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bestpowerpointtemplatesEveryone has used PowerPoint at least once in their life, and if you haven’t, you’ve at least seen a PowerPoint presentation. You’ve probably seen a few pretty bad ones too. The template used was too distracting, the presenter just read off of the slides, or the colors used were just awful. There’s always something that can turn an interesting topic into a bad PowerPoint presentation, and you don’t want to be included in that list. Start off with the right template by trying the five in this list.

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First, you have to realize that Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 comes with ten templates preinstalled when you installed the program. You can also search on Office.com and find plenty of user-created templates. Never purchase a template if you can get something just as good for free. This list includes five of the best free templates for you to use for business, educational, and personal presentations.

Business Templates

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 comes with two great business templates preinstalled. You don’t even have to go looking on Office.com and download them from the web. Downloading templates can be especially problematic if you’re using office equipment to create your PowerPoint so using the preinstalled templates may be just what you need.

To find these preinstalled templates, open Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, click on “File”, then click on “New”. From there, you’ll want to click on “Sample Templates” instead of looking through the folders underneath the title “Office.com Templates”. From there, you will have ten choices. Two of these are best for business presentations, and they are listed below.

1. Project Status Report

This template is particularly business-friendly because it even helps you write up the presentation. Each slide includes guiding questions to help you think of what to put in the presentation. In the notes beneath the slides, it includes further details regarding what to write. The template is minimalistic so there’s nothing about the background to distract, and it has places to add images relevant to the project.

It also includes smart art items to create project timelines and show resources used. This specific template even includes an appendix area to include links to other documents needed for the project if you plan to email this presentation to those working on the project. You can even share this document from right within Microsoft PowerPoint 2010.

2. Training

This template, appropriately named “Training” is one you can use for a new employees’ orientation. Like the template above it, the graphics are minimal and don’t distract from the presentation. A presentation like this allows you the opportunity to introduce new employees to the work they will be doing, the environment they will be working in, and important people within the company that they should know.

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A few other things that this template shares in common with the one above it is the use of smart art graphics to create lists and the ability to insert your own personal images. Along with the customization similarities, this template also includes an appendix and separate resource slide. The resource slide is especially helpful if you plan to show the employees how to use the links or if you plan to follow up by emailing the slideshow to them.

Educational Templates

Whether you are a student or a teacher, at one point you will be needing PowerPoint for an educational purpose. Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 offers one great preinstalled template for teachers, and you can find others by searching “education” or other related keywords on Office.com. The preinstalled template discussed next can also be used for specific student presentations that involve interaction with classmates.

Just like any other preinstalled templates, you just have to open Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, click on “File” then click on “New”. From there, you click on “Sample Templates” and pick the template you’d like to use. It’s quick and easy, and there’s no need to search Office.com and download different templates.

3. Quiz Show

This template is great if you want to do a quick oral pop quiz to see if your students remember information you covered yesterday or the week before, etc. Like the business templates, this template is minimalistic, preventing the background from distracting the students. However, it’s funner than the business templates in regards to the different slides offered.

Entitled “Quiz Show”, this template is exactly that – a quiz show. When clicking on the “New Slide” menu, you will see an offer for “True or False Question”, “Simple Question & Answer”, “Detailed Question & Answer” (not pictured), “Multiple Choice”, or “Item Match Up”. This template is great for any subject, any grade. When viewed in slideshow mode, you will notice that the slides give the students the question first and then the answer. It allows the students to do self-grading and self-scoring.

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Personal Templates

Like the other templates listed above, these two templates are preinstalled with Microsoft Office 2010. These personal templates can be used to create scrapbooks to show to family, family newsletters to send via email or post on social media, or even to create portfolios of personal photos if you work as a professional photographer.

4. Classic Photo Album

This template is a great look if you’re a professional photographer to create a personal portfolio of your photos. Using the “New Slide” menu, you can insert many different styles, and you can even use different tools within PowerPoint to change the look of your photographs by cropping them, changing their shape, or adding frames.

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5. Urban Photo Album

This template has a dual purpose. Not only is it an edgier way to show off your photos, but it also gives a bit of a tutorial regarding the different things you can now do to your photos. It also gives you a peek into the different slide styles available. Using this template will help you learn how to change your photos and also set a different mood for your photos. You will notice that some of the photos chosen as “place holders” by Microsoft don’t really go with the theme of the overall template.

Final Notes

The key to a great presentation goes beyond topic and who presents it. You also have to know how to present it. If you’re using an urban photo album template, you’re not going to have a successful business meeting. There are too many photo placeholders and things to distract from the presentation. You would end up doing more work completely redesigning the template to fit your needs instead of just using a template perfect for a business meeting.

If you’re a professional photographer using the Quiz Show template, you’ll have a lot of text boxes and graphics to delete meaning more time wasted. Whatever template you need, you can customize the colors of everything to suit your personal style. Don’t settle for the Urban Photo Album template just because of the colors. Pick the template that best suits the situation then customize. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy.

Page Last Updated: October 2013

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