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PowerPoint template do’s and don’ts

Posted by Stinson / May 28th, 2016
Hipster businessman using laptop in his office.

Hipster businessman using laptop in his office.

What is a PowerPoint template?

Much like your website or brochures, PowerPoint presentations are typically the first piece of information you are providing prospects or partners. And, much like your website, these presentations need significant investment if you wish to impress your audience. The good news is, you probably own a license of PowerPoint and therefore feel empowered to create a compelling piece of marketing yourself. And, unless you are a design firm, this in only partly true. You see owning a software does not make you proficient in its use. Not that you can’t handle the software, but you could probably use a little help.

PowerPoint designers like ourselves offer both custom presentations or custom templates. The latter is a PowerPoint file which will help create high-end presentations on your own time. They will help you keep your company’s look and feel consistent in every presentation.

The PowerPoint template will be the framework to each and every one of your presentations and will help you create all the types of slides you may need. Here is a list of do’s and don’ts to look into when creating a PowerPoint template.

What are the Do’s?

powerpoint-template-dos1

  • Ensure that the template look and feel incorporates your brand identity guidelines. (fonts, colors, use of logos and images)
  • Make sure the template matches the rest of your marketing collateral. (website, brochure, advertising)
  • While respecting your guidelines, ensure that there is a good contrast between the text and the background. If your dominant color is dark, try to use light fonts and vice versa. Chances are, if your guideline were professionally designed, this had been taken care of by the designer in the first place. This is very important, as you will be presenting this on projectors and screens, which don’t necessarily have the best contrast settings.
  • Make sure the font size is big enough to be read from the back of a room when projected.
  • Try your template on an existing presentation. The template should have a master slide for each type of slide you currently use. We recommend a minimum of 8 master slides, but you may need many more than that.
  • Make sure your template includes media placeholders, which will minimize your margin of error when importing visuals.

What are the Don’ts?

powerpoint-template-donts

  • The don’ts start with the list above, make sure your brand guidelines are respected, fonts are used correctly, your logo is displayed in a proper manner. Make sure your template looks compelling, but is also readable on a screen, from the back of a room.
  • Avoid templates that have ready built visuals, such as photos and graphics, instead request visual placeholders so that you can customize the images and videos in your slides.
  • Some presentation designers offer templates that only have one master slide. They may have done a stellar job at designing the slide, if you have to build the content yourself this will not be of much help to you. Make sure you have a master slide for each content slide you currently work with.
  • Make sure master slides are consistent and that titles, content and logos are aligned throughout the masters.

Custom vs. generic PowerPoint templates

There you have it, a few tips on creating PowerPoint templates. There is much room for interpretation because each project will be different, but overall make sure the slide match your company image, are consistent and easy to use. If you don’t have the budget for a custom template, there are some stock PowerPoint templates out there, however, these are unlikely to match your full identity, while being simple to use.

If you have the budget for it, we recommend getting a fully customized presentation. A customized presentation, not only has a template adapted to your brand, but all of the assets are built specifically for your brand as well. This is the most powerful visual asset you will have, whatever the event you are presenting for.