Philippa Leguen de Lacroix is co-founder of Presented – a UK company who specialize in transforming PowerPoint presentations (and avoiding that whole “death by…” syndrome). The company is over 10 years old, and before that Philippa worked in Desk Top Publishing for a few investment banks for a number of years. In her spare time, she helps to run a field hockey club and coaches children to play.
In this conversation, Philippa talks about Presented.
Geetesh: Philippa, we have featured you twice earlier where you have spoken about presentation design techniques, but this time, we want to ask you about Presented, your design agency. Tell us why Presented was created, and the journey until now.
Philippa: So Presented was originally created so I could escape the rat race! I was formatting pitchbooks for various investment banks and found commuting and the hours both draining and demoralizing. So with a friend in the same boat, we decided to go solo. This was 2009. We originally operated under a different company name (Cornerstone Presentations) and were happily ticking along for several years, learning and slowly building a loyal and regular client base.
In that time, we discovered a lot of brain science about presenting and how information should best be visualized so that it can rapidly be understood. We studied these areas in some depth and really got into the messaging side of presenting too. Things like storytelling, structuring a presentation, and making sure the message comes across as well as data visualization.
When we rebranded as Presented Ltd. in 2015 we then also started running this as a more serious presentation design business. We employed designers who were far more talented than we were and as PowerPoint has developed over the years, so did the interactive solutions that we are able to offer our clients.
We are now 11 in the team and our client base continues to grow! Since the start, we all worked from home, so the current situation during the pandemic hasn’t affected our day-to-day. We’re very fortunate that we had all our systems in place. I’m a big believer in work-life balance and if you can save yourself the commute you’re already on to a winner. Our staff’s well-being is very important to us and this is just one thing that can help everyone to work smarter and happier.
Geetesh: Can you share some thoughts about what you look for in a client? What can a client do so that a design agency can create stellar presentations for them? And what can they do so that a design agency like yours achieves creative satisfaction and wants to continuously work with them?
Philippa: That’s an interesting question. Every client is different, even though we’re working on slides day in day out, each job is unique. The best clients for us have clarity about what they want. We can do anything, so it’s crucial to narrow the field. Aside from a great brief, this could also be a visual reference towards material they like design-wise, and equally material they don’t like. Being open to ideas is also quite important. For us, understanding the final delivery method is also critical early on in the process – whether it’s a PDF, a virtual presentation (this has obviously increased), a video, and so on. That way, we’re able to suggest solutions or ideas that a client hasn’t thought about. Quite simply, it’s good to talk things through!
For our design team – we like positive feedback. Who doesn’t? It’s true in any discipline that praise will help to motivate and keep energy and effort high.
Likewise, we aren’t precious about designs, it’s quite subjective, so well explained criticism isn’t an issue. There’s no problem with us doing something again – but there’s a catch: we could design 100 things, so this is where the clarity comes in again. We can’t do unlimited designs unless there is an unlimited budget! So a good clear design brief is key.
— presented. (@presenteduk) April 16, 2020
The views and opinions expressed in this blog post or content are those of the authors or the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer, or company.