Category Archives: Visuals

7 considerations when updating your PowerPoint template

7 considerations when updating your PowerPoint template
The PowerPoint template is an important component of an organization’s branding strategy and a critical vehicle to share information to prospects, leads, and even staff. While PowerPoint offers multiple standard templates, most firms require a custom design to effectively meet their branding requirements. We often interact with customers who have recently updated their templates, and through this interaction we have learned several lessons:

1. Build templates for all slide types and uses

Before creating your templates, catalog all the slide types you need:

  • While title slides are important, take a moment to think through the other types of slides you might also regularly need, e.g. agenda, one large chart, two small charts, customer feedback/quotes, biographies
  • Will you require different templates for different presentation types? E.g. internal vs. external, by vertical, by function

Performing this step will prevent your team from editing the template and adversely affecting your branding.

2. Use safe fonts to ensure a consistent performance

Selecting an appropriate font set for your template that conveys the characteristics that align with your business can be an artistic endeavor. However, you may want to limit your choice to safe fonts that are commonly available in different PowerPoint installations. This selection will ensure your presentation looks the same across different computers.

 3. Limit the ink required

Although it may seem rare, printing presentations is actually still common in some industries, including management consulting. If your template uses a colored banner behind every slide title, you’ll end up consuming a lot of ink. Instead consider underlining the title to leave more white space.

4. Watch the file size

Images are powerful tools to convey emotions and quickly make your point. When selecting images for your template, determine the minimum resolution required. High resolution images can quickly increase the size of your presentation, making it difficult to share with others and potentially cumbersome to edit on older, slow computers.

5. Use the opportunity to formalize your visuals

Beyond slides you might also consistently need specific images, charts, specific text blocks, and logos. If you are updating and disseminating a new slide template, you may find synergies in also collecting and refreshing all your visuals.

6. Use a slide library to share the templates with your team

If your template is small and simple, follow these instructions to make it easily accessible in PowerPoint. However, if you have a detailed collection of slides and visuals, consider a slide library solution to disseminate the slides and ensure adoption.

We have previously written about slide library best practices and the trade-offs between browser and add-in based solutions. In addition, if you’re using SharePoint 2013, the slide library feature is no longer supported and you’ll need an alternative.

7. Hire professional designers

If your budget allows, consider engaging professional presentation designers. These experts can apply a wealth of experience to build a custom, detailed template package that tightly fits within your brand requirements.

4 tips to effectively use images in your presentations

A quick Google search will undoubtedly tell you that images are an effective way to communicate. However, your images need to be high quality, compelling and serve a point or else the audience will quickly dismiss them.

Here are 4 tips to help effective use images in your presentations:

1. Stay legal

Google Images is often used to quickly find images for your presentation but you likely don’t have permission to use these images. Consider paying for images from a stock collection like Bigstock or Shutterstock. If you don’t have the budget for stock photos, consider using photos licensed under Creative Commons as they are typically more open and often allowed for commercial use if the original author is credited.

2. Use images that align with your message

Random images that are placed to just fill space are distracting and reduce the impact of your presentation. Take time to select images that amplify your message:

3. Use PowerPoint to modify images to improve the fit

Now that you have an image, you can use PowerPoint to make simple edits that can make a world of a difference. For example, you can overlap images with your content as in the example below:

Or even just adding text or your company logo can help:

You can even make larger modifications like in the example below where we filled in the computer screen to match our application. Note that this was done solely with PowerPoint.

4. Organize your assets

Consider using a slide library solution to organize your images and ensure that your entire team has access to it (assuming covered by license terms). This help will stop duplicated images from being purchased. When uploading content, use a defined set of tags so that your colleagues can quickly search or browse assets to find the one they are looking for. Note that SharePoint’s slide library has been deprecated and is no longer supported.

Importance of visuals in marketing and sales presentations

Importance of visuals in content marketing

The Internet is crawling with facts on the benefits of using visuals in social media marketing efforts:

  • Humans are able to process images more quickly and efficiently than text (source)
  • Engagement rate of social media posts with visuals is higher than those without (source)
  • Quality of visuals play a more important role in the customer purchase decision process than product descriptions and ratings (source)

Marketers are quickly realizing these benefits and we are now exposed to a variety of visuals (charts, info-graphics, pictures) on a regular basis. Mainstream media is also increasing their use of visuals (e.g. NY Times, Bloomberg) and we are becoming more and more accustomed to consuming information in this manner.

In conjunction with our content marketing efforts, our sales presentations (and other types of presentations) also need to consistently use visuals to improve customer engagement. Many times, however, these presentations tend to be a little stale with out-of-date templates and a lot of text. Here are a few suggestions on how to effectively use visuals in your presentations:

  • Between all your marketing teams build shared repository of visuals to ensure consistency across all your customer touch points
  • Invest in high-quality visuals that are relevant to your messaging
  • Keep an eye on image sizes especially if the presentations will be consumed on a mobile device

We’ve had the opportunity to speak with a few in-house expert presentation builders and they confirmed that their companies are making significant investments to improve their visuals. From their website to PowerPoint files, visuals and templates are being carefully redesigned to better improve customer interactions.


At TeamSlide we help PowerPoint users better manage their visuals and ensure that they have seamless access to them. Quickly build a shared repository of images, diagrams, templates, and charts. Save time by accessing them directly through PowerPoint – you won’t have to hunt for slides or visuals ever again.