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Presentation Templates vs. Building from Scratch: Which is best?

Posted 2024-05-16
Presentation Templates vs. Building from Scratch: Which is best?


Presentation templates save time and look professional, but limit creativity and feel generic. Building from scratch offers full customization and unique storytelling, but takes time and requires design skills. Considering project deadlines, presentation complexity, and…... read more Presentation templates save time and look professional, but limit creativity and feel generic. Building from scratch offers full customization and unique storytelling, but takes time and requires design skills. Considering project deadlines, presentation complexity, and design expertise when choosing an approach. Choose the approach that best fits your resources and goals! close

For consultants, creating an impactful presentation that wins over clients is no small feat, but with deadlines and high stakes, which is more effective: presentation templates or building from scratch? Each has its pros and cons, so in this blog, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and try to understand what would work best for your circumstances.

Pre-made Consulting Presentation Templates

Advantages of Using Templates

When you want to create impactful presentations under tight deadlines, using pre-made templates can be a lifesaver. Here’s how incorporating templates can be an advantage:

They save time. Using templates is great for saving time since they provide a framework for layout designs. That way, a consultant can focus their attention and energy on refining the data and content that goes into their slides. This is especially helpful for last-minute meetings or juggling several projects or clients.

They look professional. Templates are designed by professionals who know how to make visual content stand out. A high-quality template ensures that your slides looks polished and sleek. This professional appearance also makes you appear credible and impresses clients and stakeholders with your sharp deliverables.

They help with consistent branding. Maintaining a consistent brand across all corporate materials can be tricky to track, especially when working with several brands. Templates often come with pre-styled elements that are then easily customizable to align with different brand identities. This also allows for quick adjustments to maintain a uniform brand voice across different presentations.

Disadvantages of Using Templates

Although presentation templates offer a quick solution to getting started, they do have a few downsides that can hinder your ability to stand out, including:

They limit creativity. A major drawback of templates is that they limit your creative freedom; the pre-set layouts and design elements can stifle innovation. Since consultants want to differentiate from their competitors, the lack of customization can limit the unique visual impact you can achieve with a fully customized presentation.

They feel generic. Templates also risk your presentation feeling generic and impersonal, since many templates are available online and used by many, many people. This could mean that your slides just looks like countless others. And for a consultant willing to establish a distinct identity, this may not be an ideal solution.

They present technical challenges. Plus, templates may pose technical challenges. Although they are meant to be user-friendly, any customization beyond certain elements may be difficult to implement. Making deeper adjustments might require software knowledge, which can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Building Presentation Slides from Scratch

Advantages of Building from Scratch

For consultants who wish to leave a strong impression on clients, starting from scratch will have unique benefits that presentation templates simply won’t. Here are a few advantages of creating brand-new presentations:

You have complete design control. When you create a presentation from scratch, you have full creative control that allows you to tailor each aspect of your slide deck. This allows you to align with the message you want to share and the audience you’re presenting. Whether it is the color scheme or font choice, these elements help you match your brand voice and enhance the effectiveness of your delivery.

It is an opportunity for unique storytelling. A tailored presentation is a blank canvas for your narrative, providing you with the opportunity to develop a unique and seamless visual story. You can enhance and amplify key parts of your slides as you see fit. This coherent narrative not only makes your content more digestible but also more memorable.

It lets you stand out. In this competitive market, it is important to stand out from the crowd, and custom presentations let you do that. By building slides from scratch, you can infuse your slides with your brand’s unique style and voice. This is great for brand consistency across different materials but it also helps set you apart. Customized graphics, layouts, and animations can reflect your brand’s ethos and identity, which can transform your slides into a powerful tool.

Disadvantages of Building from Scratch

While creating a presentation from scratch can offer unmatched customization and originality, consultants should be aware of possible pitfalls. Here are some of the challenges:

They are a time investment. The most obvious disadvantage of building a presentation from scratch is the amount of time it takes. Not only does it require content creation but also design conceptualization, layout structuring, and tailored elements. For consultants who are often in a time crunch, this can be a huge commitment and drain on your resources. This time could be better spent on research and client interaction.

They require consistency. Achieving a cohesive look across all slides is easier said than done. Maintaining visual consistency across slides can be difficult when there is no fixed style guide (which you need to conceptualize yourself). This includes uniformity in fonts, colors, sizes, and layout structure. Without these, it can harm your credibility, make you look unprofessional, and distract from the message you’re trying to convey.

They require technical skills. Another thing to consider is the level of technical proficiency that creating slides would require. Effective presentation design needs a solid foundation in design principles and familiarity with software features. If you do not have a background in design, this is a steep learning curve that can result in an unpolished result that does more harm than good.

Presentation templates or customized slides?

Considerations for Consultants

Whether a consultant opts to use pre-designed templates or craft their slides from scratch, each will have their own perks and drawbacks. Deciding which option is suitable will depend on several factors:

The project timeline
For those under a tight deadline, building a slide deck from the ground up might not be practical. A template here offers a significant advantage since it can be adapted and edited quickly reducing the time needed to create a polished presentation.

The presentation’s complexity
The complexity of the data and information you’re using plays a role in deciding how to approach your presentation. Templates help with straightforward presentations that need simple and efficient slides, while more heavy content might require deeper design knowledge to communicate.

Design expertise
Consultants who know design or have access to presentation designers (like ourselves!) may find that building a slide deck allows for more customization and creativity. However, those without these resources will find that editing templates is more practical since it requires less technical skill.

Combining Customization with Template Use

For many consultants, a hybrid approach is a happy medium where you can reap the benefits of both. Using a high-quality template as a base, you can tailor it by incorporating brand elements and unique visuals that align with the message. This offers a balance that makes the most of each approach’s advantages.

Whichever path makes more sense for you, the overall goal is to create an engaging and impactful presentation that your audience will remember. Considering the factors we mentioned above, you can choose the approach that best aligns with your resources, requirements, and the overarching purpose behind your presentation. You could also contact our team! After all, as a presentation design agency, we can help determine which approach suits you best and design captivating slides to capture your audience’s attention!