PowerPoint presentations are ubiquitous. In fact, as a part of the Microsoft Office suite, PowerPoint is one of the most popular pieces of software in the world. However, many people use it ineffectively or incorrectly. Not only is this bad for you, but it's also bad for your audience and your organization as a whole.

That's why I'm here to teach you how to use PowerPoint templates properly—and when not to use them at all!

When to use a template

  • When you're feeling lazy.

Let's face it: we all get tired of creating slides and presentations, especially when they are just going to be used as fillers by other people. Sometimes it's best to leave the design up to someone else and just concentrate on communicating your ideas and messages effectively through a well-designed template.

  • When your project requires little thought or work on your part, but still looks good.

Some non-designers aren't comfortable with PowerPoint because they feel like they have no control over how their presentation will look (or worse yet, that it won't look professional). Using a template can give you enough visual interest without having to put too much thought into things like color schemes or fonts—all you have to do is pick a few simple choices from the dropdown menus provided in most templates' themes/styles tabs.

When not to use a template

Have you ever dreamed of a PowerPoint slide that could do all the work for you? A template that would take care of your content and design, so all you had to do was fill in the blanks? Well, don't be fooled by their alluring promises. Templates are often more trouble than they're worth, especially if your presentation is important or complex.