A PowerPoint Template - Deconstructed.

Deconstructing A PowerPoint Template

Here is a PowerPoint template created for an IBM presentation. Let's have a look and see what's good about it and what's bad.

The Slide Master

The creator of this IBM PowerPoint template knew what they were doing when they incorporated the slide master. Basically, adding elements to the slide master ensures that they appear on all slides - without you having to manually add them for each. Changes to the slide master affect all slides. You can get to the slide master by clicking View > Slide Master (in the Master Views group). On the left hand side at the very top, offset a little to the left is the Slide Master proper. Changes to this slide affect every slide. Beneath you will see a slide for every different layout: title, title and content, section header, etc. If you want the title and content layout to deviate from the design of the slide master, you would make the change here.

When you've finished making changes, you can return to the presentation by clicking Close Master View - the big red button to the right of the ribbon. If you've been working on other tabs, you might not see it, so click on the Slide Master again to make it reappear.

The Colour Scheme

Unfortunately, the colour scheme of this template is constrained by the corporate policy. Blue text on a black background is found everywhere. This might be fine for a single advert you glance at for seconds. I don't know about you, but I found it tiring to my eyes when I viewed the whole presentation, and, scarily, it left an imprint when I looked away! Arrrgh - IBM PowerPoint blinds audience aieee!

Slide 5: to create a good contrast between what's in the foreground and the black background, bright garish colours have been used for the foreground. Look at the yellow down arrows below "Workloads". Yes, they are down arrows. Hard to recognise, huh?

Use Of Animations

There is good use of animation in this template (see slide 4 for an example), that isn't overcooked. Too much animation will distract the audience, but the animation used here illustrates the points nicely.

Overload Warning! Overload Warning!

See slide 8 for an example of how to bombard your audience with too much information. The design is messy and it is unclear (to me) what the slide is trying to communicate. I don't know where to look first, and I can't see a logical flow between the different elements on this slide. Of course, the presenter can guide the viewer through the "stoty" being presented. But s/he ain't here!

Dated Look

The PowerPoint tempate as a whole looks dated. You might think "well, it is an old template", but the copright date at the bottom says 2010. Photos of hardware on a black background, in fact yellow text on a black background, OK - in fact the whole colour scheme, use of the same animation effects every time: they all make the presentation look dated. To be brutal, it's quite boring too.

PowerPoint Charts

Why, oh why didn't the authot make use of PowerPoint's collection of slick looking charts? See slide 17. The author has created their own chart by drawing a bunch of differently coloured rectangles! I gues they wanted "more control" over the charts appearance, but this is not the case. PowerPoint charts offer a wide range of different styles, and their data is easily editable. They just look... better.