We have all suffered at one time or another from “Death by PowerPoint” syndrome. So, how to get your audience really interested in your presentations, instead of feeling the common “Not another 50-slide PowerPoint, please!”?. Templates are a good option, but are they enough? If you are tired of templates that never really seem to fit, there is one amazing option for you: custom PowerPoint design.
Death by PowerPoint
Over the years, PowerPoint has definitely acquired something of a bad reputation. Truth is, after years of bad PowerPoint presentations, it is no wonder that people have developed a strong aversion to the Microsoft Office’s presentation software. Some are even saying PowerPoint should be “banned” from Universities and other learning spaces. There is a deep-rooted idea that PowerPoint presentations encourage your audience to get distracted and that damages long-term memory. Many times people correlate “bad presentation” to PowerPoint when this is not necessarily true. There are terrible presentations, even without any visual aid. And you can make amazing, inspiring presentations if you just learn to use PowerPoint wisely.
People usually make the terrible mistake of assuming that “PowerPoint” equals to “Presentation”. This is a dangerous idea because it allows people to believe that all that matters is the PowerPoint file. A presentation is not even started if the only thing you have is a PowerPoint. What Microsoft Office did was to create an audio-visual tool that was extremely useful as a companion for the speaker. A PowerPoint will never be able to replace the actual presentation. Still, many people treat it as it should. And it’s at that moment when Death by PowerPoint happens.
PowerPoint presentations should complement the speaker. Maybe it does that though images that illustrate the point. Or by graphs and charts that allow the audience to grasp the data the speaker is talking about. PowerPoint is great to put things in perspective and show how a certain element is connected to other topics in your presentation. It can help you guide your audience through the presentation. However, if you’re just going to read the things already written in the PowerPoint, then it’ll only be distracting.
The Perfect Presentation’s Skill Set
PowerPoint is difficult to use because it demands two different sets of abilities. First, you need good public speaking to engage your audience and communicate effectively your points. The tone of voice, body language, and confidence; these and many more are things that definitely influence if the presentation is good or dreadfully boring. Luckily, these are skills that can be trained and improved.
But to make a good PowerPoint, you also need some designing skills. It’s important to know how to complement your ideas in the best visual way possible. The layout and color palettes you use for your PowerPoint can also influence how engaging your presentation is. If you don’t believe it, check out these examples of bad PowerPoint design and how they influence the way a presentation can come across to the audience.
Learning how to showcase your information in a visually attractive way is pretty difficult, and above all, time-consuming. So many people prefer to just give up and keep working with mediocre (and sometimes just plain ugly) presentations. It’s pretty difficult to make a perfectly customized PowerPoint presentation design from scratch. So, what should you do to avoid Death by PowerPoint?
The easy way out: PowerPoint Templates
To fight back “Death by PowerPoint” syndrome, many have taken to use templates. Templates are a great, quick way to make your presentation look cleaner. I bet that every single person has used a PowerPoint template at least once in their life. To keep the default presentation all-white style is the quickest way to induce Death by PowerPoint. However, when you start trying to edit it on your own, you probably find out quickly enough that it doesn’t quite look the way you imagined on your head.
Certainly, every single presentation will look better with tailor-made audiovisual support. Whether it’s pictures, data or a summary of the most important points, presenting them in a visually appealing way can be very helpful. It doesn’t only make it more likely that your audience will pay you their full attention. It also increases the probabilities that they understand faster and retain the information for a longer time after the presentation has ended.
However, it’s not easy at all to come all by yourself with a custom presentation design. You can have problems picking a color palette that represents your brand but doesn’t look eye-straining. Coming up with a good layout it’s also harder than it seems. Your slides can easily look too cramped or too empty. Even something as little as lettering matters when trying to make your PowerPoint presentation look clean and professional.
That’s when presentation templates come in. Sure, templates will never have a customized PowerPoint design, but it’s still better than nothing.
-Microsoft PowerPoint templates:
Microsoft Office offers a good number of their own templates completely for free. These “themes” are available to anyone with PowerPoint automatically. And the greatest thing, it that you don’t need an internet connection to download them. These templates offer a range of basic designs, mostly based around a specific color and geometric designs.
The main problem with these is that, all things considered, they’re pretty generic too. You could use any of them no matter the topic since they’re specially made to be able to fit any presentation. Combines with the basic layout slides, the result is pretty much just a basic all-text PowerPoint presentation.
What not many people know is that you can also download templates for free from the official Microsoft Office website. These are way more personalized templates that answer to concrete needs. For example, a roadmap presentation, or a timeline. Sadly, there are very few options from which to choose, but it’s still a resource to consider.
Microsoft office also offers color palettes ideas. These are great in case you are willing to invest time doing a personalized layout, but you want to make sure the colors don’t clash. It’s a good option, but designing layout and charts and graphs is still very time-consuming. Unless you put time and effort into making a customized presentation design, it’ll probably just look like the basic template, only in another color palette.
Another option is the Design Ideas tool, a new feature of Microsoft 365. PowerPoint Designer offers the users more intuitive suggestions on how to change the layout and overall design of the slides. But is what you’re looking for is the best look possible with the least possible time invested, it’s not that effective. It still takes time and knowledge to be able to use the Design Ideas tool.
