Best Practice: How We Work With Clients to Create Great Presentations

Creating keynote presentations is one of our core offerings at CGI Interactive. Based on years of experience working with the most respected brands in the world, we have found there are some common pitfalls to avoid. We’ve been honing our process and we would like to share our list of suggestions and best practices with you.

Start Off on the Right Foot

It’s important to begin thinking about your event at least six weeks prior. Ask yourself a few basic questions right away. How many presentations do you need? Who are your speakers? What story do you want to tell? Who is your audience? What will be relevant to them? How will you measure success?

Assemble an internal project team and get everyone on the same page. Create some preliminary outlines, sketches, or rough copy for slides. Brand guidelines are a must, as are any event themes, so be sure to have them on hand. By this point you’re probably feeling pretty organized, and guess what? You are. You’re ready for the next step.

CGI Quick Tip

Be sure to have assets like photos, overall layout, colors and animation approach. This will be helpful for the creative team during the process.

Call In the Creative Professionals

Now that you know what you need, it’s time to bring in the design team. We’re slightly biased here and hope you’ll choose CGI Interactive, but maybe you have an in-house agency or other vendor. Regardless of who you work with, you should expect to encounter three key roles on your design team: Art Director, Designer, and Project Manager.

Every great design team starts with a great leader—the AD. Your Art Director will establish the overall visual style of your keynote presentations and keep your Designers on task. How many Designers depends on the number of presentations you need. A good rule of thumb we have is one Designer for every two presentations.

The Project Manager (PM) will walk you through the entire process of creating your keynote presentation, step-by-step. The PM is often your single point of contact for any questions, concerns, edits, or suggestions you have. Remember, an event is a fixed point in time. You can’t postpone your global sales kickoff because you need more time to craft your message, no matter how many other internal projects are demanding your attention. Having a Project Manager to keep all parties on track is crucial to your success.

CGI Quick Tip

In our experience for large events, having a presentation dry run (content only, no design) in the very early stages helps clients to organize their content and get critical internal feedback. Having the production company as well as design team on site at this dry run helps to get everyone on the same page.

3..2…1… Kickoff

Now that the team is ready, all parties must have a kickoff meeting to set the ball rolling. The presenting team must come ready with their vision, slide outlines and questions. The creative team must come ready with their vision, questions and suggestions. The kickoff meeting works so well because it allows both teams to begin the collaboration process. The two teams will be working as one for the next month. This is the perfect introduction. Both parties should leave a kickoff meeting feeling excited and well informed on what the timeline is. The vision should be set and the pieces needed to make it a reality must be accounted for.

The Wheels Are Turning

The creative process is in full effect now. Designers are hard at work and your presentation is being crafted to perfection. We have found in the past that during this period of time, the more communication the better. In our experience, scope typically changes throughout the process. To provide maximum flexibility, we recommend providing budget updates halfway through and more frequently towards the end of the project. We will notify relevant team members if scope/budget is pushing our original estimates. Be on the lookout for design previews and proofs throughout the journey. These will give you insight into how your slide deck is coming along!

Your Presentation Is Ready

Once the creative team has worked their magic, you will receive your presentation. This is a great time for you to take a look and let the creative team know if you want any changes. The creative team will then go through a revision period and polish your presentation to perfection!

That about sums it up! The process of two teams coming together to create a presentation for an event is an exciting one! All stakeholders play large roles in the entire journey. Your presentation is your chance to make a statement. You deserve a magnificent one.

Do you have an event coming up? Take a look at how we help the most respected brands in the world make a huge impact on their audiences.