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Luke Goetting, founder of Puffingston Presentations.

After graduating from college, Luke Goetting worked in sales for RSI Video Technologies in Chicago, selling a wireless alarm system throughout the Midwest.

“When I got into the real world, I thought all the presentations I would see would be very high quality,” Goetting said.

Yet most of the presentations he attended had PowerPoint slideshows that were awful, he said. That’s when he got interested in creating more dynamic presentations, especially for sales.

In his presentations, Goetting focused on success stories and use cases rather than going into product specs and he created more visually appealing slide decks that featured images instead of bullet points and text. He did that for four years and built up his sales network, but his true passion was for creating effective presentations.

That passion led Goetting to eventually found Puffingston Presentations, an award-winning presentation design firm based in Austin. The name Puffingston comes from a childhood nickname for Goetting’s little sister. Since launching, Puffingston has created presentations for TEDx events and SXSW winners as well as for executives at Dell, Western Union, IBM, Concur, Siemens, CDK Global and the National Restaurant Association.

“What I was most interested in is the premise that all presentations are not created equal,” Goetting said.

That led him to create presentations on Prezi, a presentation software company, based in Budapest and founded in 2009, that focuses on delivering visually stunning, interactive experiences.

“In 2013, everyone was just buying up iPads and handing out iPads to their sales teams,” Goetting said. “It was the solution to all sales. But what frustrated me – they would just kind of give these iPads out – and they wouldn’t provide any strategy on how to utilize those tools.”

Prezi worked beautifully on the iPad and it worked beautifully on the big screen, Goetting said. At the time, there wasn’t even a Microsoft PowerPoint app for the iPad. So, salespeople couldn’t load a PowerPoint presentation onto an iPad. Prezi filled that huge need, Goetting said.

Goetting won an award for the Best Business Prezi of 2013 and his company became part of the Prezi expert network. He still travels to Budapest every year for an annual Prezi conference.

“All of sudden I started getting people all over the country interested in Prezi asking me to help them create their presentations,” Goetting said.

For the first two years, it was just Goetting freelancing. Then he got to the point where he needed to add people. Since then, Puffingston Presentations has grown to six full-time graphic designers and a team of ten total. In March, they moved to bigger headquarters in a building at 2550 S. Interstate 35 Frontage Road.

“We still specialize exclusively in presentations,” Goetting said. “We do all types of presentations now including PowerPoint and Google slides.”

Most of its presentations are conference keynote and sales presentations, Goetting said. At conferences and industry events, often competitors are pitching right next to each other and it helps to have the most compelling presentation, Goetting said.

“Our clients lean on us to give them a different look and feel,” Goetting said. “Everyone shows up with the same old PowerPoint that looks the same, feels the same, it’s uninspiring and we help our clients come up with something new, fresh and much more engaging than everyone else. And people remember that.”

Courtney Lowell, head of communications at Dealerware, hired Puffingston to design a PowerPoint deck for an on-stage presentation that would then be built out to a longer form sales deck.

“It’s a challenge to find a design-minded agency that’s comfortable working PowerPoint,” Lowell said. “We needed a PowerPoint that presented more like a dynamic website than a boring B2B presentation.”

The project turned out “spectacular,” Lowell said. The presenting team’s comments ranged from “the best sales presentation I’ve ever given in my career” to “the deck brought our vision to life in a whole new way. We’re playing on a different level now.”

“What Puffingston has helped us create underscores everything we are as a brand, as a product – intelligent, modern, elegant,” Lowell said.

The emerging category for presentations more recently is internal employee engagement conferences, Goetting said. Or companies looking to inspire and excite their own workforce, he said.

“They turn an obligatory have to be here event into something exciting and engaging,” Goetting said. “It makes a big impact and some companies are recognizing that.”

It takes a great message, compelling design, and an effective delivery to make a great presentation, Goetting said.
“It takes all three firing on all cylinders to drive that impact,” Goetting said. “We really specialize in working on the design working very closely with the message and the delivery. “

Design is often a customer’s biggest weak spot, Goetting said.

Dan Morton, Chief Marketing Officer of ipDatatel, hired Puffingston to create an interactive presentation for sales calls and trade shows.

Puffingston really spent the time to understand his company’s needs and help them build out their story, Morton said.

“The outcome was a clean and organized presentation which allowed people to easily click objects to navigate the deck based on the needs of their audience,” Morton said. “This means that our sales and events team no longer need to create a custom presentation every time they have a sales call.”