Deep Dive: Improve My Presentation - A Slide Deck Makeover

About this lesson

Discover how to elevate your PowerPoint presentation from dull to dazzling. Gain the skills to revamp an unattractive slide deck into a polished and impressive presentation that reflects your professionalism.

See what never to do and how to take a messy set of slides and make them classy.

Learn which PowerPoint tools are appropriate for different types of slides and focus on the four key principles of

  1. Goals
  2. Message
  3. Consistency, and
  4. Design.


00:48 Review the UGLY Presentation
01:39 Works with Any Version of Office 365
01:53 Fix the Title Slide
02:36 How to Add Text the WRONG and RIGHT Way
04:58 Focus on the Message!
07:05 Inconsistent Font Families
07:36 Leverage Powerpoint Design Themes
08:18 Reset Slides and Backgrounds for Better Results
09:23 Important Lesson – Don’t Mess with Slide before Applying Design Theme!
11:57 Make Two Images Identical In Size for Consistency
14:25 Convert Text to A PowerPoint Table
17:35 Adding a Chart from a Table
19:03 Convert Text to SmartArt in PowerPoint
21:10 SmartArt to Graphical Represent Text Bullet Points
23:13 Parallel Though Matching Between Two Slides
24:19 SmartArt Project Timeline
25:20 The Most Important Slide: The Conclusion
27:07 Compare The Final Results with the Starting Slides


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All versions!


Course Completed

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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Welcome to help improve my PowerPoint presentation I guided make over, going from just okay to professional great! Hi, I’m Les from Power Up Training where I share my decades of experience with you for free. Over the next 30 minutes, I’m going to walk you through the mistakes of this slide deck and transform it into a professional presentation that has a fresh look. We’re going to cover design principles, getting the message just right, and which PowerPoint tools to use, whether you’re on a Mac, or a PC. Think of this as a home improvement show for PowerPoint. So how bad is this? And what do we need to fix? The title slide sets the tone, and this presentation starts off on the worst possible way too cutesy typography fonts. No matching color schemes, a passive aggressive title to ready to turn off any audience before you even get started. Why the tilted photo, what’s the purpose? Now, we go from bad to worse with colors and too many words and words and words, changing color backgrounds and new fonts. And now, let’s fly through the rest of the slides. Because we have so many things we need to get done is so much for Whoa, whoa, whoa, really Hello Kitty in an executive presentation? Stop, stop, stop. Let’s fix this. We’re going to work in the latest Office 365. But the principles and tools work with any PowerPoint. Along the way, we’re going to induce a ton of techniques, including how and when to use them. So let’s go power up. Starting with the title page, we have lots to do. And as our guiding principle, we will use these four concepts to fix all of our Slides. First, keep this slide deck consistent in tone, in color, and in graphic elements. Secondly, make each slide visually interesting, but at the same time, make sure it always number three, supporting your goals. And finally, number four, words matter. So we’ll review the message of our titles and our bullets to make sure that they match our goals and visual decisions. Let’s take a look at how this slide was constructed. Yes, we see text and the photo. But how were they added? Were they working inside a PowerPoint guardrails or just freeform dropped on a page. The key is to examine the slide layout. PowerPoint has a set of layout guides that if you work within the guardrails, PowerPoint will help bring consistency and tips for visual designs. To see the previous editing technique, go to the Home Ribbon Menu, and then click the drop down layout action icon. In there you will see the existing layout. In here we see that the first slide was using a blank layout, and not the guardrail recommendation of using a title layout for the first line. See how the title and subtitles are not in the title layout placeholders. They are just text dropped on the slide. And PowerPoint won’t know what to do with these freeform text boxes. As we go forward, I will undo the change to the title slide and go back to the blank layout. And let’s see what happens when I apply a design template. It is not working optimally see how some of the texts are completely unchanged. No matter what design template is used. The color and font are untouched. There’s even more happening. But the lesson here is to always use the default layout and drop text into the placeholders and not in freeform text boxes. So let’s fix it to enforce consistency inside our slide deck. I’m moving the three items out of the way. And then I’m gonna go back to the Home Menu and layout and choose title as my layout. Next, I’m going to highlight the text and cut it out and go to the title and paste it in. I’ll repeat that by moving the subtitle text into the actual subtitle placeholder, and then we’ll go delete the old text boxes. We’ll come back to fix the consistency and visual design. Let’s focus on the message. “remodel the office” is not our goal. It’s just an action step. What is our real goal? How about this “maximize company resources.”

