Becoming a Presentation Designer
Presentation designers work in a variety of different industries, ranging from interior design and manufacturing to health care and business. Different industries have their own goals and standards for presentation design, but designers across all industries must be skilled in graphic design and the use of design software, such as Microsoft PowerPoint and the Adobe Creative Suite. These skills are typically acquired through the completion of a bachelor's degree.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Field||Graphic Design, Fine Arts, Arts Administration|
|Key Skills||graphic design experience|
|Salary (2015)||$46,900 (median for graphic designers)|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Step 1: Choose an Industry
Many industries utilize the skills of presentation design, although with different goals and objectives. For example, marketing presentations are often aimed at investors, clients and potential customers with the intent of encouraging people to buy products. Management presentations, on the other hand, might be used to provide employees with information, teach employees new skills or outline new projects.
Step 2: Take Presentation Design Classes
Universities can offer formal courses that teach students how to design presentations for various industries. While each industry has unique presentation protocols, there are some shared presentation techniques and standards. For example, most all courses in the subject focus on how to select appropriate colors and fonts, design presentations for different audiences, utilize visual aids and implement interactive features.
Many courses also train students about arranging words, images and shapes to achieve a desired effect. These courses can be found within larger programs in interior design, instructional support or even health care.
Step 3: Complete Related Degrees/Training
Some careers that list presentation design within the designated job duties include those of graphic designers and art directors. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), both of these careers require the minimum of a bachelor's degree (www.bls.gov). Some potential undergraduate majors may include graphic design, art administration or fine arts. Job postings on Monster.com that included presentation design among the skills that job candidates should possess confirmed that many employers prefer applicants who hold bachelor's degrees or higher.
Not all degree programs provide students with the training they need to create professional-grade presentations. Employers posting job advertisements on Monster.com desired workers who had skills with using presentation design software programs, such as Microsoft Office programs, Photoshop, InDesign, Flash, Illustrator and Dreamweaver. Some junior colleges and universities offer individual courses or certificate programs for many of these design software programs.
Step 4: Obtain Certification
Earning degrees or certificates in design software may provide students with some initial training, but many employers are looking for job applicants with significant technical knowledge. Earning certification is the easiest way for professionals to show their advanced skills with any particular software program or technology device. Many computer software companies, such as Microsoft and Adobe, offer certification programs for nearly all their software programs. Interested applicants need to meet any eligibility requirements and pass exams to earn certification.
If you are considering a career as a presentation designer, it is a good idea to determine an industry that is of interest and earn a bachelor's degree in design or a related field. In addition to a degree, it may be necessary to complete software-specific courses or certifications in order to achieve the high level of skill that is necessary to create a variety of graphics for presentations and to have the ability to communicate clearly when presenting.