As I shared in a previous blog, I am definitely no designer. So when I get ready to work on a presentation that I’ll be giving to a large audience, I cringe a little as I try to make my documents or slides look like I know what I’m doing. This has created in me a HUGE love of templates–beautiful documents designed by incredibly talented artists who could make boiling water look good. To be honest, I am somewhat addicted to the use of these amazing pieces of art. To feed my need, here are some more of my favorite free templates (others can be found in the blog mentioned above). They can be used with PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote.
- Slides Mania has 134 template designs that are beautiful. More importantly, there are also a large amount of specialty templates including graphic organizers, manipulatives, school planners, back-to-school, school rewards, and more.
- 20 PowerPoint Templates to Spice Up Your Presentation – These are really lovely. What I like most about them is the designs almost force you to be a better presenter by not letting you clutter the slide up with bulleted lists. Instead, graphics are emphasized.
- 40 Best PowerPoint Templates – This selection includes items in the categories of business, charts and diagrams, science and technology, health and fitness, sports and gaming, and generic.
- Free Business PowerPoint Templates – While this site doesn’t have a lot of choices to download, it does have some good, basic designs. (I especially like the Oscar template and could use that with students very easily!)
- PowerPoint on Pinterest – If you’re a Pinterest fan, you’ll find lots of great designs for your presentations.
- SlideStore – This site offers new templates weekly, but you’ll need to create a free account in order to access them.
- Halloween templates – Cute or scary, take your pick!
- Christmas – 40 different holiday templates are available at this website.
- Wiggly Letters – While not strictly a template, this slideshow provides some wonderfully fun letters that would be great for elementary school.
- SketchBubble – There are some nice business-looking templates available here.
Don’t Ruin That Template
Once you’ve downloaded the perfect template for your presentation, make sure that you keep it’s beautiful design by following these simple presentation do’s and don’ts:
Bulleted lists are out! No one wants to see a ton of text overlaying all of that lovely design work. If you must discuss ideas that work best in bullet or list format, provide those to the audience in a handout. Then talk about them as needed, but no more. Definitely don’t stand and read the list to them!
Graphics are in. The point of a presentation is to convince people to change their minds. The best way to do that is simply to show pictures that generate emotions on the topic. Emotions guide our decisions. If you want to convince someone to accept a new idea, use a photo that clearly illustrates the benefits of that new idea.
Tell a powerful story. Humans have loved hearing stories since the dawn of man, and they are still impactful today. Your presentation should consist of beautiful images that support the story you are telling. And that means that you are talking to them, sharing your emotions and feelings as you present the ideas. If you need some help in strengthening your storytelling skills, check out these tips from the most inspiring TED presenters.
I hope that these templates empower you to tell the most amazing stories!
This blog was updated with additional content and resources on September 22, 2020.