How to master PowerPoint design to make your presentation unique

PowerPoint design is a key element of business. Whether you like it or not, this basic programme dominates the corporate world. And it often has a place in the creative one too. Thankfully, PowerPoint design ideas are growing in artistic spirit. Now you can combine creative mind and corporate purpose. But with so many PowerPoint happening throughout the world every day, how can you make yours unique?

In this article, I will guide you through the main elements of PowerPoint design, including content, themes, images, colours and fonts. So you can learn how to add a special spark of individuality to your next presentation.

Unique Content

Creating unique content can seem like a daunting task. You might be might be selling an idea or product that thousands of others have sold before you. Fashion brands, charities, and law firms, for example, all face this problem. But your product or message doesn’t have to be one of a kind to make your content stand out. You make your content unique.

No one else in the world has your exact story. Your perspective is entirely unique. By speaking honestly and articulately through your own viewpoint, you transform something standard into something special.

This Visme article highlights the power of storytelling in presentations. People love hearing stories. They capture the emotive responses of your brain and make a message more meaningful and memorable.

Storytelling is a far more unique way to deliver content than something boring like bullet points. The same information can be portrayed much more effectively in a tale than a table. Better a legend than a list.

So unique content is undoubtedly important. And you can read more about it in our article: 7 Elements Of Successful Storytelling In Presentations. But I want to focus on how unique PowerPoint design ideas can transform your presentation.

Unique PowerPoint Themes

The days of standard Microsoft PowerPoint templates are over. The internet is buzzing with template designs. There are so many out there that you can easily find one to match your unique needs. Even standard designs can be adapted to your style.

Keeping on top of presentation design trends can really boost the potential of your PowerPoints. It’ll show that your presentation is well-researched and professional. And that you have put in the necessary time and effort to make your PowerPoint special. Check out this article for the 2019 trends.

There are countless unique PowerPoint themes to choose from. But here are some ideas to get you started.

Stop-motion Style

Stop-motion is an extremely creative and artistic form of presentation. It is almost like making a film. That gives it similar storytelling and cinematic power. You can portray your message with captivating visuals and a charming flow. It takes a lot of time. But if done properly, your time is infinitely rewarded with a fantastic and memorable PowerPoint.

This example from Johnny Lawrence shows the artistic potential of whiteboard animation as a type of stop-motion. But you can easily adapt the style to more entrepreneurial or educational purposes.

Wood Theme

Wood is a classic, soothing template that you can easily adapt to make it unique. It works particularly well in culinary or carpentry industries. But its homey and subtle elements give it a universal appeal. It’s more casual than sophisticated. But if you want to create a relaxed environment for a heavy topic, it’s a great template to soften the harsh edges of an idea.

80’s Theme

This is a bit of a wildcard that will certainly give a unique feel to your PowerPoint. 80’s style is so bold and exaggerated, it immediately captures attention. Neon writing and bright shapes can transform boring content into energetic visuals. It’s a bit of fun, yet effective as a readable and eye-catching design. And will definitely enliven your next business meeting.

Nature Theme

Nature is a universal theme that you can easily adapt. Yes, nature is everywhere. But it has billions of different forms. You can choose the focus of your natural theme. From leaves to trees to seas and beaches and mountains. It’s an infinitely adaptable template that can adjust to your content. Use full-slide powerful images for motivation. Or decorate the sides with protruding palm leaves. Particularly useful for home or environmental topics, this theme relates to the natural spirit of any audience.

Cyclical Theme

Circles immediately suggest completion. They are a symbol of something whole and finished. A round and satisfying shape, you can use a circle to show the totality of your idea and fullness of your message. Circles are a friendly shape that represents eternity. Instil a belief in your audience of the infinite potential of what you are presenting. It is also a very basic theme that gives plenty of room for adaptation to make it truly unique.

Glitter Theme

Glitter is an openly eccentric PowerPoint theme that many would shy away from. If you use it well, your bold choice will certainly make for a unique presentation. Whether the whole PowerPoint background is glittered or just a touch on some important points, it’s definitely eye-catching. This level of glam is especially effective in industries like fashion or fame. But if you want to add a spark of something special to any presentation, glitter is a very literal, unique way to go.

Vintage Theme

Everyone likes vintage. It’s comfortingly nostalgic and adds a cool, folksy look to corporate concepts. Especially if you’re considering a historical viewpoint, it’s a logical template. But for any topic, the style of bold lettering on old posters can really grip an audience. Intricate picture borders can focus and frame your slides. And the pastel palette gives chance to contrast colours in a classic retro way.

Coffee Theme

Like the wood and vintage PowerPoint themes, coffee is another hipster kind of template that rings with millennial styles. Coffee links to a lot of lifestyles, including creative and corporate, and is a universal thing with positive associations. Connected to productivity and efficiency, coffee presentation themes can capture both speed and modernity as well as calm and coolness. It can act as a subtle PowerPoint background for any topic or a unique visual focus. After all, who doesn’t love coffee?

