👔 Guide: Should we Outsource PowerPoint design in 2018?

Guide: Should we Outsource PowerPoint design in 2018?

The short answer is yes. Unless you're a PowerPoint expert how does PowerPoint design for a living. That being said, there are 5 elements you must consider before choosing a PowerPoint vendor.

If you just want to start outsorucing your PowerPoint, you can click the button below

Introduction: The five factors to consider

There are five factors to take into consideration when outsourcing PowerPoint presentations. In this comprehensive guide, we point out everything you need to know about PowerPoint outsourcing and how to avoid the pitfalls. 

 

Our guide consists of five steps that will not only help you steer clear of the perils but more importantly,  find the best match for your individual needs. 

First things first - understand your actual needs!

First things first, avoid the temptation of going directly to a PowerPoint provider before knowing what you want out of a partnership. It’s the equivalent of the old saying:

Give a man a bow and arrow and tell him to: Shoot!
His first response?
At what?

Like the analogy above, you too should be aware what you’re aiming to achieve – that is if you want to hit the nail on the head. 

Let’s get down to business:

1Define your goal

Before developing a list, and before you start comparing PowerPoint providers, think about what you (or the potential users of the service) want out of a PowerPoint vendor. What are you trying to achieve? What is your end goal?

Are you looking for creative sparing for the marketing department and outsourcing of a presentation once a year? Freelancer.com, Fiver or creative agencies might be your best bet. Click here to go to a list of freelance PowerPoint designers and creative PowerPoint agencies.

Are you looking to strategically outsource PowerPoint production from 300+ consultants to increase productivity and improve work-life balance?

Is the goal to win more pitches with creative and professional presentations?

Do you want to increase employee satisfaction and retain your star employees?  

Do you want to enhance professionalism in the everyday deliverables to ensure your clients feel they receive the level of quality they are paying for?

Is the goal to present your company more professionally ?

Here ’s why goal setting is crucial:

Your goals define your requirements. 

All PowerPoint services are not created equal – some supply business professionals while others cater to private individuals or public institutions.
Ask yourself: are you looking for creative design advertising-like slides where visuals take precedence above all? Or do you need professional business slides that leaves your analysis and recommendations as the focal points of attention? 

Finally, if you are making a decision that will affect a lot of people, make sure to involve the right stakeholders before defining the actual requirements.

2Define your requirements

Now that you know what you are trying to achieve, it’s time to get down to actionable business. What are the requirements that will help you achieve your goals?

  • If your goal was to increase productivity and improve work-life balance, you should choose providers who offer overnight delivery. This will allow consultants to have dinner with their family and arrive at client meetings well-rested with a killer presentation.
  • If your goal was to increase employee satisfaction, you might consider providers who also can help solve trivial office tasks, e.g. data entry.
  • If your goal was to enhance professionalism in the everyday deliverables, you’ll require a vendor who can take end-to-end responsibility and transform whiteboard sketches from workshops into crisp professional PowerPoint slides.
  • Present your company more professionally by giving the company presentation or pitchdeck an overhaul?

It is never 100% MECE

Evidently, the questions above are far from mutually exclusive or collectively exhaustive, but hopefully, they will help kickstart your thought process and discover special requirements that transcend the usual three requirements:

Cost

Quality

Time

The above should be the bare minimum for you to include in your analysis when outsourcing PowerPoint. Let’s dive into the different requirements to discover what you should be aware of.

3Costs

Costs usually weigh higher than all other parameters when businesses look for a vendor. You never want to break the bank for mediocre slides you could do on your own, but costs for PowerPoint services may be more complicated than what you see at first sight.

Many companies try with prices per slides. Although this seems like a quick and viable way to compare prices, the complexity (and thus time) required of different slides varies too much to provide an honest one-size-fits-all estimate.

You know it firsthand yourself. Some slides can be made in a minute, while others can take up to one hour if you need to recreate a complex picture and turn it into an editable graph in PPT with.

What is more, some companies offer PowerPoint subscription packages that enable you to save if you commit to a minimum of hours. The commit makes sense if you are strategically looking to outsource PowerPoint presentations. On the contrary, there is no need to consider this option if you are looking to visually enhance one presentation a few times annually.

Finally, there is a reason why the bullet point says costs and not price.

Let's explain

The price for one slide might say 16 USD, 4 USD or 7.25 USD per slide depending on the vendor. But to find the actual cost you need to factor in any potential re-work if the provider does not deliver the necessary quality.           

4Quality

High quality is a necessity. If the product you receive is not on par with your requirements, you end up spending more time on correcting mistakes than gaining from outsourcing. But what determines if a PowerPoint presentation is of high quality? It can be broken down into two main categories.

A diagram showing how quality is made up of subjective and objective factors

The subjective aspects relate to individual preferences, essentially boiling down to a matter of taste. It can be colors, use of typeface, or if you should use square or round boxes. Both can work – it all depends on what you prefer and what you want to achieve.

How do you ensure your provider matches your specific taste and quality needs?  

There is no other way to find out but to conduct a test. Additionally, you can ask if your provider has processes in place that will capture your taste.

As for the objective quality, there are plenty of rules that should always be followed. Below are some you can check when testing your provider:

  • Alignment
  • Using the same font across all slides
  • No jumping of titles across the deck

Naturally, the product your provider delivers should have zero objective mistakes. But how do you ensure that your provider ensures quality work?

