Problems With Cheap PowerPoint Templates? A Case Study.
Recently I received a call from a CEO of a company from the US. They bought a PowerPoint template for 10$, but now they had a problem…
Let me be clear. I don’t have anything against all those great individuals or whole companies who sell those otherwise cheap templates. However, for everyone buying one of those, let’s be honest here — do you really expect that you can pay 10, 15 or even 50$ and solve all of your company’s presentation issues and get a product that is customized based on your needs?
What worries me is not only that companies do not have a proper PowerPoint template and because of that their whole organization struggles. What worries me is that we talk about communication effectiveness and productivity here and yet again, companies who can afford to invest in a proper presentation template, decide to go the cheap route and “invest” 10$…
So what happened with our customer after purchasing the 10$ template? What were the problems he was struggling with? Let me name a few of the most important ones:
- The template was not customized to reflect their brand — yes, some companies have people that can do that work, but not all of them. And…why wasting the time of your people to do work like this when they have numerous more things to do already in first place!?
- The template didn’t cover all of their most frequently needed presentation cases or as we at 356labs like to say — it’s not created with the end user’s needs in mind — the needs of the people who are going to be creating their presentations with it!
- The template had no user guides and instructions — even though the template had some great example slides, there were no clear instructions and guides how one can actually create something similar;
- Font issues — the people inside of the company didn’t want to install additional fonts on their machines. They just didn't. However, the template came with 3 custom fonts that were not embeddable and one of them was the fonts that was “holding” all of the icons on the slides. (so we needed to do magic — extract the icons from the font file and export each one of them to JPEG/PNGs in various colors)
- There was no launch plan — when a new company PowerPoint template is launched, there must be some kind of an event that introduces the template to the people who are going to be using it. This is important because otherwise you may see a very interesting effect in people — complete refusal to adopt the new presentation file.
We have written already on a lot of the topics related to PowerPoint templates as you can see in my profile. And I continue to push in that direction because when you think about it, presentations are the most visible communication form we have nowadays. Yet, companies spend (if at all) almost zero effort, time and money in making sure that these presentations are effective. (probably some keynote speeches get the needed attention, but that’s it).
And as for our customer — we created a workable solution for them in order for their people to prepare their presentations for their upcoming company retreat. After that, we were told we are going to be creating the template from scratch because a PowerPoint template is not just a bunch of slides. It’s way more.
How about your company’s PowerPoint template? Is it useful to you?