Cinemagraph Theme

A cinemagraph is a PowerPoint background that is predominantly still but with a single moving section. It’s a very effective cinematic style, which includes something kinetic that isn’t distracting. It’s like a sophisticated version of a GIF. It takes a bit of effort but the effect is well worth it. You can adapt it to your content and create something unique that captures an audience without diverting them.

Check out this article for more information about how to include a cinemagraph in your PowerPoint. Or watch the video below!

Unique PowerPoint Design

Now you have content and PowerPoint themes, it’s time to consider PowerPoint design. Even unique templates can be made even more individual with your individual adaptation. Design is a vital element in making a unique PowerPoint. So now we’re going to focus on the three main focuses of presentation design: colour, visuals and font.

Unique Colour

Colour is a powerful tool to trigger a specific emotion within your audience. Whatever you want that response to be, you can tailor your colour scheme to inspire it. You can learn more about the meaning behind different colours in this article: Colours in PowerPoint.

Other than stirring emotion, colour can be used to highlight the consistency of your company or idea. One way to make your PowerPoint unique is by connecting colours to your brand or logo. Many websites and software exist to make this easier. But you can also use the PowerPoint Eye Dropper tool to ensure a consistent colour theme. Immediately, your presentation stands out from the rest. It is unique to your company and your message.

For more inspiration on colours palettes, check out Color Lovers.

For an especially specific look, you could experiment with duotones. It’s a rising trendy way to design your PowerPoint in two tones. By using double consistent but different shades, you create specific effects. Subtle or shocking, the choice is up to you. It’s popular at the moment due to its edgy look and many young businesses are adopting the style. But you can easily make it unique to your PowerPoint by using the duotone effect with your company colours.

Another smart technique is using a mainly black and white theme with a splash of bright colour. This adds a shocking extra to the classic sophistication of monochrome. It’s also a brilliant technique to focus attention on important elements of your presentation. Maintain a consistent balance and use the extra colour sparingly. But with the right design, this colour scheme can add a unique spark to any PowerPoint.

Unique Images

The most obvious way to make your images unique is to use your own. Avoid stock images and you immediately create exclusive visuals. Take your own photographs. Not only will the results be distinct, but they will also capture the exact representation of your message. Don’t waste time trying to adapt a stock image to your idea. Instead, go out and find that precise visual that represents it for you. You could also photograph an event that you’re promoting in order to show its success in the past. Or you could take photos of your colleagues performing their job roles to show that your company is a personal and friendly environment.

Just remember: be playful but not cheesy. Every visual you use should be simple, high-quality and purposeful. Whether it’s a stock image or a personal photo, make sure it’s used to support the larger picture.

Another unique way to use images is by creating illustrations. This was famously brilliantly done by Eric Schmidt in his presentation How Google Works.

This technique is so effective because it leads us on a journey through their message. It’s basically another form of storytelling. So the flow of the narrative and artwork keeps us captivated and intrigued from the beginning. The result is something, not only individual but very powerful.

One key 2019 PowerPoint design trend is using infographics. They are basically just a way of representing data using images rather than traditional charts. The example below shows the basic use of a pie chart. But instead of using the classic (and boring) block colours, it represents the data with pictures of food. Not only is the image more interesting and eye-catching, it makes the information far more digestible.

Read this article for more examples of infographics.

Or you can check out our very own article: How to make an Infographic in PowerPoint.

Unique Fonts

There are some beautiful fonts out there. Don’t restrict your message by sticking to the basics. In fact, the internet has collected more font than you can count. Especially considering you can even make your own. So rather than suggesting which fonts to use, let’s focus on which ones to avoid.

Papyrus tries to be interesting but just looks ugly and unprofessional, and its use has become cliché. Copperlate Gothic is ancient, and not in a cool vintage way. Just in a boring and dreary way. Vivaldi is needlessly dramatic overly loopy and curled. Arial is a classic, which makes it lazy. Handwriting fonts can be artistic and eye-catching. But Bradley Hand is more of a messy scrawl than an example of calligraphy. Impact is bold but amateur and unprofessional, as it is often used in memes and captions. Courier is overused and bland.

Try some more unique and creative fonts instead! More than just a tool to relay your words, fonts can have an artistic essence in themselves. Typography can be just as powerful as text.

This article has outlined the ways you can use and adapt PowerPoint themes, colours, images and fonts to make your PowerPoint unique. There are countless other ways to throw an individual spark into your presentation. From using props to photo crops, to vertical formatting and whitespace-heavy slides.

But whatever you do to make your PowerPoint special, remember the golden rule to keep it simple. You might be tempted to stuff a presentation full of exciting effects or dramatic appearances. But like so many things, something small can make a huge impact. So make little changes and include tiny details and watch your PowerPoint transform into something epic.