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#373: Make Your PowerPoint Slides Something Special

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Every time I see a PowerPoint presentation, it looks like every other one (I've seen all the stock templates and animations). Any suggestions on how to make these more professional, such as sources of non-lame clip art, layouts, etc.?

We all want reaction to our presentations to be about the content. If you have ever spent time looking through stock photos for your own website, brochure or presentation, when you see a familiar image in someone else's work, you get the "I've seen that one before" reaction and your attention goes to the artwork and not the content. Simple but unique is where you want to be. Here are a few ideas:
  • Some companies provide a stock or custom templates to give your slides a unique and professional look (a web search will return a lot of candidates). This is a good idea to create a consistent brand across presentations, correspondence and websites.
  • Most stock photo companies sell all of the same photos or illustrations but some (e.g., Dreamstime) have images that are relatively unique and provide search engines that allow you to identify images by theme, keyword, color scheme, and configuration.
  • To make a highly professional impression, use creative slide content from sources like SlideShop. Sold in either packages (most at $29) or by the slide (starting at $1), SlideShop can provide you with complex and intriguing slide styles to beef up your presentations. Some slides are free and at a minimum, you can get some ideas about creative ways to present your ideas.
Tip: Pick a style of slides and start building up a set of stock charts, graphs, process flows, image sets, etc. Be careful to create these all in a common style so it doesn’t look like you cobbled together slides from various presentations (e.g., all your slides are one color, 2D or contain clipart and you have a slide or two that is full color, 3D or with photographs). Remember, keep the focus on the content, and not call attention to the presentation format.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  communication  consulting tools  presentations 

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