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Creating Consistency across many PowerPoint files


Template and enhanced design delivers a winning series of presentations for national sales meeting


Hawthorne Power Systems is a San Diego based company that builds mobile electric generators for the military and construction industries. The company’s national sales meeting was rapidly approaching, but their PowerPoint presentation was far from ready.

At 280 pages, the presentation was packed with mind-numbing clutter and graphical inconsistencies. So marketing director Wes Campbell engaged The Presentation Team to create a page-for-page enhancement that would improve audience attentiveness and retention.

Our first task was to assess the time (and subsequent costs) involved in undertaking this behemoth project. Just scrolling through the presentation at the rate of one key per second would take nearly five minutes. Since the project was far more textual than graphical, we set a development time “window” of 10 minutes per page plus 20 minutes for designing each of the nine sections’ templates. At that pace, it would take approximately 50 hours to complete the project. And with a deadline just one week away, there was little time for error.

We started the design by creating a fresh new template in Adobe Photoshop. The original template was dominated by a bulky top bar with company logos, and an unnecessary left-side navigation bar. Our new template maintained the Hawthorne brand image and featured a gracefully arcing montage on the left side in place of red menu buttons. We reclaimed some screen space by moving the two logos to the bottom and reducing their size. The top of the template was now freed up for a flat yellow title block area. In the center of each of the nine templates, we placed lightly muted company photos (relevant to the respective section) and overlayed a textured image of arcing lines to convey a feeling of technology, motion, and depth.

We continued the enhancement over multiple passes, first ensuring the typography was consistent and reformatted with Arial (from Times Roman). Then, using guides, grids, and align/distribute, we positioned all the elements to provide uniformity across pages. We relocated the title text from the page body to the top title block. Then tweaked the graphs and tables, eliminating most border lines for a cleaner look and choosing colors that complemented the overall image. To optimize presenter pacing, we used a simple wipe screen transition and eliminated all builds and animation.

Through mindful planning and a focus on efficiency, we crafted a presentation that successfully balanced creativity and quality.

Hawthorne Power Systems, PowerPoint Presentation Designers, presentation makeover

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  • "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

  • "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

  • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from "The PowerPresentations seminar opened my eyes to all the limitless possibilities in presenting."

    Leah Gordillo
    Saint Francis Medical Center

  • "Kevin helped me immensely improve my presentation slides development, from "[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

  • "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

  • "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

  • "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.

    Jeff Keller

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