February 23

How Much Is That Beautifully Designed Presentation Deck Template in the Window?

The Problem:  According to the WSJ, $250 million per day is wasted on bad, ineffectively designed PowerPoint Presentations. But, based on our calculations, it could actually be 3X’s that amount – $619 million per day, and NEITHER of those figures include the salary costs associated with creation of bad PowerPoint decks — nope, those figures are based solely on wasted hours sitting through the delivery of these bad PowerPoint presentations. 

By the numbers: there is no published (at least that we can find) number suggesting the average number of people attending a standard business meeting, much less one featuring a PowerPoint presentation. So, we’ve taken some conservative (in our opinion) liberties to create such a number. 

  • PowerPoint Presentation design consumes 8-13 hours: assuming we all engage in a similar set of steps to create a super basic PowerPoint presentation featuring a simple text over colored background. 
  • Content capture and writing - it’s probably safe to assume that the average 15-20 slide PowerPoint presentation takes at least 2-4 hours to gather the necessary information, put it into some kind of logical order/narrative, and then paste the information into a presentation deck template. 
  • Visual aid and slide design - here again, there is likely a range but assuming you need to create 5-8 visual assets like charts, tables, or graphs along with creating some kind of even basic (not using the standard PowerPoint templates) slide template design, let’s say 30 minutes per visual aid and 30 minutes for an overall slide design for a grand total of 3-4 hours to complete this step. 
  • Meetings with colleagues or bosses to confirm agreement with slide content and incorporate any inputs/revisions will take 2-3 hours, if you’re lucky. 
  • Rehearsal and preparation for questions prior to delivery of the presentation is a must. So assuming you’re a pretty talented presenter and don’t require a ton of rehearsal to appear comfortable and confident presenting to others, especially clients, bosses and senior management will take another 1-2 hours to complete. 

If you choose to forgo a basic text over background design, favoring something higher end, incorporating multiple visuals and a professional looking aesthetic, your time quickly balloons from that 8-13 hours to something closer to 30-40 hours. Personally, my breakout and keynote decks usually run around 40 hours of design and preparation time for each one. Just to give you some kind of context.

  • Bad PowerPoint presentation meetings cost an average of $20.63 per meeting: Microsoft claims there are 30 million PowerPoint presentations made every day worldwide. Whew! That makes my head hurt and my body ache for a cocktail just thinking about it! So again, taking a few liberties to approximate the employee hours involved in sitting through 30 million PowerPoint presentations a day for 1 year: 
  • Let’s set the average meeting duration at 30 minutes
  • Let’s agree that poorly designed PowerPoint presentations render the meeting at least 50% less effective than the same meeting with an effectively designed PowerPoint presentation template. That means, each employee just wasted 15 of their 30 minutes.
  • And let’s agree the average meeting contains four people: a senior staff member, two mid-level staff members and a junior-level executive - probably making the presentation 😉
  • As full-time employees, their compensation is based on 2,080 work hours/124,800 work minutes per year
  • And let’s agree the senior staffer makes $100,000/yr
  • The mid-level staffers make $75,000/yr
  • And the junior-level staffer makes $40,000/yr
  • Thus, using these mathematical inputs, we can determine the average bad PowerPoint presentation meeting waste’s $20.63.
  • But annually, bad PowerPoint presentation meetings cost $619,000,000 PER DAY – yep, all of those little $20.63 meetings really add up when there are 30 million of them every day. Ouch! 

And that $619 million figure doesn’t even include the cost of failure.  If you or your team is trying to sell your product, service or ideas with PowerPoint sales decks that have really bad breath, then chances are you're leaving a lot more than $20.63 on the table each time you make a PowerPoint presentation. 

Think about that for a moment. How many sales have you lost? How many initiatives have you championed that never got started? How many game changing ideas have you proposed that never had a chance because your poorly designed PowerPoint created a persuasion hurdle your sweet talking self couldn’t overcome? 

How do you know if your PowerPoint presentations are costing you opportunity or sales? That’s a great question. And there isn’t any sure fire way to know for sure, but as an early warning system, honestly ask yourself... do your presentation decks or your team’s or company’s sales decks suffer from: 

  • Lack of a clear presentation goal supported by an easy to follow information logic flow
  • Not getting straight to the point and demonstrating how your idea, solution, product or service will benefit the audience
  • Text heavy slides containing pretty much every word you or your presenter utters
  • Too many, or just plain bad animations that slow the presenter down and/or distract the audience from the key message(s)
  • Lack any color coordination — not just brand colors for major sections like backgrounds, footers, headers, fonts, etc, but more importantly using colors to indicate things like contrasting ideas and concepts
  • Inconsistent Charts & Graphs: This is a big one. Let's say you're showing how your solution is better than your competitors’ on various metrics. Is your product's data/performance always displayed in the same color? What about your competitors' information? Do you always show certain metrics in the same color or does it change from slide to slide based on where that particular variable falls within the data set?
  • Total lack of any level of even basic professional design: Your decks tend to rely on nothing more than black text on a white background with maybe a company logo thrown in to cover the “branding” that marketing always demands
  • Using confusing visuals or maybe too many visuals on the slide.

