Definition and Uses for a PowerPoint Design Template

Vision Slide Template
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A PowerPoint design template lends cohesiveness, visual organization, and aesthetic appeal to your presentation. All you have to do is add your own content; the rest is already designed into the template. Even though individual slides use different layouts and graphics, templates help the whole presentation cohere as an attractive package.

All versions of PowerPoint support templates.

Where to Find PowerPoint Design Templates

Microsoft offers thousands of free, professionally designed PowerPoint design templates, all categorized to help you find what you need. Many other sources of varying quality and prices are available online, as well.

Depending on your version of PowerPoint, the program launches straight into a template picker or you can access it through File > New.

How to use PowerPoint Design Templates

When you choose a template you like from Microsoft's repository, download to store the template on your computer. Clicking the downloaded file opens PowerPoint, with your chosen template already loaded and ready to use. Alternatively, if you have a valid Microsoft account, use the template right in your browser.

Choosing the Right Design

PowerPoint templates

When checking out templates, look at typography, color, background graphics, layout, and overall feel. Consider how well they work with these factors:

  • Your audience: If you're presenting a PowerPoint to a business crowd, "safe" colors such as blue and black connote stability and trustworthiness. Conventional layouts work well in this situation. Likewise, an artsier crowd might appreciate more color and less-common layouts.
  • Your content: The template should offer enough flexibility to accommodate your copy and graphics. If much of your content is bulleted, for example, look for a template that displays lists in a format you find appropriate and pleasing to your audience.
  • Your branding: If your project is business-related, branding is important. Choose a PowerPoint template that harmonizes with your logo, graphics, and style.
  • Your image: Matching the design to your identity seems like an obvious suggestion, but it's easy to get wrong. For example, if you're creating a presentation on a highly technical topic, avoid templates with soft colors and graphics, no matter how much they appeal to you personally; instead, go for something sleek and modern. Your audience's perception of your image will affect how well its members receive your message.
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