MS PowerPoint

Choosing the Best Design for Your Presentation

Nothing detracts more from a good presentation than a poor design. To choose the best possible design for a presentation, weigh the followingconsider your audience, your image, and your message. For a serious, low-key presentation to a conservative group, stick with a no-nonsense design. If you're trying to impress your audience with your energy and ability to project bold ideas, go with bold graphics and vivid colors.

After you have a clear vision of the image you want to project, you're ready to choose a design. To pick a design for your presentation, follow these steps:

Start with an existing presentation or create a new blank presentation. Bring up the Slide Design pane by clicking Design on the Formatting toolbar.

In the Apply a Design Template list, choose a design you like.

If you can't quite make out the designs, click the down-arrow to the right of one of the offered designs, and choose Show Large Preview. PowerPoint enlarges the thumbnails so they take up the entire width of the pane.

If you haven't installed all the designs that came with Office (which is the case if you performed a standard install), scroll to the bottom of the list and click Additional Design Templates. Insert your Office CD, if necessary, and PowerPoint will bring in the rest of the templates that ship with Office.

Serious PowerPoint users should install all the templates. Few designs are over 50KB in size, and most presentations are under 150KB. Adding all the available templates takes up only a few megabytes of disk space.

If you still haven't found a design you like, scroll to the bottom of the list and click Design Templates on Microsoft Office Online to look for updated designs on the Web. Or click the Browse button at the bottom of the Slide Design pane. From that point you can look for designs on your hard drive or your network.

When you've found a suitable design, double-click it. PowerPoint throws away the masters it's currently using, replacing them with those in the design or presentation that you've chosen, rippling those changes through your presentation.