This is a line I’ve heard more than once. There are people who think that the purpose of a PowerPoint is to make the information they’ve written look organized and professional, which in turn makes a good presentation. Well, they are partly right. Most intelligent people expect to get information in a logical and orderly way. If they’re reading the newspaper, they want a directory on the first page, pointing them to their favorite sections. If they’re online, they want to know where to click without getting confused. The same holds true if they’re sitting through a PowerPoint Presentation. They expect it to look neat. If the headlines jump around from one slide to the next, that’s not neat, it’s annoying. If one slide contains charts that are shades of blue, and the next slide has charts that are simply outlined in black, that’s not neat, it’s distracting. We think, why does this now look different? And then we lose our train of thought. And that’s not what you want to have happen during a PowerPoint Presentation. So, to sum up, a PowerPoint Template is a good thing, because it sets up order. However, it’s doesn’t insure that your content will be engaging. For example, the slide below started with a template, which dictated that headlines would always be white and centered on a red bar with a shadow under it. The template also positioned the logo on the lower right and page number on the lower left. A standard template might feature all the key points in bulleted text but we wanted to kick things up a notch by finding just the right photo to represent two colleagues at Hodge Partners. The photo also needed a clean area to the right where the text could be superimposed. It’s easy to see how this would make you look at it longer than a template full of bullet points. And that kind of finessing will make a presentation go from neat and organized to engaging.