Do you have to create a presentation for tomorrow and you do not know where to start? You are on a low budget or you just do not have time to wait for a custom design hired from a professional designer? If this is your scenario, you have a tool that will help you achieve wonderful presentation decks with little effort and with the visual quality of a publishing company. The Presentation Templates are the lifesaver of many presenters that can create wonderful speeches but do not have the graphic design skills to create the professional presentation decks to empower their messages.
Presentation templates are a popular tool used in business, sales, startups, education and public speaking. The magic features of presentation templates resides in providing the users the ability to edit the template with their own content. The templates are easy to edit in terms of:
- Content: users can edit text placeholders located in special places of the slides, arranged professionally, following a layout. The user just replaces the text with their own content.
- Images: Probably, templates provide default images. Users can change the images and still have a great visual impact, due to the effects applied and the layout display.
- Vectors: Templates provide vectors that can be mapped to several metaphors. The vectors can be Icons, Clipart, etc.
- Backgrounds: In order to provide an homogeneous look and feel, backgrounds play an important role in a presentation deck.
- Theme and colors: Not all colors suit all needs; templates allow the user to change the color palette and update its colors automatically.
If you’ve read this paragraphs and you think, “OK, that’s exactly what I need” your next thought probably would be “But, where do I find those wonderful Presentation Templates?”
Do not worry, I’ve prepared a curated list of places online where you can find all the templates you might need, ranging from free general purposes templates to top of the line professional templates with specific targeted content.
PowerPoint Templates Sites
Free PowerPoint Templates – the first step
The first search every internaut queries in Google is for free resources. So if you are looking for good templates but you do not have an available budget, look for Free PowerPoint Templates. This site has been around for almost 10 years. It provides a huge catalog of PowerPoint templates for generic and specific usages. You can find simple and cool background and business diagrams that can match your audience. The site is completely free, it does not require to subscribe to their newsletter, you can browse the site and download the template you need.
The catalog is vast, and every segment can look for an appropriate template. My suggestion is to download several templates and combine them to reach the desired result. You can start with abstract powerpoint templates, that provide a theme and a color palette, and combine them with more specific diagrams or shapes that fit your message.
Another extremely useful resource provided by this site is the wide range of tutorials and “How To” guides for starters. If you are building your tools in the presentation designs world, this site is a must start.
Looking for something more targeted – SlideHunter.com
If your presentation requires more specific diagrams targeted to a topic or audience, like business frameworks or special shapes, and you still do not want to invest a penny, a useful choice would be to visit SlideHunter. This site offers an interesting number of business templates already polished to fill in the blanks and present. The quality of design really looks professional and are easy to edit for a beginner. The site is easy to search and in my testing I can say that the diagrams were pretty much what I was expecting. I prepared a couple of presentations for my MBA lecture, with a couple of downloads and just a few clicks. Said this, it is a good value considering it is a free site.
In terms of usability, the templates show some thought behind the design, as it contemplates where the placeholders are displayed in the layout and how the shapes adapt to different themes. It looks common to download the templates and copy paste the diagrams in existing presentations.
Presentation Templates for Google Slides
Looking for great presentation templates online made me visit several sites focused on Google Slides, the presentation software from Google. Even though PowerPoint is the de facto tool for presentation decks, Google Slides has gained huge traction within the startup’s scene, education space and of course modern workplace that requires high collaboration. Based on this information I decided to look for some Google Slides themes that combined the ability of usability, great designs and of course measure the time to produce professional decks from a beginner’s standpoint. I found a great place where the mentioned combination really met.
Free Google Slides Templates (also known as FGST) is the perfect mix of outstanding design, usability, and portability. It offers top of the line Google Slides themes targeted for different audiences. You can find professional designs for business as well as generic backgrounds and shapes for your school class. The gallery is not as wide as the previous sites, but the visual quality shows a pixel perfect design attention, as well as the usability details. Any user can replace the texts, colors, shapes and themes without knowing too much of the tool.
Another cool content in this site is its tutorial section. Google Slides provides really cool features that mimic PowerPoint functionalities, but it also provides built in abilities that PowerPoint lacks. FGST tutorials are written for dummies and following step by step one can achieve incredible results.
One size fits all – SlideBundle
A common offering in several market places like Envato or even in gigs sites like Fiverr or People per Hour is the “one size fits all”, also known as bundles. A presentation template bundle is a composite of several slides (over 50+ slides) that belong to a unified theme; it provides assets for several usages and purposes. In a bundle the user can find agenda designs, slides for sections, slides for photographs displays, product and services showcases, timelines, tables, charts, etc. The bundles are generally provided with different “theme” files, that allow the user to change common assets as the color palette, backgrounds and even footers.
The amount of bundles online is huge, as mentioned before, this is the preferred format for designs marketplaces, but one bundle called my attention. SlideBundle.com, is a professional presentation deck, with a set of multipurpose slides targeted for business, investor pitches and sales materials.
This bundle requires an investment, but it is a one time payment with a lifetime license grant of usage. You not only receive a final product, but also you will be entitled to the ability of receive future updates according to designs trends. For example, today you download the slide bundle with a flat design orientation, maybe in 2 years, the trends move to 3D, well, SlideBundle will send you the download link for your new version.
The PowerPoint Add-ins options.
The Presentation Templates adoption is growing year by year, allowing different companies to offer their product through different channels. During my research I discovered that there are a couple of products that really are outstanding, ie: Power User caught my attention. It is a very mature tool, it not only provides templates, it also adds new features to PowerPoint that really save time to non designer users. The only caveats about Power User is that is it a paid license.
Another tool that is worth to try is SlideShapes, this tool is still in beta offering; so you have a chance to request a free version. The tool is centered in providing PowerPoint templates collections and enabling users to create their own collections of shapes and themes, to be able to share them with colleagues.
Going The PRO Path – SlideModel.com
After reviewing the previous products you might be wondering, ok, but “which is a good choice for pro users?”; well that will depend on two major variables:
- How much money are you able to invest?
- Which is your target audience?
Googling around you can find several presentation template providers, with different options of catalogs, audiences, etc. So I decided to make my own research and purchased a couple of subscriptions or requested trial where available. After some tests I decided that the site with the higher chance of success would be SlideModel. They are a professional PowerPoint templates provider, focused on executive and business templates. I found their gallery is not only vast, but also it covers most of the scenarios I ever faced when presenting, even in different situations as business, education and startup pitching.
You can join SlideModel for free and try their free templates gallery. These templates are awesome, are free and the work in PowerPoint, Google Slides and Keynote. If you are not able to find a good free template, you can join their paid subscriptions, which allows you to access their huge gallery and download all the templates you need. One of the things I liked the most (and I mentioned before as a great feature of other site) is that combining templates is extremely easy, so you do not need to marry yourself to one template choice download all you need, and combine them to reach a professional designs.
Moreover, their support service is awesome and reliable. I call them in regards to their subscription plans and I received a wonderful explanation. Once I purchased they helped me to combine three templates into one incredible presentation, all included in the original fee.
The empirical growth of PowerPoint templates sites and tools evidences a growing trend of presentation software users which decide to empower their message with professional presentation designs. This article intends to help first time presenters or regular speakers to quickly select their templates from a quick list of powerful tools. The aim of the list is not to be extensive but useful. Your comments are welcome and for sure new sites and tools are welcome to comment.