Purpose and audience guide UGI presentation design
Philadelphians who barbecue in their backyards know the name AmeriGas if they buy propane tanks to fuel their gas grills. They probably don’t know that AmeriGas is a subsidiary of UGI Corporation, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Philadelphia’s backyard: Valley Forge, Pa.
UGI is a holding company that owns multiple subsidiary companies providing energy products and services, in America and internationally. UGI’s target marketing audience is investors and the analysts who influence them. Marketing to these audiences involves showcasing the profitability of UGI’s subsidiaries, UGI’s use of cash flow to reinvest in new opportunities and UGI’s track record of providing consistent annual dividend increases to stockholders.
UGI came to Hollister Creative to design a PowerPoint presentation for use at its bi-annual Investor Day event. The design challenges were (a) take the company’s presentations to a new level of design sophistication while maintaining a serious tone and (b) convey sections of information on individual subsidiaries as part of a cohesive whole.
Since investors purchase stock in UGI Corporation, not individual subsidiaries, the opening slide design had to convey a unifying thematic concept about UGI as a whole. To accomplish that, we used photos that show how all the subsidiaries play a role in powering products for business and everyday life.
The rest of the slides support the main purpose of the presentation: to highlight for the audience the achievements of the subsidiaries, each of which has its own brand logo and colors. We kept the overall design very simple and clean, so that each subsidiary’s section could be recognized by one color taken from its logo and applied to a vertical bar and selected elements of the page designs.
“Working with Hollister Creative was a terrific experience. They took the time to understand the purpose of the project and our design needs, and were able to incorporate the design elements we were looking for. The final product was superb – sophisticated in design while clearly communicating the message.”
– William Ruthrauff, Director, Investor Relations, UGI Corporation
Three Quick Tips
If you are planning a PowerPoint presentation, here are three tips to help you create a sophisticated design.
- Maintain brand consistency. The visual style and quality of your PowerPoints should match your website and corporate brochure. We’ve all seen PowerPoints decorated with hokey clip art to make the presenter seem clever and fun. If you’re pitching for an amusement park, you can maybe get away with that. In a professional or corporate presentation, it makes you look ridiculous.
- Limit transitions and animations. Restraint is a hallmark of professional design. Using all the capabilities of any design program just because you can screams “middle school show-off.” PowerPoint’s capability to add transitions and animations at the click of a button tempts too many people into creating a frenetic freak show of sliding, twirling, zooming text and graphics. Resist!
- Keep text density low. If the PowerPoint is going to be presented on a screen, it should be an adjunct to the presenter’s speech, providing visual reference points and bullet point take-aways. Too much text is dreary to look at and distracting to read. If you envision the PowerPoint as essentially a script of the speaker’s prepared remarks, have the speaker present without it and provide the PowerPoint at the end.