Hey, there’s nothing wrong with using PowerPoint templates – at the right time, and for the right reasons. But for strategic business presentations? If you have time to sit down and do it right? Then, no way!
See, the PowerPoint template was developed so businesses could achieve visual unity in their presentations. So businesses could structure material in visual form to support the spoken word. So companies could impose limits on employees, to keep them from making the kind of visual mistake that can compromise a brand. Think, the insult that’s caught by a live mike on air. Yeah, that kind of compromise.
So what’s the problem with PowerPoint templates? The Problem is that templates can really stifle you’re creative juices when you’re making slides. The Problem is that too many companies use so much flashy stuff in their template slides, they end up totally obscuring their messages. Do you want your key message getting lost in a mess of logos, colors and details that add absolutely nothing to your message?
This may seem crazy, but what SOAP has discovered is that when a PowerPoint template is too impactful, something is wrong. A template should be seen as the frame of a painting, not the painting itself. The template should never be the focus of attention – yet all too often it is. What we recommend instead is that, as much as possible, your slides should be created from scratch. Just go for it. What’s the worst that can happen? What you come up with just doesn’t fly? So what have you lost? Worst case, that template is still lurking there in the background, ready to take up the slack.
But, look, to avoid that worst-case scenario, get started early! The minute you know a presentation is in your future, start thinking what images would work best with the points you want to make. So there’s always going to be time for a last resort if what you come up with falls flat.
Presentations expert Garr Reynolds goes even further. He says that the logo should show up only at the very start and very end of a presentation. His thinking is that repeating the logo on all the slides makes for a lot of unnecessary “noise” on the slides and adds absolutely nothing the audience will care about. He describes it this way: Sticking a logo on every slide of a presentation is like saying your name before every sentence you speak. See? Ridiculous!
Look, your audience probably knows who you are. And they’re probably familiar with your logo. So twice in a presentation is more than enough.
And, finally, if your company insists on using PowerPoint templates with certain backgrounds and a logo on every slide, we urge you to be discreet, so those elements don’t end up dominating the slides and obscuring the other images you so carefully chose to use.