If you manage a team or are running a sprint, the last thing you want to do is budget a huge amount of time to simply complete a presentation. Yet, it’s often the smallest details that keep users from creating presentations seamlessly. Whether it’s due to a migration, font, color, layout, or graphic element issues, many of us have spent an unreasonable amount of time formatting PowerPoint presentations and finicking with templates.
Since we work with companies, large and small, to streamline their presentation templates, we thought it would be worthwhile to map out some of the little things that can make a big impact on how quickly your team creates presentations for internal and external use.
So what can you do to streamline the presentation creation process?
Many veterans of PowerPoint are often surprised to learn that saving a presentation as a POTX file is a simple game changer. POTX is the specific file for PowerPoint presentation templates. This means, unless you save a template as a POTX file, you experience all the usual issues from incorrect formatting or unstripped variants to distorted fonts. Ultimately, it’s not a “real” template unless saved in this file format.
POTX files fundamentally help PowerPoint presentation templates hold their form, leaving only the blank presentation with all the correctly customized layouts, formats, and variants. This will save your team the time and burden of reformatting and redesigning templates. To save a PowerPoint presentation in the .POTX format, simply:
There are many reasons why migrating templates can cause headaches for PowerPoint users. One of the more common ones is that the default layouts were deleted in the master slides. This ultimately messes with smooth migration because it adds more masters, causing the alignment, color, and typography defaults to become misaligned in the process. By simply keeping default layouts intact, you ensure that the design process is smooth.
Generally, images are a major sticking point when it comes to creating a great presentation. The wrong images can easily seem off brand and the use of large images often causes massive presentation file sizes. Both outcomes are less than ideal.
By providing an optimized image library directly to the template, it ensures that your team always stays in the field of play, sticking to the brand. It’s a bit of upfront work to collect images that are on brand, but the outcome beats improvised Google image searches 10 out of 10 times.
If you go this route, make sure that the images you add to the template’s library are resized. That means, no images over 1MB, 72 ppi (such images are a major culprit in massive files). There are plenty of simple tools to resize images online, including Adobe’s online photo resizer.
There is an all-too common assumption that PowerPoint is pretty simple to use, “everybody knows their way around a presentation.” The truth is most people struggle with PowerPoint and would benefit greatly from set instructions. By creating best practices and providing users some guidance, instructions can go a long way in helping teams create better presentations, faster. It also helps safeguard presentation templates from being accidentally broken by one of the moves above, or many others not listed here.
Of course, these instructions could be short video tutorials or webinars to walk through how to best use a presentation template, what to do, and specifically what not to do. Though a video guide requires some upfront preparation and work, the payoff is massive. All of our clients find this type of educational material to be helpful for their teams.
If you and your team are trying to accelerate how quickly you make great presentations, then we encourage you to give these four items a try. At Puffingston Presentations, we’re experts in creating world-class presentation templates for tech companies. We’ve worked with NI and built out their company-wide presentation templates, as well as the keynotes for major players including WesternUnion, Concur, and many more you can check out here.
If you are trying to get the most out of your team and how they use presentation templates, then reach out to us here.