In looking for ways to produce visually stunning presentations for clients or end-users, Microsoft PowerPoint can be a design powerhouse. However, most users don’t make the most of PowerPoint’s design capabilities and miss out on the benefits that come with a well-designed template. Office suite’s “power users” – like the expert design team at Bluewave – recommend creating a template or master for your slideshow. This offers a more professional result, providing cohesive messaging and a better and more memorable viewing experience for your audience.
Why do I need a PowerPoint template?
A PowerPoint template, or Master, enables the user to maintain consistency of key elements throughout the slideshow. Elements like color scheme, title, text, charts, logos, and images will appear in consistent sizes and designated positions throughout the presentation. If your template is not well-designed, you may find major issues when adding key elements to a frame – fonts, alignment of text, logos and graphics can change – shifting the focus of your slideshow and distracting from your message.
A well-designed template makes these elements easy to apply across a number of slides to elevate your presentation. Your template becomes the foundation for your slideshow AND your message – allowing you and team members to collaborate quickly and on-brand in a flexible environment. Users should be able to easily change content, incorporate additional information, and modify existing slides for different messages, needs, and audiences without having to worry about formatting and layouts. Well-designed templates are a great way to make building presentations effortless in a collaborative setting.
How do I know if my template is well-designed?
There are a few ways you can check your template to make sure it’s well designed. For instance:
Are you using slide layouts? If not, why?
If you’re not using slide layouts to build new slides, chances are you aren’t using a true “template”.
Are you able to easily swap out images without having to resize/reshape them?
Templates will provide image placeholders that are sized and positioned consistently across layouts. This allows you to easily “change image” without having to preset sizes or manage shape or color overlays.
Are your brand colors and logo size/position consistent throughout?
Logos should generally align to the “grid” in the same place throughout the presentation. In addition, your brand colors should be set up in the template’s color palette so you can easily apply a brand color to text and graphics.
When you view the presentation in grayscale, are all elements visible and readable?
People may opt to quickly print out your presentation, and many printers default to black & white. Because of this, we recommend setting grayscale at the template level, to improve readability in color AND grayscale.
Are your fonts consistent?
This applies to both the type of font itself (think Segoe vs Segoe Light vs Segoe Semilight) and the size of headers and body text. Your brand fonts should be set as the default fonts in the template and appear at the top of the list of fonts.
Your presentation not only needs to connect with your audience, it needs to represent your brand’s vision and values. This means that beyond containing the correct brand colors, logos and fonts, your template needs to reflect the personality and even the ethos of the brand. Companies spend a lot of time and money on their brand identity – as much as $70,000-200,000 (How much should startup branding cost? Here’s a clear answer.). Every point of contact that people have with your brand needs to be consistent and considered; a presentation template both tells your story, and evokes the feeling, voice, and style of your brand.
We recommend partnering with design experts to save time and optimize your work from the beginning.
Partnering with a design agency will ensure your template is well-designed and set up correctly (a lot of templates aren’t). Using a good creative brief, the agency can custom design your content to create a visually-compelling presentation that best communicates your message and compels the audience to the desired action – whether it’s text and images, animation, or video.
Producing a PowerPoint slideshow might seem effortless – like anyone can do it with the click of a button. But without a well-designed corporate presentation template, you’ll waste time trying to fix inconsistencies and chasing down brand elements. A template is an important tool in not only conveying the story you are telling; it has the power to elevate your story and bring it to the next level, transforming it into a truly memorable presentation.
With years of experience and a dedicated team, Bluewave is up for the challenge. We help clients discover new ways to engage with audiences and improve the experience, through a mix of logic, data, emotion, and inspiration. A memorable message doesn’t disappear when the speaker sits down, or the class comes to an end. A stellar presentation gets people talking about the content in the hours or days after your time on stage. Starting with a well-designed template, your message is sure to be remembered.