That’s a beneficial goal. And the subtitle is so passive aggressive as the project presenter, we’re attempting to gain approval, telling your boss what they MUST do is never a great strategy. Let’s fix the subtitle and make it supporting the title goal. We’re proposing renovating the office space to reach our goal of maximizing the company resources. So now we’re using the message to support the goal. Always keep the goal and the message in mind for each and every slide. I promise to come back to the slide visual design. But let’s go to slide two. appropriately. This slide is all about fine tuning the words because this specific slide only has words, and too many of them. Let’s fix it. The title is once again all wrong. It’s aggressively demanding our bosses to do something without explaining. And it’s not the point of our project. Our project is not to get $1 million. It is to prove an office remodel project. And for the supporting bullets, there are too many words and they’re not focusing on the key points. Here. I’m going to paste in my edits, which focuses on modernization, maximisation, project costs and timeframe, all the key project components, this will support our end goal and uses better stronger bullet items that fit to one page. I rarely like to go to beyond five or more bullet points. If I was giving this presentation, I would use animated bullet points. To display them one by one. As I talked this slide, see our other tutorials on slide animation. Let me delete out the bad text. And once again, I will come back to that graphic design of this slide. So let’s go on to slide three. There are lots of new issues with this slide. First off, I have three count them three different types of font typography families, this is jarring and not consistent for this slide deck, or even for just this one slide. In addition, we now have our third different count them. Third different color background. With more coming up. That once again is not a consistent look over this slide deck. It’s an amateur move, and it’s a mess. But instead of fixing this one by one, let’s start to leverage PowerPoint automatic tool, starting with the design themes. The goal with this tool is to leverage Microsoft’s team of design artists to bring a matching font, background and colors. Watch as I apply a pre-done design from the design Ribbon Menu. Microsoft can work beautifully in sync with. This is a nightmare design. What’s happened! Turns out that if you start messing with like colors and fonts and that backgrounds, the design theme can go horribly wrong, there are two things that could be done. The first is to try to reset the whole slide layout, go to the home root menu and choose Reset. In our case, it only fixed the title placeholder sending it back to the theme font family and removing the italics and bold look. But the ugly colors are still there. Actually, it’s just the background. So the second item to reset is the background. Right click anywhere on the open spot on the slide, click Format Background and then click Reset background. This reset background cleans up the slide nicely. Let’s go back and do the same for the previous slide. First, we’ll reset the layout. And that fixes the title font look. Then we’ll go back and reset the background, which is made easy because the menu on the right is still open. And let’s do the same thing for the title slide. But since we worked on it earlier here, nothing really gets changed. It was in good shape after we fixed the placeholders.

Here’s an important lesson. Do not start messing with like colors in the background and the fonts and tell you apply a design theme. Now that we’ve fixed those three Slides, we can start to experiment with the design templates and have them flow through the presentation. We can try on a variety to see which we like and here’s a pro tip me the design themes have been around for years. So your audience may get tired of seeing the same old same old so I typically will choose one that’s not quite distinctive, and make some subtle tweaks to rearrange the location of the titles, but not by adding random text boxes. We here at Power Up Training, have a variety of some advanced tutorials for creating completely unique PowerPoint templates. See those listed above back to the office plan? First off, what is it with this set of quotation marks around the plans? They raise more questions than they answer. Get rid of them. And if you need to elaborate on the tentative nature, then you can do that one presenting the slide. Next, these two text boxes were dropped on and obviously do not follow the design template. They’re two different colors and schemes and different fonts in different layout. What a mess. Lastly, what do we have these two drawings matched on a single slide. Let’s break them up into two separate Slides, because they can then be enlarged for easier viewing. And we can discuss them one at a time. So I’m going to right click on the slide and choose Duplicate to get to Slides. And then on the first of the two duplicated Slides, I’m going to add a title of current office. I’m gonna delete the new office plans and both the free floating text boxes. Lastly, resizing the drawing to make them larger and easier to see on the slide. Then, onto the second duplicated slide. I will do this similar fixes for the new design change the title from the plans to proposed plans, which is a simple and non editorialized fact, delete the old office title and drawing, then move and resize the main image. But for consistency, we need for both images to match inside. So here’s a trick where to go to the first of the two Slides. Go ahead and find the size of the image by clicking on the object and selecting Picture Format from the context aware Ribbon Menu. And on the right side of the screen, you will see the Format Picture dialog choices. If not, it needs to be selected. So here, click on the image and the Picture Format context aware menu and expand the menu item under the size menu to find the size and properties configuration choices. Okay, back to our project presentation. So we can now see that the height of the first line is 6.49 inches. Let’s copy that by highlighting the value and doing a ctrl C for copy. Then we’ll go back to the next slide and select the drawing and the Format Picture Menu which should still be open on the right side where we can select the red icon to show the image size dimensions. There we go to height and do a CTRL V to paste in the height size of 6.49 inches to match the previous floorplan image size. The final touches for this line is relocate the image and the title to follow the layout of the earlier current office slide. Once done, these two Slides may have a different architectural drawing style difference. But by positioning both the image and the title, they now appear to be part of the same larger story.