  • Test them. Usually a few slides are enough to evaluate how they do on quality.
  • Ask about how they ensure quality: do they have quality assurance process in place? Or do they merely send when they feel the project is completed? It’s difficult to spot your own mistakes. Consequently, having a second pair eyes on deliverables before project return can improve the quality significantly.   

5Time

Time is of the essence, especially when it comes to crafting a PowerPoint presentation and million of other tasks piling up on your desk. But there is more to it than how fast a PowerPoint presentation designer can take your presentation from good to great.

A diagram showing how time is made up of ease-of-use and turnaround

How much time do you spend explaining what you would have done to improve your presentation? Moreover, if you use a freelance platform, how much time do you spend looking for the best designer when there are hundreds with a perfect 5-star rating? Sending a project should not be more complicated than the examples below:

Sending instructions should be as easy as writing a colleague - not a client

Hi no-more,
Please pimp my slides.
Let me know if you have any questions. Deadline is Monday morning.

Great. So you’ve found a provider that can turn your presentation, along with a few lines of project description, into a professional business presentation.  

Depending on the industry and profession, turnaround time can be of paramount importance. Management consultancies, IT consultancies or financial professionals may need overnight delivery.

Availability might also be a factor for turnaround time. Some vendors only use designers from one country, which may pose challenges during their holidays.

Other requirements

Though the prerequisites are out of the way, there are still plenty of requirements that may need to be factored into your evaluation. Below are some points you can consider bringing into your analysis.

  • Integration is it enough to send projects via emails? What about large files you can’t submit via email. Do they provide a drop-off zone for large files like this?
  • Confidentiality Does the provider offer an NDA and have processes in place to handle confidentiality? Have they ever had any breach of confidentiality?
  • Risk management Is there a possibility that your provider suddenly can’t deliver?

Weighing

Now that all the necessary requirements are in place it’s time to assign values. Some values might have more “weight” than others. In the example below, the cost and quality are a more important to us than time.

The weighted average of different parameters for a given PowerPoint vendor

Using the above you can easily compare vendors once you have conducted a test project. All you have to do is substitute x,y,z with company names.

You can add new categories or change the weight as you see fit.

In case you would like to build your own sheet from scratch, you can simply use the formula below and substitute the cell values

=SUMPRODUCT(B2:B4, C2:C4)/SUM(C2:C4)

Now that you know how to score the different providers, you are one step closer to outsourcing your PowerPoint presentations. The next step is to select providers that best meet your requirements. 

Develop a list of potential vendors

Naturally, there are numerous ways to find providers. Here are three different options:

  • Turn to Google with your preferred search term (e.g. PowerPoint services), and find what you think is the best fit.
  • Ask friends and colleagues who have used a similar service to give unbiased advice and recommendations
  • Look for recommendations on Quora (although it’s mostly providers trying to sell their service) or LinkedIn groups.

But before doing any of the above, it’s a good idea to group the different providers to limit the scope.

There are many ways to do this. Below is one way to cluster:

Freelance designers

There are multiple online platforms that offers PowerPoint presentations.

Examples: freelancer.com, Upwork, and Fiverr

Pros: Some of the designers are very cheap

Cons: Quality varies a lot; it is difficult to find a great match as many freelancers are rated 5 stars, and availability can be a significant issue for businesses. 

Best for: startups, individuals or one-time engagements.

PowerPoint Agencies

PowerPoint agencies all have their strengths and weaknesses, some offer affordable solutions while others try to differentiate by offering premium service - focusing on quality over price.

Examples include: My Business Visual , eslide , and Slidegenius

Pros: agencies like My Business Visual is great for simple alignment and distribution, while eSlide puts greater emphasis on creative solutions that might be ideal for corporations, SMEs and marketing departments.  

Cons: Potentially has issues with overnight delivery or short deadline projects, e.g. projects returned within a couple of hours.

Best for: Pitch-decks, marketing and SMEs

PowerPoint services for business professionals

No-more, founded by a former McKinsey consultant, is specialized outsourcing for management consultants and investment professionals. Overnight delivery, unparalleled ease of use, and quality assurance by a project management team, are among the top reasons consultancies choose no-more as a preferred partner. a transaction peer group analysis or target screening. 

Best for: Consultancies and investment professionals and strategy departments in corporate companies.

Unless you are referred to a vendor by a friend or colleague you trust, you probably want to contact the best suited vendors for your needs. Depending on your approach, you will need to send a few slides to test who matches your requirements best. 

Compare

Let’s say there are three vendors that potentially can fulfill the requirements. Send each a test with a few slides, a brief description of the work, and the expected outcome. For an effective comparison, you will need to send the send the same input to vendors – otherwise you end up comparing apples to oranges.

Once you have reviewed input from the vendors, assign values to the spreadsheet mentioned in Point 3. Now, your spreadsheet will spit out one vendor with the highest total.

If two vendors are within a few decimal points of each other, it might make sense to involve a few colleagues to get a second option.

What ’s the bottom line?

In sum, it’s crucial that you define what you want to achieve from outsourcing PowerPoint presentations, as your goals will define your requirements and the weight you assign to them. The provider you choose to test should correspond to the requirements you’ve outlined from before.

Finally, the provider you chose to test out should correspond to your requirements. Consultancies should test a provider who is specialized exactly in what the they are looking for.

Want to spend less time formatting slides?

A few lines are enough instruction to get you started