This is a sponsored article and was made possible by SlideModel. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author, who maintains editorial independence, even when a post is sponsored.
PowerPoint is omnipresent in business; it’s been the defacto standard for corporate communications for some time, despite many attempts by other software companies to release Microsoft’s stranglehold. But the most common pitfall user experience is that you need a modicum of design sense to make good-looking presentations. If you do a lot of presentations the problem is amplified.
Enter SlideModel, a service which gives you access to a large library of professionally-designed PowerPoint templates, graphics, maps and other PowerPoint sundries you might need, for a fee. In this article we have a look at what SlideModel has to offer.
Slide to First Base
Most people who use PowerPoint are not designers or even artists – they are business people trying to get a point across using slides. The biggest problem you face as a presenter is that the basic templates of PowerPoint have been used and seen hundreds of times before you even start to make your own. Everyone has seen them, and to be blunt, they are a little boring. It helps to engage your audience if they feel they are seeing something new.
Of course the cure for these visual clichés is simple, but expensive. You have to hire an artist or, better yet, a designer to create and organise a custom slideshow for you. It’s simple and usually quick, but it is very expensive to get it done properly, and quite rightly so. Designers are skilled professionals and deserve to get paid for their time.
A second option is to find free content on the Internet, but as with all things that are free on the Internet, you have a limited choice: the assets might not have been designed to go into a presentation, and the quality is at best variable and worth what you paid for it. It’s free, but there’s no coherence or style in the designs you end up with.
A better option is to subscribe to a library of PowerPoint templates designed by professional designers. SlideModel is just such a service, and as these things go quite a stylish one.
As well as complete templated designs for slides and variations on the layout for variety, you also have screen elements and icons, maps, diagrams, graphics and charts, even animated graphic elements and gorgeous dashboards.
Using the library is very easy. Log in to the sytem, browse the library, and download the .pptx file of your choice. The interface is very clean and simple to use.
Then all you have to do is load the templates in PowerPoint (or indeed any other presentation package that reads .pptx format files, of which there are a few open source examples) and then replace the text in the slides with your own.
There’s a lot of assets covering finance and ecology and business-related themes like timelines and tree diagrams and graphs.
Just change the text to your own and you have a finished slide. As in that last example, you can even change the icons and colour of the layout to make it your own.
The assets in the templates are very intelligently laid out. For example, if you select the needle in a gauge (like these), it defaults to rotational edit so you can easily change the value the needle is pointing to.
Pricing is very reasonable when compared to custom professional design work. It’s a whisker under $24.90 one-off for five downloads, more than enough to get you started. If you want to subscribe and feel the benefit of the content being added to the pool, you can start off with a subscription of $59.90 per quarter for ten downloads a day or 100 downloads per month.
To put that in perspective, a single custom PowerPoint slide design could cost you anywhere between $60 to $100, so from that angle it’s quite cost effective. For most people those two levels of fee would be more than enough. If, however, you do a LOT of presentations and are a startup training business who can’t afford to hire a full time designer, for example, you can pay a yearly $99 fee and have 200 downloads a month with a maximum of fifty per day. There is also a high-end unlimited plan for high volume users of $199.90 and 10 seat licenses for simultaneous use.
The SlideModel library is reassuringly comprehensive, and you can bet that anyone you are presenting to will not have seen their designs, so your presentation will look fresh, clean and persuasive. It’s a good service and hard to find downsides, and the only one we can see is that the designs currently on the site are all fairly similar in tone, perhaps because they were created by the same pool of design talent. If you use the designs from SlideModel regularly, there will come a time that you’ve seen them all and so have the people you present to.
Even that’s not much of a downside, as this familiarity will take quite a while based on the amount of templates they already have, so it’s not all bad news. Plus, you can customise the colour to get more bang for your buck.
The even better news is that as the service grows SlideModel will in the future add to the existing pool of designs, and by the time you’ve grown tired of all the ones they currently have to offer, they should have a whole new range of slide designs to choose from. This is the major benefit of subscribing to a library rather than buying a static collection of slide templates.
All in all it’s a fresh and usable library of slide templates, and it will liven up any presentation immediately after you download and use your first template. It’s just like having a team of artists working for you without the expense.