If your PowerPoint slides suffer from three or more of these fatal design flaws, chances are unless you’re a TED level presenter, you're probably losing opportunities and/or revenue that a well designed pitch deck could help you win. 

The Key Benefits of great PowerPoint Template design include, but are not limited to:

  • Improved audience attention levels because good PowerPoint slide design makes it easier for your audience to focus on and process the key information on each slide.
  • Improved attention to the speaker because a well designed slide allows the audience to quickly process the slide's visual information and then return their attention to the presenter.
  • Improved Precision Memory creation driven because you’ve designed the deck to strategically repeat the key message(s) and you’ve planned the Talk Track sequence to optimize message comprehension and retention. 

To solve your Problem and turn your PowerPoint decks into an asset versus a liability, think of your Powerpoint Templates as another piece of sales collateral or sales enablement content worthy of professional design assistance. You wouldn’t trust yourself or your sales team to create your sales brochures, sales slicks or other sales & marketing materials would you? So then why do you ask them to play Art Director and Copywriter on what could potentially be the single most important piece of sales collateral they’ll ever use??? 

First, build The Ultimate Presentation Deck Template by gathering every relevant presentation deck you or your team has ever created and delivered to anyone — inside or outside of your organization.  

Second, work with an outside sales messaging consultant who can bring a fresh viewpoint, not to mention critical thinking skills, to help you make three key PowerPoint design decisions:

  • Separate Signal from Noise: Once you start looking through all of the slides ever created, you’ll find the signal, but it will likely be buried inside a lot of noise — unnecessary slides that do nothing to advance the goal of your messaging 
  • Define key slides and slide sequences: You need a set of money slides, those stand alone slides that are often referenced as support for key messaging or convey key differentiation points. Likewise, every company we’ve ever worked with has key slide sequences for products, services, ideas and differentiators that show up often in company presentations
  • Define Key Talk Tracks: Define the key Presentation Deck Message(s), the logic trail the audience will follow, and optimum content sequence required to produce the most successful outcome — consistently. 

Third, work with a professional slide and data information presentation designer. Trust me, this step is worth its weight in gold, especially if you rely on statistics or data to sell your ideas, products or services. Well designed tables, charts and graphs make it so much easier for your audience to understand and process your message, especially on virtual sales calls.

Fourth, test drive your new ultimate PowerPoint presentation template to confirm it makes it easier and faster for you or your team to create attention grabbing, persuasive sales decks and marketing presentations that consistently produce desired outcomes.

Fifth, and finally, if you're developing this ultimate PowerPoint template for your staff or sales team, TEACH them how to use the tool. Believe me, having built these ultimate sales deck systems for some of our B2B clients, skipping this step guarantees you'll have huge implementation issues. 

And if you really want to maximize the ROI of your initial design investment, create an on-demand, video based course that your team can complete and then refer back to later. And then have your HR team require all new hires to complete the course, ensuring new hires receive the same "how to" training as your current team. 

Wondering how much great PowerPoint Template design costs? The truth is, it depends. I did a little Google searching and found everything from $5 per hour Fiverr designers to $25,000 per deck design agencies. However, it’s important to note, that none of these services included strategic message development or Talk Track sequencing. These folks only offered to redesign a pre-populated generic PowerPoint template into something more professional and eye-catching.

Here at Converse Digital, we charge our clients based on three variables:

  • Content acquisition and analysis time required to ingest all available slide decks and slides for review and to identify key slides and slide sequences as well as gain approval to delete everything else.
  • Total number of slides redesigned based on predetermined pricing levels tied to slide design/visual aid design difficulty. 
  • Production Timeline for slide presentation template development. As they say in the design business: you can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two.

So, while there is no standard price, on average we're able to create 100+ slide decks and fully customized PowerPoint templates including approximately 50 custom charts, tables and infographics for about $300-$500 per slide.

So, the only questions left are, how much is that bad slide deck you're using costing you and what are you willing to invest to fix it — FOREVER? If you think we can help, give me a call and we’ll see what we can work out. 

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