How to start a corporate presentation design

Corporate presentation design doesn’t have to be boring. Here are five tips for starting a business presentation that stands out for all the right reasons.

When you’re working on a corporate presentation design, there are certain rules to follow. OK, perhaps not rules, but conventions at least, that restrict what you can get away with.

Memes? No.

Wacky fonts? Absolutely not.

Pictures of your adorable puppy? Perhaps some other time.

Judiciously selected typefaces, colours and transitions that complement one another and drive home your key points? Absolutely.

The trouble is, that’s not much fun. Following the rules never is. How do you create a corporate presentation design that stands out without being showy? Is it possible to command attention without simply shouting? Or, like trying to burn fat and build muscle at the same time, is it an impossible dream?

We don’t think so. At Buffalo 7, we’re big believers in chasing dreams, but we’re also grounded in reality. We appreciate that with corporate presentations, there’s less latitude for running wild. Thankfully, you don’t need to go loco to drive your message home,  as you’re about to find out.


Start strong – like, Superman strong

Yeah yeah, you get it. First impressions count and all that. It’s important to capture your audience’s attention yadda yadda. Everyone knows the importance of getting off to a strong start, but we can’t stress enough just how vital this is in a corporate setting.

Say you’re pitching a new photography app. How are you going to sell the concept to investors in 30 seconds? How are you going to capture their interest with your very first slide and then reel them in like a salmon?


Start with a picture

“I know what you’re thinking. What an awful image to start a presentation with. But it’s there for a very good reason…Can you spot how many things are wrong with this photograph?”

“I make five – the same five, coincidentally, which our photography app is designed to eliminate.”


Start with a story

  • A woman shoots her husband
  • Then she holds him under water for five minutes
  • Then she hangs him
  • Later, the couple go out for dinner together

How is this possible?

A riddle to launch a corporate presentation? Why not. Sure, it’s unorthodox, but in the context of our app analogy, it works perfectly:

“The answer is that the woman is a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, developed it and then hung it to dry. If you didn’t solve the riddle, that’s probably because you’re unfamiliar with processing a photo like that. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that when you process a pic, it’s more likely to involve adding the Valencia filter and pressing Upload.”


Start with a quote

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Launch your presentation with a memorable quote and, once your audience have had a chance to read it, you can riff on it: “I’m not here to contradict one of the world’s greatest photographers, but what if there were a way to make every photograph amazing? At Acme Picture Co, we think we might just have found a way…”


Start with a statistic

“In the time it takes to read this sentence, 500 photography apps will have been downloaded by iOS users.”

Let the impact of your slide sink in before driving home your message: “That’s potentially 500 new customers we’re missing out on.”

Want to make the impact of your opening slide even stronger? OK, let’s add some more bait to that hook: “Oh, and do you know how many of those iOS users go on to make an in-app purchase?”

Images, stories, quotes and statistics – there are so many attention-grabbing ways to launch a corporate presentation without jumping up and down on the spot or donning a morph suit.

And that’s just your first slide.

If you can achieve that much with a single slide, what can you do with a deck of 20? The secret to starting a corporate presentation design owes less to what’s on the page and more to what’s in your head. If you’ve got the ideas, the rest will flow. And if you’ve got the ideas, but aren’t quite sure how to start, we’re always here to help. In our world, corporate and boring don’t belong in the same sentence.

You don’t have to shout the loudest to be heard. You just have to find a way for your audience to visualise your concept. Admittedly, if you’re pitching a photography app that’s going to be easier than it is for some topics. Nevertheless, whatever your subject matter, there’s always a way to bring it to life. When designing your presentation, think about fonts, colours and animations. But more than anything, think about what you’re going to say with those tools. Say it well and you’ll only need to say it once.

Ask for help designing your presentation.

Contact us at:  
+44 (0)161 533 7777  
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