A great PowerPoint presentation template can wow audiences, and help you to build a slideshow quickly and easily. While you can create your own custom template, there’s a whole market of affordable PowerPoint templates that you can customize. But what should you be considering when deciding which one to choose?
PowerPoint templates are a great option for designers – or practically anyone – who wants to create a polished, professional-looking presentation that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together. Here’s what to look for to ensure that you are getting the perfect PowerPoint template for each specific presentation.
1. Consider the Audience
The first step in picking a PowerPoint presentation template is to think about who will see it.
- Is the audience viewing slides live as someone speaks?
- Is the audience an online group looking at slides on their own?
- Is the audience a mix of people who did and did not see the live presentation?
- Where in the world is the audience located?
The answers to these questions can impact everything from color to imagery to how words are presented in slides. You need a presentation template that visually aligns with your goals. You need to start with a template that will help your audience – no matter their location or where they are viewing slides – to understand the content with ease.
2. Choose Something Flexible
The most important element in selecting a PowerPoint presentation template might be finding something with enough flexibility that you can actually use it. The flexibility of style, and ability to edit content, color, typography and other elements is the prime differentiator between many free and premium presentation templates. (The $8 to $15 you spend for a premium template can be worth it in ease of use.)
Look for options that include flexible styles such as customizable graphics, charts, colors, and typography. If you are downloading a graphics-heavy option, look for something that uses vector shapes that you can adjust as needed.
3. Opt for Simplicity Over Flashiness
You don’t need a template with crazy transitions or animations. Don’t pay for these effects. They can be distracting and annoying. Most of these effects don’t add anything to the actual presentation. You want users to focus on the content, not what the content is doing.
In most cases, the same applies to sound and video elements. Keep the presentation simple and focus on what you are trying to say. There’s no need to dazzle the audience with effects. When in doubt, opt for a minimal PowerPoint template that doesn’t distract from your own presence on stage.
4. Look for Several Slide Types
A good slide deck template includes multiple slide types for varying content. So what kind of slides do you need? You should look for a template that includes the following options:
- Title slides for the first slide. and a secondary title (optional) for the end slide.
- Header slides for main content sections.
- Video and image slides.
- Text only slides.
- Mixed media slides with options for text and images or video. (There might be several options for this).
- Agenda slides that are made for content in list format.
- Chart and infographics slides.
5. Think About the Presentation Venue
If you’re using a presentation template to create a slideshow for a live venue, the location can make a lot of difference to the style you should select. How big or small is the room? Is it dark or brightly lit?
Tailor the presentation to the location. Look for a template that includes light and dark styles if you plan to use it for multiple, varying venues.
Use a dark background with light text for darker locations, and lighter backgrounds with dark text in brighter, larger locations. Following this simple rule will make your presentation easier on the audience so they can read and understand slides with ease.
6. How Does It Reflect Your Message?
What are you trying to say in your PowerPoint presentation? The template should fit with that message.
Presentation styles can vary from simple and straightforward, to corporate and business-focused, to more fun and funky. Do you have great imagery that will be the focus of the presentation design? Or is it more text heavy?
Pick a template with slide examples and options that reflect the kind of content you plan to use most often. Picking a cool, image-heavy style when you don’t have good photos is not a good fit and will leave your actual presentation looking a little flat.
Try to imagine your content in the actual slides when previewing template options. Does it seem like a fit? There should be some similarity in your content and the style of “dummy” content in the template. Picking something with a likeness will make it easier to adjust content and finish your presentation quickly.
7. Match Your Design Aesthetic
Finally, a good PowerPoint presentation template matches your design style. Do you like clean lines and white space? Or is a high-color template more appropriate?
By choosing a template that looks like something you would design, you are more likely to actually use it moving forward. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider a PowerPoint template design that has a look and feel similar to your website design. (That creates visual alignment with your branding.)
Use fonts and colors that fit your brand style as well. Sometimes it can be hard to see past the color and typography choices that come with a template; start by opening the file and immediately customizing the template to fit your brand. Do you still like it? Then the template is a fit.
Your PowerPoint presentations can communicate a lot about your brand and style. So finding an option that fits well can give the confidence you need to deliver a great pitch or presentation.
If you liked any of the examples in this article, each one is taken from our collection of the best PowerPoint templates from all over the web.