Yes, it is the audience that is the most important factor in a presentation. But ain’t every audience different? So, there’s no escaping from tailoring a presentation design according to the audience’s needs. While this is true, how can companies and consultants ensure that a consistent image is presented every time?
Before we delve into how, let’s examine why consistency is needed. A consistent format, color, font and messaging is essential to ensures a professional look and feel and more importantly, to control the brand image. Brand consistency plays a key role in ensuring proper connect and retention with the audience.
Luckily, part of that problem can be resolved if you start with a good template. A template that specifies design elements is handy in ensuring consistency. A professionally created template that balances attractiveness with context gives the desired results since the quality of the final deliverable depends on a careful orchestration of the sum of many custom elements. In this article, we talk about five design elements that if clearly defined in a template, ensures greater consistency and thus a professional look and feel.
Color: While color does grab more attention – psychologists have shown that when people are accustomed to color, presentations that are not in color receive less attention – color should be used judiciously. By judicious use, we mean, encouraging the use of only a subset of colors consistently throughout the deck. Templates address this effectively by defining the color palette according to the brand image in the market place. Here’s an example of a well-defined color palette in a presentation template.
Color can be also used to indicate relationships between information, to convey a particular message, or to emphasize the information. Here again, it is important to keep in mind the contrasting colors of text and background. These can also be defined in a template to ensure that the right combination of colors is used.
Fonts: Microsoft Office 2007 has more than 200 fonts, but sticking to fonts that are common to every computer is essential because if the displaying computer does not have the font installed, another font will be substituted, often skewing the look of the text on the slide. Templates define two or at the most three fonts depending on the tone of the presentation and the audience it is aimed at. This is essential because too many fonts used in one PowerPoint presentation distract the audience and dilute the effectiveness of the message.
Graphics: It is well-known that plain text does not hold much appeal with the audience. But, choosing and creating graphics can be challenge with the variety of options available today. Here again, a well-defined template proves advantageous as it preconfigures shapes and diagrams thus making it simpler to create graphical representations. It also helps overcome a common pitfall with many presenters – excess use of graphics and animation that take the focus away from the actual content. What’s more, PowerPoint templates, although pre-made, can still be customized in different ways thus, giving the presenter sufficient freedom in improving the effectiveness of their graphics. This is demonstrated in the below example template slides. Template slides such as these save time as every design aspect is already addressed and the graphic creation is just a matter of entering relevant text.
Formatting: Consistent formatting can be a real problem if a presentation is developed from scratch. It is a critical aspect of any business presentation as without adequate formatting the presentation appears disjointed and less professional. An easy way to address formatting issues is by using a professionally created template. Such a template clearly defines the formatting of fonts, images, bullet points, animations, backgrounds, etc., thus ensuring consistency.
Text blocks and image placeholders: Another significant challenge that presenters face while developing slides is in placing the right amount of information at the right place. Slides loaded with information look crammed and are distracting for the audience. Proper space utilization is crucial and a well-designed and professionally created template can help optimize space usage and prevent information cramming with properly placed text blocks and image placeholders.
Thus, templates are convenient, they save time and ensure a unified image and story is presented in the marketplace. Further, they can create structure and help deliver a seamless combination of visuals and messages.
If you do not have the resources or expertise to create customized templates in-house, it is best to look outside for help. Design companies can help you create custom professional looking templates. 24point0 can create a complete PowerPoint style guide and a customized template according to your needs. Read about the complete PowerPoint Services that 24point0 offers.
Take a look “How to make your PowerPoint Presentations Uniform and Consistent” in the video below.