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    • Accenture
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    • UBS Financial
    • Verizon
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    Recommendations

    • "We engaged The Presentation Team to do a Presentation training for our team and he did a great job. He spent time understanding our requirements and the skill level of our team members and created a course which met our expectations and goals. I highly recommend The Presentation Team as a Presentation (PowerPoint) trainer."

      Navdeep Sidhu
      Senior Director, Software AG
    • "Kevin Lerner provided best-in-class services when hired to work on promotional materials for the launch of a key product at Motorola. The expertise and quality that he brought to the project were second to none and as a result, he delivered a top-notch presentation that was quickly adopted throughout the organization. Kevin is great to work with, delivers on time, is a great team player and is always willing to go the extra mile."

      Maria Cardoso
      Motorola
    • "Kevin has been a working with Cox Communications to deliver world-class PowerPoint presentation visuals since 2009. His ability to meet our specific needs, timeframe, and budgets has been exceptional. His professional interaction with our team reflects his deep expertise in the industry, superior presentation design skills, and commitment to superior service."

      Jonathan Freeland
      VP, Video Marketing at Cox Communications
    • "Kevin is an enthusiastic, creative, and passionate presentation guru. Our company was impressed and felt the value of his training in 2013 that he was invited again recently to again share his knowledge. Both times he has been energetic and addressed many areas for presentation development. From planning to follow-up Kevin is personable and easygoing, motivating our teams to take their presentations to the next level."

      Yoshimi Kawashima
      Project Coordinator, Nissin International
    • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from tips & tricks to aesthetics, all with the intent of getting the message across crisply and creatively. I've already received praise for decks that incorporate the skills obtained from his training. I highly recommend Kevin's services."

      Era Prakash
      General Electric
    • "The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting."

      Leah Gordillo
      Saint Francis Medical Center
    • "Kevin was a pleasure to work with. He was well-prepared and was an excellent example on how to give effective presentations."

      Seminar participant
    • "The PowerPresentations seminar gave us the tools we need in order to create effective presentations that sizzle."

      Seminar participant
    • "Kevin has always had vision, creativity, and enthusiasm for his professional and works tirelessly perfecting whatever he is working on."

      Marty Smith
      Zenith Goldine Pharmaceuticals
    • "[Kevin and The Presentation Team have] always delivered 110% in terms of meeting our objectives for finished product and budget"

      Paul Price
      Watsco Corp.
    • "I had more people come up to me after I spoke, commenting on the visuals you created, than I did on the subject matter!"

      Andy Smith
      Smith & Robb Advertising
    • "By working together, we have been able to substantially improve the quality of services and products originating from our department"

      Myrlene Clifford
      Ryder
    • "As a Fortune 1000 company, we sought to produce a classy, yet conservative presentation for our shareholders. It was evident that you and your team listened to our thoughts as you developed the presentation..."

      Will Flower
      Republic Services
    • "We were told by the customer's selection committee the presentation of our solution was the deciding factor in NextiraOne winning a five-year contract valued at over $35 million at Miami International Airport"

      William McGlashan
      NextiraOne
    • "Your presentation added an extra dimension to the program and was very well-received."

      Tom Feltenstein
      Neighborhood Marketing Institute
    • "Kevin is an excellent speaker, effective team worker, passionate about his craft, enthusiastic, well-organized and reliable."

      Marilyn K. Volker
    • "Lant & Associates will never look as good as we do today - because of the relationship we created with The Presentation Team.  'We came...You pushed...and We are flying!' "

      Tom Lant
      Lant & Associates
    • “Kevin is a professional. He did a complete overhaul of my power point presentations and I have had excellent results with his work. He was on time, he sent as many betas as was necessary until we got a great final outcome.” 

      Joachim dePosada
    • "Your expertise in the filed of PowerPoint and general presentation techniques helped elevate us to the level necessary to beat the competition."

      Mike Geary
      James Pirtle Construction
    • "The contrast between the old version and The Presentation Team's version is like night and day."

      Keith A. Bostian, Ph.D
      Iconix Pharmaceuticals
    • "Kevin and his team never failed. The persistence and discipline enabled my projects and other others to be completed in a quality fashion."

      Kent Rodgers
      I2 Technologies
    • "Every day, someone, somewhere, is viewing the training presentations you and your team created for HelmsBriscoe. Indeed, this interactive 12-module PowerPoint presentation has become a powerful tool for our sales team, and has helped HelmsBriscoe in achieving our mission."

      Kari Moberg
      Helms Briscoe
    • “I came into a new position but inherited a lifeless ppt presentation. Kevin and his team reworked my ppt and turned it into a powerful presentation tool for me . . . which I used without much need for revision for several years. Kevin's great. He's that good.” 

      Greg Kreuziger
    • "One of the things I appreciate most about our relationship is peace of mind.  Your team has the latest technology and knoweledge, yet maintains old-fashioned respect for your customers." 

      Kathy Watkins
      Eastman
    • "Your dedication, diligence and professionalism was very much appreciated and helped us achieve a complete multimedia presentation including voiceover all in a 4 day period."

      Jennifer Cassandra
      Designline Construction Services
    • "Over the past twelve months, your dedication has demonstrated a true commitment to a common goal."

      Adam LaWare
      DePuy Spine
    • “Kevin redesigned PowerPoint slides for clients of mine, as well as some of my own slides. As an executive presentation coach for nearly 25 years, I'm very picky. Everything he did looks great.” 

      David Greenberg
    • "We worked well together; his work style was relaxed yet focused, and our email and frequent phone calls helped us to communicate clarly and timely."

      Sherry Alumbaugh
      Data Solutions
    • "You and your team hit the mark with what you delivered.  Many thanks for your outstanding customer service and design ideas."

      Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.
      Corporate Coaching International
    • “I have worked with Kevin for over 15 years. He has consistently distinguished himself not only as a creative expert but a valuable business partner. There have been many times I needed someone with excellent creative skills to help me take complex business issues and make them simple and easy for high level professionals. Kevin never failed me and always exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed with his commitment level and do "whatever" it takes attitude. I recommend Kevin as a valuable and creative business partner.” 

      Bruce Frcek
    • "The City of Oakland Park has successfully received the ranking for grant money it was seeking thanks in part to the great presentation that the Presentation Team created.  Thank you for your hard work, creativity, and expertise in brinking this dynamic video presentation to life."

      Stan Brown
      Ambit Marketing Communications
    • "Kevin brought a high level of creativity, enthusiasm, and deep multmedia experience to our team.  He worked dillegently with the team to produce an outstanding proposal which we subsequently won."

      Jeffrey Keller
      Accenture
    • “Kevin has on more than one occasion taken on a project for me and provided a great product when my budget was limited. I felt he had my best interest at heart at all times.”

      Derrick Witt
      Corporate Fitness & Wellness
    • “Kevin is a high energy, creative professional very focused on achieving customer goals. I enjoyed working with him very much and would recommend him without question.”

      Ellen Mughal
      TQ3
    • “Kevin brings a great deal or knowledge and professionalism into his presentations. He conveys valuable information to his attendees that prove beneficial in their day-to-day operations within their own organizations.”

      Jeff Parrish