Creating a PowerPoint presentation can be fairly simple. You select one of the templates that have backgrounds and layouts and input your information. Using only templates for your presentations can have drawbacks, however. Create your own PowerPoint presentation when the occasion calls for it, and rely on templates when you are pressed for time, or customisation isn't crucial.
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Using templates can save you a considerable amount of time, as you can simply type your information directly into them. The layout for photos is already taken care of as well -- your presentation will have photos with only a couple clicks of your mouse. On the other hand, putting together a presentation from scratch means that you will have to coordinate all of the components of each slide and make them visually appealing. You'll need to create a layout that works for the type of information being presented on each slide, and insert a background, bullets and other graphics.
Using a template may save you time, but it will cost you in terms of originality. Chances are, members of your audience have seen the template you are using or one just like it in a previous presentation. A template may not suit your needs as well as a custom PowerPoint presentation, as you may find yourself making your material fit the template rather than the other way around. This can lead to presentations that are generic and boring.
If you don't have much experience using presentation software, using a template can help to provide your PowerPoint presentation with a cohesive look. They can also help you develop a sense for which layouts work with different types of material. This will help you to avoid an amateurish, scattered look. Once you learn how to make custom layouts for your presentations, however, you can make it appear even more professional, since the layout will be more appropriate for your content than any template could possibly be.
Bells and Whistles
If you're putting together a simple presentation -- an outline of essential information for a quick meeting, for example, templates may work just fine. If you want to jazz up your presentation with video or animation, however, you may find that the templates do not readily work with your material. If you find that this is the case, you may want to work with a blank template and customise it to make it work with all of your information.
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