SkySpecs Innovates Presentation Process with Beautiful.ai
Since 2014 SkySpecs has earned a leading position in the North American and European wind energy markets. As SkySpecs scales their business, they had to find a way to innovate their presentation process. Beautiful.ai has helped them communicate better, and more beautifully.
SkySpecs scales the presentation process with Beautiful.ai.
SkySpecs entered the wind energy industry in 2014 as a fully automated drone inspection company. After quickly earning a leading position in the North American and European markets, having conducted over 52,000 onshore and offshore inspections for the largest wind energy owners, they grew their services and capabilities to offer full-wrap operations and maintenance solutions. Technology comes in all shapes and forms— from presentation software to the wind energy industry. But what does SkySpecs have to do with Beautiful.ai? As SkySpecs scaled their business, they also needed to scale their presentation process.
In September 2018, SkySpecs CEO and Founder, Danny Ellis, discovered Beautiful.ai when searching for a PowerPoint alternative. The afternoon before a company retreat, Danny came up with the idea of an improv pitch deck exercise which required him to build eight presentations from scratch in 12 hours. Each employee would be given a random pitch deck that they would then have to present to the team during the retreat. After a quick Google search for “the fastest way to build a presentation” Danny stumbled upon Beautiful.ai.
Since that afternoon in 2018, SkySpecs has used Beautiful.ai to scale the presentation process cross-functionally for everything from their company pitch deck for series C funding, to board meetings and external customer solutions.
“I haven't opened PowerPoint since December of 2019. I have literally taken it off my taskbar at the bottom of my computer because I have no need to open it ever. So, that is fantastic.”
When you’re trying to scale the presentation process cross-functionally, branding and centralized content is especially important. To help maintain branding, SkySpec’s head designer created a master Beautiful.ai deck that has over 100 slides in it for teams to choose from and customize with their own department’s content. Not only does this control the branding across multiple teams, it simplifies the presentation design process for team members who may not have a design background. The new Slide Share feature in Beautiful has tremendous benefit to SkySpecs, particularly for slides that change often with performance metrics. Beautiful.ai offers a way to update a single slide and have that change reflected across any presentation that is using that slide.
SkySpecs relies on presentations for many aspects of the business. A benefit of using Beautiful.ai is that they never have to start a presentation from scratch. If someone on the team needs to create a presentation they can open Beautiful.ai, find the branded slide(s) they’re looking for, and easily copy them over to their own new deck. This allows them to focus on the messaging, and what they’re trying to accomplish, rather than trying to design the slide or come up with new content.
SkySpecs is in an industry where no two customers are the same, which makes the sales process harder to scale. “It's very high touch. We have different decks for every step of the process and for each of our products and services. Once a job is complete, we also use presentations to debrief with the customer,” Danny explains. Being able to go into their templated slides, and grab what they need for each individual customer, has been extremely beneficial for the team and their efficiency.
No design skills required
It’s no secret that Beautiful.ai saves time. It allows the SkySpecs Solutions team, who are generally non-designers, to quickly get results of a meeting or action items into a presentation to talk to customers. Beautiful.ai also makes editing on the fly in real-time before a meeting starts, or during a meeting, possible. Danny says, “It allows me to just go in and quickly double-check, ‘Is that up to date?’ I have edited a presentation on mobile minutes before walking into an investor meeting to pitch, allowing me to have the most up-to-date information even if I had sent them the presentation weeks ago.”
Using Beautiful.ai has made it easier for Danny to get his ideas on paper, and arrange them in different ways to better tell his story, which was especially important when planning his Series C pitch for investors. He said, “I had the first pitch deck done in probably under two hours from scratch— nothing on paper to my first pitch deck ready.” Danny succeeded in raising SkySpec’s Series C with a Beautiful.ai presentation. He says, “It allowed me to focus on telling our story, showing our traction, focusing on our team, and presenting our vision instead of worrying about the formatting and layout of slides. This made the funding process go much more smoothly than previous rounds.”
Advanced team collaboration
Danny manages six people who lead departments, and at any given time 2-3 people are working on a single presentation together. In order to be efficient, the ability to collaborate internally is key. Beautiful.ai helps facilitate a more seamless collaboration and communication process for the SkySpecs team members. Collaborating in the cloud means co-creators can simultaneously make real-time edits. You’ll be notified whenever a comment or edit is made to your slides, so everyone is always on the same page. Danny adds, “The collaboration is advanced, but sharing with viewers, being able to have different links to a presentation you can turn on and off has been a game-changer.”
Can’t live without features
First and foremost, Danny appreciates the ease of Beautiful.ai’s Smart Slide templates. “The templates help guide my design process,” Danny explains. Beyond that, his favorite Beautiful.ai feature is animations. “The look and feel is perfect, start to finish,” Danny says, “It brings life without being overbearing and ridiculous.” That subtle animation can be the difference between an engaged audience and a bored one. He also likes to use our free icon library to add assets that will compliment his story. These features, along with the ease of use and efficiency, are what turned Danny and his teams on to Beautiful.ai, and what brings them back for more.
Danny leaves us with, “I haven't opened PowerPoint since December of 2019. I have literally taken it off my taskbar at the bottom of my computer because I have no need to open it ever. So, that is fantastic.”