Why do we use PowerPoint Templates?

We’ve all seen them. We’ve all covered our eyes or politely bowed our heads and looked away. We’ve all screwed our eyes and thought, “Oh no, I can’t watch this anymore”. But it’s not another rerun of Friends I’m referring too, it’s a presentation where the presenter has misunderstood the meaning and use of a PowerPoint template. In fact so much so that their audience could easily become hypnotised if forced to follow every text and object flying in from left and right of the screen.

A PowerPoint template can create order. It can also create structure, ease audience perception, and increase content absorption. But it can also mystify an audience, increase tension, impatience and switch off any attentive qualities that an audience were willing to offer on their outset.

Perhaps the main question to ask ourselves is why design a PowerPoint template at all? Why use resources on purchasing or creating a free powerpoint templates that we fill with content ourselves?

Well the PowerPoint template itself is typically designed with an opening slide, or Title Master. With additional slides composing the Slide Master.

For many this is where the role of the PowerPoint template stops. It’s purely design. A shell if you will, to house the content with the company logo always placed in the correct corner. But if we explore the concept of a template, we find that the template actually allows us to format all Font sizes for differing Titles, Subtitles, Headers, Footnotes, Dates, and Slide Numbers.

So if used correctly, the template can actually help you communicate your content to your audience by allowing them to understand that all Titles are this font and in this specific size. All Subtitles, this font and in this specific size etc., so that they quickly and intuitively understand the format of your slides, the emphasis of your key arguments, and core messages, and thus more easily follow your presentation.

Your content is the foundation of your presentation, and the presentation of your content, paramount to your presentations success. Your PowerPoint template is a key to that success, so define its attributes well. You can be aggressive and obtrusive with your content, but you must be subtle in its presentation.

By staying within the designed boundaries of the free ppt templates, you will create balance for your audience’s ability and willingness to accept your thoughts, beliefs, and arguments. And after all isn’t that all any of us can ever really ask of our presentation?

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