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emaze blog
May 26 2016
Free PowerPoint Template

5 Steps to Choosing a Free Powerpoint Template

by Talya Ladell

There are so many websites and businesses offering free PowerPoint templates or presentation templates.  How can you find the right ones?  How do you make sure that they facilitate your story instead of distracting from it?

Presentation templates can span the gamut from ‘Look at Me!!!’ to ones that are very simple and more of a “less is more’ approach.  

Before you even begin your search for free PowerPoint templates, you need to keep in mind several key ingredients to make sure you are picking a worthwhile and fitting presentation template.  

Step one, what is point of the presentation?  Think about the ideas you wish to convey in your presentation.  Sometimes it’s about telling an inspiring story about a brand to an investor.  Maybe it’s a monthly meeting report so it may be more informational.  Whatever it is, have a clear idea about the actual content you want to deliver and say to your audience.  

Second, you must know your audience!  Put yourself in their shoes and try to think about what inspires them?  What are they thinking about normally?  What are they interested in?  What messaging and tones are they used to?

That leads us to step three, the context of your content.  There are so many different ways to present the same piece of content.  Take for example a monthly meeting.  You may want a very simple straightforward relaying of the facts, or it can take on more of a motivational tone.  So after you think about the literal words you are planning on saying and who you are saying it to- figure out what tones you need to frame your content in a way they can hear it.  Think about the tones, and the lilt of your voice in your speech.  What are your points of emphasis?

Believe it or not it is only now that I recommend you even begin searching for your free PowerPoint template.  Once you know your content, your audience, and the tone you need to set, you can best figure out what types of design will best service the ideas tone and audience.

Your presentation template is your chance to take your trifecta of content, context and audience and deliver it in an extraordinary manner.  Use your choice of free PowerPoint templates wisely as they may very well turn what is typically the company snoozefest into a company empowerment moment.  

Now, let’s get to those search engines to find the right free PowerPoint template, i.e. Step 4.  You may want to think outside what you are used to, especially if you are looking to make a presentation that stands out.  Think more about descriptive terms for your tone, “subtle”, “sophisticated”, “motivational” are some that come to mind.  

Finding a template with images and layouts that fit this tone is essential.  

For example, take this template with a downtown chic 3D gallery theme.

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An audience watching this presentation feels as though they are taking a tour of a sophisticated gallery.  Any content presented with this template is sure to be associated with words like fashionable, chic, relevant, artistic.  It creates a mood and setting and context for your content.

What about this template?    
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Here the audience is flying through the night.  It seems as though anything is possible.  The serene yet glowing night sky add visual richness to your content.  This may be appropriately chosen for presentations demonstrating something innovative, something exciting and yet a sort of limitless quality.

The transitions between the slides facilitate a larger story here of journeying higher and higher.

In both of these templates the audience is taking a sort of virtual journey with the presenter.  They feel a part of the story as though they are co-experiencing and co-creating.

But sometimes all these virtual journey transitions can distract from the message at hand.  At times, something very clean but sophisticated is all it takes to convey an already potent message.  For that, you may want to try something like Investor’s Pitch.
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It’s clean and simple and exactly to the point.  The transitions are seamless, and barely there in a modern way.  Here the layouts, colors and fonts add a nuanced component to the piece that adds a modern richness.  

Step 5, the actual decision.  Once you decide on your presentation content, audience and context, you’re presentation template decision making is quite straightforward.  With all those factors considered, you are definitely golden and set for presentation success.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas.  Please share your comments with us on our Facebook page or Twitter @emaze_tweets.