on to Slide five. First off, this simplistic dollar sign image does very little for the topic is obvious that we’re dealing with money by just looking at the core focus. So let’s delete the image and instead focus on bringing the proposed budget content more front and center. At the moment, the list of costs are just in a PowerPoint textbox. But we will have much more flexibility. If we convert this to a PowerPoint table. While, we could just recreate the data by typing all over again into a table. This slick trick will let us convert the text into a table. Problem is that as of January 2022. PowerPoint does not have a convert to table tool. But Microsoft Office Word does. So let’s highlight the text and copy it. Then switching over to a blank Word document which I already have up and running. I’m going to right mouse click and then choose paste, presto, all the data is now here in the Word document, we make sure to highlight all of the data. Then I can go to the word Insert Ribbon Menu, click the down arrow under table to see my choices. Next, I’m going to select the action icon of Convert Text to Table. In this dialog box, you may need to experiment. But most likely, you can just count out the number of columns, no need to also count the rows and use the most likely separator of tabs to see if the program will work at Microsoft Office magic. Sure enough, Word did convert this from just plain text to our word table, which is going to be useful in PowerPoint. So I’ll highlight the table, right click to copy, and then switch back to our presentation project. And in an empty spot on the slide, I will right click and paste the table into PowerPoint. Once pasted in this new table looks different and will behave differently than just the plain text in our original slide. Let me reposition it, and then show off why all this work to convert the text to a table. With the table selected, we now get two new context aware menus called table design, and layout. Going inside the table Design Menu, we have lots of options to customize, such as turning off the header row. As our first row is like all the rows below with the exception of the bottom Total Row, which we can turn on to highlight the total. A quick side trip here to fix because our original text, put a manual set of underlined under conference room. So in the Home Ribbon Menu, we can turn off the underlining for just that one row. Now let’s delete the original text data. Plus also delete the PowerPoint now empty placeholder will go back to the table, I’m going to double click on the far right column of the first column. And the table will auto fit the width to match the text and then do the same by double clicking on the far right border for the number. And now I’m going to position it on the left side of our slide. This nicely alternating band of colored numbers are clear and precise. To make the numbers come alive, let’s add a chart. Because we’re already in a table format. PowerPoint can easily add a graph by us highlighting the numbers, not the total. And then with a right mouse button click, we can copy the data of the two columns. We’ll go into insert Ribbon Menu, and click the drop down action icon of chart. And we’ll select pie to look for our extended collection of PowerPoint chart tutorials on which we’ll discuss the items like which chart to choose. When I click OK, PowerPoint drops in a default pie chart with some default data. First, I’m going to remove the existing sample data. Then I’m going to go to the data table and change the title from sales to costs. And lastly, dropping the data from our table by pasting in the previously copied table data. And presto, there’s our pie chart. Let me reposition it to complement the table data. And then by clicking on the chart Design Menu, I can try on a few different styles without having to manually adjust the pie chart that looks good.

At this point, don’t worry about the colors. They’re not quite right. We’ll come back and apply a new color scheme to the whole presentation later on. So just set tight. Now to an all tech slide. This simple, but we can fix the table as the visual punch to the team listing. Let’s transform the bizarre question statement of who’s gonna run the project? We know that, so let’s just state it with a title of the project team. And now for some more PowerPoint magic to transform a simple list into a visual text slide using the SmartArt tool. It’s easy and fast, highlight the bullet text and then go to the Home Ribbon Menu and find Convert to SmartArt. There are over 200 different layout, but PowerPoint offers up around 20 different samples we are able to explore and since we’re working with a people team, the org chart looks appropriate. This look is close, but not quite. Right, Susan is in charge of the project, and everyone else reports to her. So let’s go to the Smart Art text entry box, and indent the text of the support team. Now, this looks like a real project team with a project lead. And to emphasize that, we will change a variation of the layout, where we can add a title, because these people have other jobs outside the project, and we want to represent their project title and their regular job.

