Powerpoint presentations are the chosen vehicle for many businesses to make a great impression on potential clients. They need to impress as much as inform. So why do you see so many dull and disorganized examples? It almost starts to seem as though you are supposed to make them look like that.
But surely, you won’t do that. You want a Powerpoint template that looks great, highlights your brand, and supports you in making an impact. Of course, whether you are starting from scratch, from a downloaded template, or from an existing company standard file, you need to know your way around Powerpoint before you can make it better.
Get started with a course covering essential Powerpoint skills. Learning the details of the program, you will feel confident implementing changes and you won’t feel limited with regard to what you can accomplish.
But then, of course, there is still the issue of knowing what to look for in a Powerpoint template to bring it up to snuff. Read on for some of the main things to look for. Then, think about building your design muscle in a course specifically focused on designing excellent templates.
Keep it simple
When you are making a Powerpoint presentation, you don’t want to overload the slide with information. That is something you should think about when you set up the template as well. Design it to work with a three-bullet-point-per-slide standard. And, of course, you will want to include slide designs that are even more minimalist, to highlight essential points and add style.
The right kind of colorful
Certainly you weren’t thinking of dosing up on grays and neutral colors. Right? You want your presentation to be colorful, but you don’t want to go with just any colors that come to mind. You need to work with your brand’s color scheme. The last thing you want to do is dilute your brand identity by throwing in a lot of hues that don’t match this set.
There are tools to help you with this. Adobe’s Kuler is a great option. You can keep your brand colors organized and quickly access shades that will allow you to extend the palette and still highlight the brand. If you really want to feel confident in approaching color schemes, you can take an online course focusing on understanding color in print and web design.
If you are part of a small company, you might be reading this and thinking “I still need to define my brand first.” There are options to help you do this before you tighten up your brand colors. You might benefit from a free course covering the major brand archetypes. This can help you understand what your brand is trying to convey, and you can build from there.
Make it all line up
One of the easiest ways to go wrong with a presentation is to get bullet points and other elements misaligned. It’s also one of the easiest ways to look unprofessional. You will want to make sure that you are setting bullet points to line up correctly with the heading and that nothing is even just a little bit off, including objects in the background.
Once you have taken some basic instruction in Powerpoint (even if its a refresher) you should feel confident about getting this right. Just be sure to make it a must-do on your review checklist.
Templates are not just backgrounds
It’s easy to get the idea that a Powerpoint template starts and ends with the elements and colors making up the backgrounds and the general layout that will be used to contain information. You may build up a few slides with variations on the major theme and figure you are done.
As you learn the program, you’ll come to find there are many details you can control with the template. For instance, you will want to create a library of approved font styles and objects that will regularly go in to presentations.
Skipping these items is a main reason that presentations start to get scattered and sloppy as different professionals create them from the template. They want to include items that are not already available or use a different font style, and they get things out of whack from the template.
So cover as much as you can with template creation to avoid these problems.
Smart fonts. Maybe not custom ones
It’s tempting to use custom fonts to make your presentation stand out. You can find some good ones and build a nice typography for your presentation. But there can be big problems.
If you don’t load the fonts in correctly, you can end up with a default font replacement and a messy look when you need to load your presentation on to a different computer. Even if you do load in the fonts, you will end up with a very large file that will be difficult to work with, slow down loading time, and cause problems when you attempt to transfer it.
So you might take the route of working with what you already have. It could definitely benefit you to understand some basic typography, so you avoid creating combinations that clash and so your font works with the message you are putting across. You might try a course online that covers some essentials of typography.
Great design is great Powerpoint design
Ultimately, you will want to consider that designing your Powerpoint template well is engaging in overarching principles of good design. In other words, Powerpoint is not a self-contained universe that abides to its own design laws.
This is a good thing because you can leverage general design principles to create an outstanding slide deck. You might look in to a course covering general principles of graphic design to really take your presentation to the next level.
You have a world of options in approaching your Powerpoint templates. Just don’t get in the habit of thinking one of those options is to make them bland and/or scattered. Unleash your creativity to make something that will wow prospects and put your company in a great light.