6 tips to manage a large number of PowerPoint presentations and slides

If your organization works in PowerPoint, you’ve likely accumulated hundreds or thousands of PowerPoint presentations. As presentations typically start with existing content, efficiently searching your repository to find specific slides can drive significant productivity gains.

Here are 6 tips to manually manage your repository or slide library:

  • Assign a shared location to store your presentations: Often presentations are stored across server locations and personal computers. Set a shared and secure location where your team can store their presentation. Check to ensure all members can seamlessly access the location and that your team is actively using it. This will consolidate all your content and prevent users from having to unnecessarily email presentations to each other.
  • Define a file naming convention: Setting a standard file naming convention will allow users to quickly sort through presentations. Some best practices for file names include:
    • Start file names with a date that starts with the year. For example: 20160501 Strategy Review. This ensures that files will allows appear in chronological older. If two versions are created on the same date indicate a version number: 20150501-02 Strategy Review. Note that ‘02’ was used instead of ‘2’ to allows double digit versions.
    • For large teams include the initials of the person who created the presentation: 20160501 Strategy Review KS.
  • Build a folder structure that reflects the business: If you support numerous business units in a large company, create folders for each business. Or if your projects are more functional use the project type as the folder names.
  • Create a best hits presentation: If you have a set of slides that are used on a regular basis, collate them into one presentation. This can include templates, visual elements, charts, and even important pieces of text.
  • Assign somebody to continually manage the repository: For manual repositories, you can’t just ‘set it and forget it’. Consistently clean and keep your library up-to-date to maximize its benefits. Give your library manager the authority to ensure team members are compliant with the established rules.
  • Manage versions: During the course of a project, several iterations for a presentation maybe created. Ensure that at the end of the project the final version is clearly marked and that older versions are saved in a related but separate folder.

 

TeamSlide interview with Sunday Mancini from Ethos3

From visuals to narratives, do you need support building insightful, engaging presentations? In our previous careers as management consultants and at TeamSlide, we know how important compelling presentations are to the business process. We were lucky to catch Sunday Mancini from renowned design firm Ethos3 for a quick interview.

Ethos3 comprises an amazing team of presentation experts that are focused on helping individuals and companies build better presentations through design, motion graphics, infographics, narratives, and training. Here’s our conversation with Sunday:

Can you share a little about Ethos3 and its core principles?

Ethos3 is a premier boutique presentation design and training company based in Nashville, TN. At our core, we believe every presentation matters. That’s why we have spent the last decade empowering presenters so that they can inspire others, bring people together, and maybe even change the world. We take pride in our ability to tell stories that matter and finding innovative ways to improve the presentation industry.

To view our core values, you can go here.

How did Ethos3 originally start?

Scott Schwertly founded the company in 2006 after realizing most people struggle with building, designing, and delivering presentations. Shortly after, he created “Meet Henry,” a presentation that snagged 2nd place in a SlideShare competition from that year. If you explore the history of that specific project, you will find that there was really nothing like it at that time period. It’s completely story-driven and visual, an approach Ethos3 still does today.

What has fueled your passion and growth since the early days?

I’m going to try and speak for Scott and the company as a whole here, but I know that we are all fueled by our own creativity and love for great stories and great design. Not all of our client projects allow for creative opportunities, but we still find ways to stretch our imagination. For Scott and the people he trains, I know he is personally pumped to share Ethos3’s philosophy with audiences who want to improve their presentation skills.

What makes Ethos3 stand out from the competition?

Everyone who works on our team is passionate, smart, and excited to try new technology or new trends. Because we’re a boutique and agile, we can adapt to changes and remain at the top of everything. This is not a stuffy company, and it shows in every project that goes out our doors, internally or externally.

As you’ve worked across a variety of customers, have there been any common themes or issues that you’ve noticed?

We see a lot of presentations that are just overwhelmed with content on each slide. There’s absolutely no way we can make a slide look great when it has three charts, fifteen bullet points, and a little paragraph about the weather in San Francisco. 🙂 Clients worry that if we stretch out their presentation, we will double their speaking time. This is absolutely not the case; more slides simply means that each element is featured separately. We’re not adding any content, and the designers have more freedom.

With new entrants like Prezi and Haiku Deck, have you noticed an impact on PowerPoint and how presenters are using it?

Only a fraction of our clients ask us to use emerging software, especially if they are interested in staying on top of trends. But most of the time, it comes down to design. Does it look beautiful? Does it look modern? PowerPoint is a blank slate. Whichever software it takes to create a gorgeous presentation, we’ll be there. If that’s PowerPoint or Prezi or Haiku Deck, we want to evolve along with presenters.

As you look 5 years down the road, how do you expect the presentation design and visuals landscape will evolve?

I’d like to think that we will have holograms, or maybe really immersive virtual experiences that could take audiences into beautiful settings during a presentation. But, if that doesn’t happen, I imagine more presentation software will become increasingly more mobile or fully online/in the cloud. Graphics will become more motion based, animations may become much more advanced, and screens will become way too big for their own good.

Sunday Mancini is a Content Strategist for Ethos3, a presentation design company located in Nashville, TN. She has personally worked with clients in major industries and Fortune 500 companies during her many years at the firm, helping them share their own unique stories. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.