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Persuasive presentations can win you new customers and funding for your ideas. Thoughtful presentations can establish or enhance your reputation as an expert in a specific field of study or line of work. Similarly, a poor presentation probably won’t win you anything and might even mar your credibility.

Microsoft PowerPoint is the number one tool for constructing and delivering media-based presentations. It’s also the most abused. Sitting through a poorly made presentation, or one where the presenter is reading from the slides, is pure torture.

Seth Godin, the grand master of presentations, has blogged extensively on how to use PowerPoint effectively. Here’s a list of some of his posts:

Presentation-making isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, though. Even if you are bestowed with heavenly PowerPoint skills, like Seth Godin, the process of building a slidedeck can be downright tedious and time-consuming. If the content itself doesn’t cause you issues, the design and formatting probably will. In a world of imminent deadlines, orbital expectations, social pressures, and critical resource needs, you hardly need — and can afford — these sort of problems. You just need a kick-ass presentation. And this where professional PowerPoint jockeys ride-in to the rescue.

Hiring PowerPoint pros can be an expensive proposition, though. So you need to use them strategically — when you most need them. If you need to deliver a pitch to some VCs or to the Board, for example, you need one on your side. Some jockeys are so experienced that they’re able to offer valuable input on the actual content and structure of your presentation.

Most PowerPoint professionals provide three kinds of presentation services:

  • Design — Includes the use Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Macromedia Flash in the presentation. Also includes custom template designs, audio and video implementation, custom images and graphics, modules, and standalone flash presentations.
  • Production — Involves slide production, presentation makeovers, and use of images, animation, diagrams, charts, and graphs.
  • Editorial — Transforms information supplied by you into content for the presentation slides. Also includes, copywriting, story boarding, content editing, and script writing.

So if you’re looking for the services of a PowerPoint pro, one of these ten should do:

1. i3mm

  • Description: Owner Scott von Feltd has made presentations for CXOs, startups, and Wall Street analysts. He can help craft and polish your content as well as offer tips on how to present effectively.
  • Sample Clients: Serves clients in a number of industries, including Legal, Pharmaceuticals, Financial Services, and others.
  • Pricing: $125/hour.
  • Turnaround Time: 10 simple text slides in one hour.

2. Promptwise

  • Description: Promptwise specializes in PowerPoint design and production. It focuses on corporate presentation design, high-volume production outsourcing, and single presentation projects. The company can cater to both big and small companies.
  • Sample Clients: Oracle, Sequence Solutions, IBM Educational Services, and Griffio Consulting.
  • Pricing: $250 and up for production services and $500 per template design.
  • Turnaround Time: Less than 3 business days.

3. Distinction Communications

  • Description: Jim Endicott, the man behind Distinction Communications, believes that every good presentation is simply a well-told story. Apart from offering design and editorial services, Distinction can also develop graphics, assess pre-made presentations, and help refine your overall message.
  • Sample Clients: Honeywell, Pixelworks, and AIG.
  • Pricing: Average project with 15-35 slides can cost between $2,500 and $7,000.
  • Turnaround Time: 5-15 working days.

4. Whit McCullough

  • Description: Whit McCullough provides design and production presentation services. Samples of his work are available on his website.
  • Sample Clients: DRS Technologies and Unicorn Winery.
  • Pricing: Available upon request. To get an accurate estimate include project type, estimated number of slides, and specific services required.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

5. m62 Visual Communications

  • Description: m62 specializes in design and production. The company also strives to educate its clients and visitors through interactive media and sample presentations, which are available on its website.
  • Sample Clients: AIG, BBC, Hilton, CitiGroup, Microsoft, and P&G.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

6. PowerPoint Hack

  • Description: Gary Reichardt runs PowerPoint Hack; he has experience in designing and producing sales, litigation, and lecture presentations. Services offered include presentation development, editorial, and graphics and animation.
  • Sample Clients: ABN Amro Funds, ACNielson, McDonald’s, and Tropicana Products.
  • Pricing: $45/hour.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

7. Effusion Creative Solutions

  • Description: This company aims to streamline the production process with a focus on open client communications. It offers design and production services.
  • Sample Clients: Sage Advantage, Hanger, Tilt Media, and Mark Taylor Photography.
  • Pricing: $2,500-$3,500 for small and mid-sized organizations.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

8. Propoint Graphics

  • Description: This company specializes in design, production, and editorial services and possesses extensive experience in corporate presentations.
  • Sample Clients: Showtime Networks, AT&T Media Services, The Princeton Review, and Tesco.
  • Pricing: $250 minimum for a standard presentation.
  • Turnaround Time: 3-5 business days for standard slides. 5-15 business days for flash presentations.

9. Enso Creations

  • Description: Enso offers PowerPoint design and production services.
  • Sample Clients: None available.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

10. PresentationPoint

  • Description: This company specializes in design and production services and asks its clients to concentrate on the content of the presentation while it takes care of the rest. The company also offers free PowerPoint templates.
  • Sample Clients: Philips, LG, Nikon, IKEA, Microsoft, IBM, and Rolls-Royse.
  • Pricing: Available upon request.
  • Turnaround Time: Depends on scope and timeframe of your project.

Image credit: jsmith / iStockphoto