Jamie Garroch, CEO of YOUpresent (formerly GMARK) founded the company to provide presentation professionals with presentation software, content and training. Jamie uses a range of presentation and e-learning tools on PC and Mac from PowerPoint to Keynote, Adobe CS and iSpring for presentations and Articulate Storyline for e-learning. He also uses PowerPoint as a programming environment to create authoring automation for his company’s productivity needs, custom add-ins for clients and off-the-shelf products for presentation designers.
Geetesh: Jamie, tell us more about your new product, SwiftPrez — how it came about and who the target audience is?
Jamie: As a long-term user of PowerPoint within corporate environments, I’ve often observed the challenges faced by marketing teams as they battle with the need to provide up-to-date content to tens, hundreds or even thousands of users. Quite often, templates, slides, pictures and other content are emailed out to users, either as links to file servers or the files themselves, and the recipients quickly forget where this valuable content is stored. If they manage to find it they’re then left wondering if they’ve got the latest version.
The other aspect of dealing with a large number of employees is how to make sure that everyone is designing new slides to be on-brand. One common approach is to provide a template file that contains example slides of how content should be laid out and designed. But again, many users simply can’t remember all of the styling rules they’re supposed to abide by.
SwiftPrez is designed to address these two challenges by providing a built-in solution within PowerPoint, delivering the following:
- Brand Library – a synchronized library of templates, slides, photography and graphics (e.g. shapes, icons, illustrations, tables, charts). All assets being directly accessible from the PowerPoint ribbon.
- Brand Checker – a configurable rules-based engine that automatically checks presentations for brand consistency e.g. fonts, colours, effects, layout positioning and more.
Combining these two powerful approaches to content creation ensures that the organization’s brand champion can deploy and maintain up-to-date content whilst managing their brand identity within the client-facing presentation space more effectively. SwiftPrez adds this functionality within a new tab in the PowerPoint ribbon, the SwiftPrez brand being replaced with the client’s chosen brand.
The solution can also alleviate some of the challenges involved in deploying and updating PowerPoint templates and Chart templates thanks to them being optionally included in the installer and/or being updateable via the Brand Library sync engine. This will be particularly advantageous to any IT professional used to the difficulties of managing Microsoft Office customization deployments.
Geetesh: What opportunities are there for presentation design agencies to build SwiftPrez into their business offering?
Jamie: The challenges described above are not only faced by the organizations creating in-house content but also those agencies creating presentation content on behalf of their clients.
Buffalo7 worked closely with YOUpresent to incorporate the add-in into its structured offering. By providing clients with the option to onboard the platform, Buffalo7 has been able to provide even more value when it comes to presentation design solutions.
Buffalo7’s Creative Director Richard Barnes commented that “you can produce the best-branded presentation template for an organization, but there’s no way you can ensure that that staff across the business will make use of it and adhere to its style guidelines. We integrated PresentAssist into our offering to answer this problem.
“It’s powerful presentation compilation tools and guidelines checker mean that it provides a centralized solution that not only makes presentation content easily accessible to users but provides an efficient way to make sure presentations are on-brand across the company.”