Freelancer in the Spotlight - Meet Ghyl Lebentz
We recently interviewed Ghyl Lebentz to find out why she chose freelancing and more about being a Presentation Designer.
What is a Presentation Designer and what do you do?
A Presentation Designer brings a clients PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides presentation to life through well considered design. A lot of thought goes in to how the slides are perceived by the audience. Ideas and messages need to be understood clearly and instantly whilst being on brand with added design flair. Jobs are landed on you a few days before a pitch so fast turn around is massively important. I am often required to create the branding for the presentation, sometimes based on Brand Guidelines, sometimes from my own imagination, so trusting your gut instinct on the most appropriate design is vital.
Being a Presentations Designer requires you to be a one man band, a bit of a ‘Jack of all trades’, from creating bespoke graphics and image sourcing, to understanding animation and video and being able to work on live events. A big part of the job is client facing too, having good interpersonal skills, being able to work directly with Corporate CEO’s to Creative Directors and Account Managers.
How did you become a Presentation Designer?
I worked in Reprographics, printing and binding pitches and documents for Merrill Lynch after uni. I entered a training programme to learn Microsoft Office and moved to the Desk Top Publishing department. Most of the work was using PowerPoint for investment banking pitches. From there I moved to BskyB for a few years before going freelance.
I have worked with Ghyl on many live events and high profile presentations for companies such as BSkyB and Discovery Channel. Ghyl has the ability to trouble-shoot and communicates professionally with clients of all levels of the business.
Jason Slater, OCD Records Ltd
How long have you been freelancing?
I incorporated my Limited Company in February 2012, so 9 years now!
Why did you decide to go freelance?
I wanted to strike a better work / life balance and be in control of my career.
What's the best thing about choosing to be an independent professional in your field?
Being in control of how and who you work with, having the freedom to choose the work you want to do and enjoy doing, that brings you satisfaction and a sense of achievement.
Has there been any negatives of your choice?
It can get a bit scary when work is thin on the ground, COVID was challenging as all work stopped for a few months as a result of no pitches or presentations happening.
Ghyl is one of those freelancers that is REALLY hard to find, and when you do, you wouldn't go to anyone else. Not only is she a pleasure to work with, polite and switched on, her work is always bang on, accurate, and she uses unitive to always go above and beyond. Ghyl is reliable and flexible, which has been invaluable when our company operates on multiple timezones. My boss is also super pleased that all of our presentations now look so professional!Would highly recommend Ghyl. :)
Becca Scales, Director Global Creative Collaboration
Anything can be a canvas for expression of your ideas.
What's one thing no one ever told you about freelancing you wished you'd known at the beginning?
Don’t be afraid to say no, clearly set boundaries with clients.
How has YunoJuno helped you as a freelancer?
In 2017 I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, after a gruelling year of treatment I was lucky to have a Stem Cell Transplant. I was off work for over a year and lost all of my clients. When I started to build my life back together and was looking for work I found it challenging to dive back in and find new clients. YunoJuno was amazing at helping me find work, I don’t know what I would have done without it.
Can you talk about a project you're proud to have worked on?
A lot of the projects I work on are top secret new business pitches, I have to sign NDA’s to work on them, I guess I’m proud when I’ve worked on a pitch and the client / agency wins the tender.
However, recently I worked with a client where they had brand guidelines and a pre existing PowerPoint template that they were not happy with. They wanted a new template and a presentation that reflected E! ‘s channel presence. I was tasked with designing the look and feel of the PPT, designing a new template and then populating it with their content. The same deck was being sent out to E! teams globally so I embedded the brand fonts in to the PPT to make sure anyone editing it could still make it look on brand. All elements of the presentation were editable by the client and they were left with a template which they could ‘recycle’ for future presentations.
What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a Presentation Designer?
Good Design is good design, whether it's achieved in InDesign, Illustrator or PowerPoint, don’t be limited by the tool you are working with. Anything can be a canvas for expression of your ideas.
If a client was reading this, why should they hire you?
I always leave the client with a user friendly presentation that they can easily edit themselves, there is nothing worse than a document you can’t edit moments before a pitch!
I was doing a product launch at a trade show in Las Vegas and needed a presentation deck to support 1-2-1 pitching, built and formatted forward for both pc and tablet.
Ghyl took our existing brand and product assets and turned around a great interactive presentation. She also provided remote support when we realised we wanted to adapt part of the narrative at the last minute.
My company has since built an internal studio so we haven’t had a chance to work together since, but I wouldn’t hesitate to ask her to support me in the future.
Nick Woollard, Director, Global Sales Operations at Audio Network
Ghyl specialises in creating beautifully designed presentations for pitches to global conferences and everything in between. Her expertise is within Marketing for Broadcasting, Advertising, Engineering, Architecture, Estate Agency and Global Brands.
Ghyl excels at analysing and visualising information, creating bespoke graphics, image sourcing, image editing, typography and template creation and animation. She has years of experience in liaising with clients remotely, both Creative and Corporate teams, working closely with Creative Directors to Account Management and Corporate Senior Management.