And the cool thing about smart art objects is the ease to enhance, such as clicking the SmartArt Design Menu and fine on some of the color schemes to give it another look on to the next slide. First off, crying emojis or clipart might be fine between friends in text messages, but not in our pro presentation. Let’s kill it from the page. Next, we have a disorganized list of complaints. No one likes a bunch of whining. So let’s transform these same critical issues into a more professional organized list. I’ve already done the hard work of analyzing the text, rewording and regrouping. So let me just copy them into the presentation to save us a little time. And also let’s get rid of the negative whining title of What is Wrong with our office building? and transform it to the more professional title of current issues with workspace. Working with our new group text bullets, we can try to add some emphasis by highlighting the sub headings with bold, and then also deleting out the old original text. But while this is a significant improvement, the slide does have way too many words. One alternative is to break them into different Slides. But they do deserve to exist side by side. So let’s try another trick that we did employ earlier SmartArt. Making sure to start on the Home Ribbon Menu, we’re going to highlight the text. And we can go back to Convert to SmartArt. Remember last time, we made an org chart for our project team. But now we’re focusing on grouping the text for easier comprehension. Previewing some of the choices. I’m going to select horizontal bullet list. I will now resize this SmartArt reposition it, and we can see how automatic it was to organize and create a visual display of the long list of issues. Well, let’s still have a long list for a single slide. The viewer can quickly see that there are many issues by category. This helps drive home the point that we need to fix the existing workspace and not dwell on the individual items. The key concept is that SmartArt can add visual sophistication to any presentation. See our other tutorials on this tool listed above. Similar to the last text based slide. The solution to the previous issue slide is badly worded, we need to express that this is a solution to the previous issues and state that in the title. And our existing bullet points seem unrelated to the previous issue slide. So I also rewrote this to match our previous categories, which I’m just going to paste in this save some time. And of course, we’re going to use SmartArt. Again, to visually organize this slide. This time I’m going to pick vertical bullet list SmartArt. But pay attention to the construction. Both the issues and solutions lies have an identical grouping with the solution showing how we plan to fix the previously listed problems. There’s lots of information, but it is visually organized to show our plan. The next slide is not about spending money, but is how we plan to execute the project. So we need to make that title change. Remember the importance that words and the message matter. And for the core bullet items we will and you may have already guessed this, use SmartArt. But now with an emphasis on time process by using one of the many different arrow choice layouts. Some visual choices may look great. But if there’s too much text, you may need to settle on a different style for a readability environment in a conference room. Here’s a quick SmartArt tip once you choose one layout to go back and take a look because PowerPoint will offer up a different set but similar other types of layouts that you might find will work better.

And on to the two last Slides Hello Kitty question slide and holding sign man slide. These are super easy to fix. Just delete them, they’re too cheesy. In fact, this presentation misses the most important slide of all that conclusion and ask for approval. If you do not summarize and restate your goals, then no one’s gonna remember them. Here we are wanting to get approval for our project right now. So you must ask for it. Should we want to add a bit more visuals to this light, we could use the PowerPoint image search and find a matching professional looking type of graphic to drop in. And then we can resize it and use the crop tool to add to the page and give a little more visual punch. This is a great concluding slide. But I like to add a bookend slide that matches the title slide. When presenting it can be jolting to reach the end and have a blank screen pop up. So going to the Slide Sorter view, I can right click and copy the title slide and then drag the duplicated slide to the last position. A great ending just in case there are questions that pop up from the audience after the summary slide. Now, taking a step back, we can use the Slide Sorter view to catch any design inconsistencies, and then go in and fix them. Such as the second slide, we can make it a bit more visually interesting and readable by changing the title line and resizing and repositioning the bullet points. Let’s go ahead and go to the slideshow view and start up our show and see what we’ve created. We’ve come a long way. Repeated a consistent look that has a fresh appearance. The colors and backgrounds and fonts all match. We incorporate outside for plans that are different styles, but they look like they belong together. We’ve leveraged PowerPoint tables and parallel information with a visually matching chart. We’ve used the powerful SmartArt tool to turn plain text Slides into compelling graphics. With just a few clicks of the mouse. We fixed the message going from sloppy to professionally sharp. That laser focuses on our goals. We explored how SmartArt brings a consistent view provides flexibility, including for project timelines. And we wrapped it up with the most critical slide the one that points to the goal of the presentation to get results. See the description before for listing of all the tutorials that we have touching the tools covered in this presentation. Or stay tuned for our next video using Design Ideas to pump up your presentation even higher. Until next time, Go Power Up!