Business PowerPoint template is a tool that can either make or break a deal. Like any other tools out there it needs maintenance to be in shape and effective for you.
PowerPoint templates are a great way to replicate and reuse design elements of a presentation deck. Repetitive tasks become easier to handle this way.
You may have already know the benefits and why you are using a template but anyway just to remind you again, here are a few ways in which a template can help you:
- Cut costs as you do not have to send them to graphic designers frequently
- Less time consuming as you already have specific layouts for your slides
- Consistent slides for all your presentations
- Slides which go with the brand of your company
- Maintain professionalism
- Helps you to be more efficient and productive
But the common problem with templates is their maintenance, especially when you have a big team that regularly uses PowerPoint as a mode of communication. So, how do we make it up to date, consistent with your company's brand and easy to use at the same time?
Below are some pointers that you should always keep in mind when either you are planning to update your PowerPoint template or planning to make one:
First and foremost, stay updated with the current trend (design/ technology)
Having said that, I did not mean that you go overboard and mess up your company's brand identity or go about re-branding every few months. Just knowing which style is in the market helps you plan your content and adapt those subtle changes into your template to keep your presentation fresh and engaging. If you have a design partner, talk to them on a regular basis about a revamp.
Having the above knowledge will definitely help you with the following:
- Logo Usage – A template in itself should be a plug and play thing, but the truth is its not always 100% true. There are always instances when you need to tweak and customize. In such cases, a template should have clear guidelines on when and where to use it, like the placement of logo, so as not to deface your brand. This way anyone using the template knows exactly what needs to be done while working with the template for their presentation.
- Size Options – In a template, it is also advisable to specify the size or dimension of the template. Are the slides in the right size such as 4×3 or 16×9? This will help the users of the template know the preference of the company and will not go off track from what the company wants. It is always advisable to have your template on both the formats.
- Importing old slides into the new template – Importing old slides into the new template is what everyone does every time. Sometimes you need to combine slides from different templates or decks, then a bizarre situation – a mixture of different styles and inconsistent look and feel. The most common problem by adding slides from a different template is that you end up having multiple master templates.
To prevent your template structure and design from following multiple duplicate master templates and slide layouts, do: copy and paste each element from one deck into your presentation deck.
As a rule of thumb copy the contents not the slide(s)
Images - Knowing how to use the images in a deck will make the job easier for the users of the template. A good template must have example slides with indications about the usage of images, what type, size or style you prefer.
If you have your own collection of images that is great. So if you don't have your own collection, use free images from online. But do keep in mind the Copyright issues to avoid legal disputes. Make sure you understand the copyright policies and only use images from a reliable authentic source.
Typography - Typography is another important factor to maintain a template. A careful selection of fonts is important right from the initial stage of creating a PowerPoint template. If you have a brand guideline this would have been specified. If not or you don't have one, it is recommended to use one family type throughout a presentation. That is why it is required to set directly from the master template so that there is no mixing of different font types in a deck.
Things to consider while choosing the right font for your presentation are - will the font be compatible in any system? Is the font readable to an audience be it a small group or a large group of people? Avoid using decorative fonts and most important stay away from comic sans, period!
Style of Formatting – If you consistently prefer a certain style or way of formatting, it is also good to list them in a template of your preferences. You can mention what kind of shapes or lines you like, what kind of charts or diagrams you would like to see in your every presentation. This way it helps in maintaining consistency throughout. This would be as part of the template uses and guidelines.
Usability – To be in line with your brand and formatting aspect, a template should also be easily usable, editable and to add extra shapes? Flexibility to add a new slide, pre-defined layouts where you can just insert, drag and drop shapes or images into your slides. All of these are to be considered in a template, in fact, it should be.
Layout Use – Maintain a variety of layouts for users to choose from. It is also advisable that you have different layouts for commonly used slides, so you can switch anytime. Like layouts for bullet points, for photos, illustrations videos and so on. This builds uniformity in a deck and easy to use.
Branding – As I mentioned earlier, maintain your brand in whatever direction you want to go, just make sure you don't go overboard. Your PowerPoint template is a key branding material. Be careful while selecting and using colors, like your primary color and accent color. They should all be in line with your corporate branding.
These are a few important points where you can follow to maintain a template and not only that, it will also guide you if you are planning to have one. Want to learn more about Corporate PowerPoint templates? Here are some articles below to fill your needs.