Expert tips for the perfect PowerPoint master

4 min read
June 24, 2021

The PowerPoint master underlies every presentation in your company. It represents the brand identity and corporate design of your company. If the master is not carefully created, your company will not present itself as planned. A well-designed PowerPoint master is a must for every company. A PowerPoint master is much more than a simple template with the company logo. Because they have such a profound impact on PowerPoint usability and corporate design, PowerPoint experts specialize in designing optimal PowerPoint masters that deliver the best possible appearance and performance.

One such expert is Georgie Cousens from empower® partner company Ideaseed. In an interview, she revealed her top tips for an optimal PowerPoint master.

Interview with PowerPoint master expert Ideaseed's Georgie Cousens

What should you consider when creating a PowerPoint master from a branding perspective?

  1. Before starting, be clear on colour, fonts, brand values and visuals that effectively reflect the brand
  2. Determine the sequence of the colour palette
  3. Which logos need to be used, how and when
  4. Are special fonts required, or can generic fonts be used
  5. Offer libraries of icons, imagery and other design assets to ensure brand consistency across users
  6. If possible, lock down fonts and colour palettes to ensure no rogue non-brand elements are introduced

Do you have three expert tips to create the perfect PowerPoint master?

I couldn’t just include 3! There are a few key things to bear in mind when creating masters:

  1. Options: Cater for variety and creativity. Every user and presentation is different. Cover all bases with consistent, branded designs that allow the user to produce a stunning presentation which makes both them, and their business, look good.
  2. Usability: The most amazing template is wasted if the client cannot use it effectively. Ensure that the user's skill level is always front of mind when creating a successful master. Make sure your template is as easy to use as possible. Include tips and tricks on slides that might be a little more complex.
  3. Fonts and Typography: Offer layout options that make the most mundane copy stand out with creative use of fonts and typography. 90% of the user’s input is the copy, make sure it’s impactful.
  4. Master: Make sure you set up the correct font styles / levels / bullets on the very first master. This will be the default textbox master for all other masters. If you change the style here it will update throughout.
  5. Margin guides: Set up margin guides on the first master and then continue adding guides on each new master you create. Try keeping the spacing between text boxes equal.
  6. Inserting images: Use the "insert picture" placeholder and not the "insert content" placeholder, this way all images will fill the placeholder. If you use the "insert content" placeholder, you'll be able to insert an image but it won't fill the placeholder.

Do you have tips to make a PowerPoint master more user-friendly?

  1. Make sure everything on the slide is editable
  2. Limit the amount of placeholders per slide
  3. Keep layered content to a minimum
  4. Simplicity is key

What are the latest design trends in PowerPoint?

  1. Infographics as standard: Nobody wants to read large sections of text. Or complex charts. Visualise the message.
  2. Custom Image Masks: Images do not need to just sit on a page, they can be combined with the layout to create something new and interesting. Don’t default to the simplest solution (usually a rectangle!).
  3. Quality Gradients: Gradients can often feel like a dated PowerPoint standard but with so much more customisation they can be used to incredible effect. Play around with them, be creative!
  4. Minimisation: Don’t bore your audience with death by PowerPoint. Keep it clear, to the point and simple. Too much content will kill. Cull the content. Visualise the data. Further info can go in the notes section, or be a leave-behind document. Less is more. Always.

What does your company do?

Ideaseed is a design agency that specialises in MS Office. We create easy to use, on-brand documents and presentations with the tools that clients use every day. We use PowerPoint and Word to design, build, automate and animate sales, marketing and communications collateral.

We focus on creating editable design that allows our clients to produce beautifully designed collateral quickly and cost-effectively. By creating editable designs we hand them back the power, giving them huge scope to produce anything in-house from an investor report, to a presentation, video or interactive product brochure. Essentially, we put our clients back in control of their output, timings and spend across their marketing and communications mix.

What is your motivation and vision?

We believe everyone should be able to bask in the glory of having produced a stunning presentation without having to have a design degree behind them. By providing all the tools to accomplish this right within Word and PowerPoint, we allow our clients to be able to create beautiful, consistent communications pieces that make them look amazing.

We also love the responses we get when our clients see what we’ve accomplished for their brand within MS Office. It’s a thrill to continue proving that cutting edge design can be borne from MS Office.

How does empower® help you and your clients?

empower® just takes MS Office to a whole new level and puts our templates on steroids! All the Templates, Design Assets, Slides, Charts and content gets centralised into a Library, and everything becomes instantly searchable, much like in Google. There are a ton of advanced tools such as the custom creation of Gantt charts, advanced Excel linking, as well as advanced charting, not to mention instantly converting from an old template to the new one – it blows our minds what can be achieved through empower®. As a result, our clients are able to increase productivity and creativity and reduce workload. A win all round!

The interview with Georgie Cousens shows that there is a lot to keep in mind when it comes to PowerPoint masters. empower® can help you make with central template management and make sure that you always keep track of your templates and that each template always matches the current master.

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