Microsoft PowerPoint is pretty much the grandfather of many other presentation software used today, such as Prezi or Google Slides.
While it may seem simplistic and without many of the more futuristic features other software has, it’s still by far the most used and easily accessible program for personal and professional presentations.
Indeed, it is very likely that many of you reading this own PowerPoint on your computer right now, ready to build some slides for you.
Webinars, for their part, make extensive use of presentation software to deliver key points to attendees.
This is due to a couple of reasons: it’s a benchmark software which basically any hosting platform will have integrations for, and it is really easy to use and understand.
One of the most common critiques of PowerPoint as a presentation tool, however, is that it is uglier than others. People generally cite the limited number of slide formats and transitions Microsoft offers prepackaged with it, and advocate the use of “prettier” software.
However, while it may be true that default PowerPoint offers little customization, it should be noted that a huge number of first and third party templates for slides can be purchased and installed from the internet.
The quantity really is staggering: there are literally tens of thousands around, many of which are completely free to download and use.
Suffice it to say, the addition of pre-purchased PowerPoint templates can really freshen up your webinar, make it seem more professional and allow you to do so at a fraction of the cost of other software.
But why are good slides so important for your webinar to perform at its best? Here are 3 main reasons:
Visuals, Not Text
You will have surely heard the old adage that slides need to be mostly empty space, with a couple of key points to remember.
Well, it’s absolutely true! In a presentation, the slides should work as a visual aid for the audience, reinforcing the core of the topics you are exploring, without distracting from the main course (your speech).
This, however, means that slides will end up looking rather empty if you don’t format them well. This is where high quality templates come in.
they deliver a professional atmosphere to your presentation and, when associated with powerful and relevant images and graphs, can bring your engagement to a whole new level.
Don’t Go Overboard
A presentation rule of thumb states that you should extract about one minute of speech from each slide.
Now imagine staring for a full minute at a visually impressive but highly distracting stroboscopic image of a pink flamingo (very relevant to the topic, but somewhat… loud?) while the presenter does his best to teach you something. It’s hard to concentrate, right? Visuals are important, and when used well can enhance the entire talk a lot.
However, be wary of excessively distracting, cluttered images on your slides. Try to have the image synergize with your voice, not overwhelm it.
Something To Remember You By
Another easily missed benefit of having attractive slide templates on your presentation comes after the webinar is over.
A good practice in many cases is to upload your slide deck for your viewers to access later on, if they wish to refresh some concepts.
This can also be very valuable for you as a host, since the viewers will have a physical (well, digital probably) memento of your webinar, which may encourage them to seek out your talks again in the future.
It becomes important to leave the right impression on your slides, then. A high quality, professional template which you chose because it fits the presentation topic and style well will surely make a good impression in the eyes of the audience, and increase the chances of repeated attendance.