You probably know the situation very well; despite strict branding rules and maybe even best practice guidelines, your colleagues continue to use outdated, off-brand and self-styled templates for their PowerPoint presentations. Sound familiar? Here are five tips to make things easier for both you and them...
#1 Simplicity rules when building PowerPoint templates
Your ordinary user is probably not a PowerPoint wiz or a trained graphic designer, so make sure your templates are intuitive for the average Joe. You can always create 'simple' and 'advanced' versions of the templates you need once the basics are in place.
#2 Let PowerPoint be PowerPoint
You can love or hate it, but you need to accept what PowerPoint can do and live with its limitations. Your colleagues will continue to use PowerPoint to communicate – your task is to ensure they do so within the correct visual identity.
#3 Build a core PowerPoint template
Implement your visual identity on all the core elements in the template: add your logos and graphics, format text boxes with company fonts and bullet styles, set the correct color themes, default shape formats and default chart formats. In short, make sure all PowerPoint features used are tailored to your brand.
#4 Build generic templates that allow for customization
You can't predict all the different things your users will want to communicate through PowerPoint, so make it easy to use for any communication need. Don't create rigid limits or focus on just one type of presentation.
Creating several PowerPoint templates is a good idea, for example:
- One for large audience presentations, for those consultants that need sharp graphics and charts.
- One for users who like to prepare reports in PowerPoint, maybe even in A4 format.
#5 Build additional files with default slides, or content to copy and paste
Don't be tempted to build a template with 100 slides, leaving users with the task of cleaning up files and removing content before giving presentations or sharing documents with others. Build a set of additional files instead, with content that users can copy and paste as needed.
Commonly needed slides include:
- A set of title slides
- Break slides
- Agenda slides
- Company figures
- Product slides
- Shapes and smart art