-Free online PowerPoint templates
When Microsoft templates are not enough, you can always count on the internet. You can find thousands and thousands of free online PowerPoint templates. And chances are, the more specific your search is, the closer you’re going to get to what you want for your presentation.
For example, at Templates by 24Slides you can find hundreds of amazing presentation templates. You’ll find templates for every business and industry. The great thing is, you’ll also find templates concerning not only specific topics but also concerning ways to showcase the information. For example, Gantt diagrams, or agenda templates. You can find pyramid diagrams templates or maps templates. And since you can download all the templates you want, it’s easy to pick the slide you think you fit the best and create your own presentation.
As great as templates are, if we’re talking of an option that is time-friendly, they are not the ideal solution either. They still have to be heavily edited if you want them to look on-brand, for your company. And, while it’s easy to edit the templates once you’ve downloaded them, it still requires a time investment.
Even more, you still need to have a general idea of what you want your presentation to look like, and how you want to showcase your information. Otherwise, you can spend hours going through the thousands of templates that are available online.
-Paid PowerPoint templates
Another option of those really interested in making their PowerPoint presentation look professional and clean is to buy templates only. For example, in GraphicRiver you can find over 8,000+ PowerPoint templates to buy. The good thing about this is that you can but big Slide packages and they will be all your disposal forever. Depending on where you buy, you can find more stylized and eye-catching presentations. But overall is the same idea as free online templates.
And, as with free templates, there’s still a time investment to make them a truly customized PowerPoint design specifically for your business. You still have to spend time looking for the best fit for what you plan to do. You also have to edit the template and decide which slides are actually useful and which ones you’re not going to use. It’s highly unlikely that you find a presentation that is exactly what you’re looking for, so you could even have to mix slides from several presentations.
In short, there’s not only time being spent, but you also need some kind of knowledge of how your information can be represented visually. For example, you need to be aware that you want a certain part to look like a timeline, so you can look for timeline templates, and so on. The initiative must come from you when using templates, whether these are paid or not.
So if you’re already willing to pay for a more professional looking presentation, there’s another option that will make better use of your resources.
Custom PowerPoint designs
Outsourcing is a practice that is being used more and more in the business world. When people think about outsourcing, they usually think of secondary tasks, like legal processes, or publicity. This allows businesses to avoid having a department exclusively for these tasks, and focus their resources on producing. But there are a lot of extra “hidden” secondary tasks that can also be improved through outsourcing.
Presentation design is definitely one of these. Almost every single business needs to do presentations. Whether it’s for clients, investors or presentations for inside the company itself, chances are PowerPoint is a constant in your business life. And presentations are important. They can mean the difference between selling something or getting a new investor. Sadly, many times people can’t or are unwilling to invest the time needed for a truly good presentation. And it’s completely understandable because it’s a “secondary” task.
That’s precisely why you should consider outsourcing presentation design. Many people are not willing to invest in hiring custom presentation design services. After all, why would you pay extra for something you can do yourself? But the truth is that, in the first place, you can’t do it yourself. Not at least with the same quality that a professional designer will do it. And second: you’re already investing in it!
Have you ever asked yourself how many hours a week or a month you spend doing PowerPoint presentations? All that time is costing you time and effort from other tasks. Check out how much money you really invest in making PowerPoint presentations with this handy Cost Calculator. At the very best, you’re expending $719 a year. This is an incredible amount of money to expend in something that doesn’t look professional and takes vital time from more important tasks. So wouldn’t you like to expend the same amount but in some custom PowerPoint design?
- You spend your money on acquiring high quality, custom PowerPoint designs that really reflect your brand. Forget about generic templates and start working with presentations that really have your seal.
- You and your team don’t have to spend time editing templates or making PowerPoint from scratch. You will be able to manage your time better and have more resources for more important tasks and focus on your strengths.
- Your presentations always have a professional feel that makes them more memorable to your audience.
- Professional layout and data representation. No more cramped slides or boring bullet points lists. Invest in customized designs that will make your presentation more visually striking. People process images thousands of times faster than text, so you wouldn’t be fighting your own PowerPoint for your audience’s attention.
- Pay per treatment and according to your budget. There are custom presentation design services for every budget. It depends on how close your deadline is, how many things you to change in your presentations, and so on. You have a wide range of pricing to choose from!
- Deadline commitment. Never again go to a meeting with an improvised or half-done PowerPoint presentation! Since it’s their job, custom PowerPoint design services will make sure that your presentation is ready for whenever you need it to be.
- Working with a custom PowerPoint design service takes a learning process. The more you work with a team of designers, the easier it’ll be for them to know what you want and how you want it. Learning to use the communication platforms can also take some time, but it’ll make your relationship with the designers easier over time.
Is custom PowerPoint design the right option for you?
As always, there’s no easy “yes or no” answer to this question. It depends on how big the demand for PowerPoint presentations is in your business and how much time you spend on trying to make these look good. If presentations are an important part of your company’s public image, it’s certainly a good idea to invest in some high-quality custom presentation design services. It will not only help you save time and money, but also improve how professional and dependable you look.
If you’re still not sure and want to know more about 24Slides and the overall outsourcing process, you can watch this video:
So, are you ready to save time and money while still having beautiful presentations?