Deep Dive: : Build A Unique PowerPoint Look - A Slide Master (Part 2 of 2)

About this lesson

How To Make My Presentations Different from Everyone Else?

Create a LOOK that stands out! Learn to Build Unique PowerPoint Templates from Slide Master.

This advanced tutorial creates one-of-a-kind looks for you or your organization. It includes starting with a blank page and designing a look that no one else has. And then save it as a template.

Great for people that want a true one-of-a-kind PowerPoint look or if you are responsible for building a corporate standard that can be shared with others.

Can I Create a Corporate Standard PowerPoint Template?

Absolutely, this video shows not just the construction of the branded presentation but shows how to save it as a template for distribution to your team or company.

What if I Have Never Used the Slide Master Mode?

We have you covered. This is the second of a two-part series on Master Slides but if you want to get the fundamentals, look at the first lesson at: Learn about Slide Master in PowerPoint


Contents with video timestamps:

  • Intro 0:00
  • Starting with Blank Presentation 3:25
  • Create a new Layout style template 5:05
  • Guaranteed Unique Design Template: 7:23
  • Change Master Color Theme: 13:03
  • Change Master Font Family: 14:17
  • Understanding Bullet Line Changes: 16:05
  • Creating a unique background: 16:36
  • Adding a logo or image: 17:49
  • Adding slide transitions: 18:20
  • Adding bullet animation: 18:52
  • Removing unneeded layouts: 21:58
  • Saving a Theme: 22:11
  • Saving a Template: 23:18
  • Wrap Up 24:30



Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility PowerPoint 2013 up to current Office 365

Level Advanced

Course Completed Complete

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



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Training Class Transcript Video for “Build A Unique PowerPoint Look”

Is this you?

I’m tired of all the existing built-in designs that everyone else is using.  How do I make my PowerPoint look unique?

How do I create our Corporate PowerPoint Standard look?

How do I standardize everything in my presentation?

The secret solution is PowerPoint Slide Master.  I will coach you on how to create unique looks from scratch that no one else has shown.  This video will also show you strategies for consistency and speeding up the management of transitions and bullet point animation.

Stay tuned and get powered up!


Hi, this is Les McCarter.

If you are asking “what is Slide Master Mode” you need to watch our previous video on the link above to get a foundation of this magical PowerPoint Tool.  The reason is that this advanced class builds upon those concepts.


So what is this master class about?  I am going to show you how to create a PowerPoint theme from a blank presentation.  You will be in control of everything.

Along the way, I will show you a PowerUp Training specialty to guarantee a design look that none of your peers have used before.


If this is your first time watching Power Up Training, you are about to find that we don’t just provide videos of keystrokes, but instead, I share my years of experience through coaching.  Subscribe for future videos to make my expertise, your expertise for free.


So why should you design from scratch?  I suggest that YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS!  Most of us are not graphic designers, so we should stick to Microsoft’s suggested design themes.  And to do so, requires a fair amount of time and detailed care.


Still, there are great reasons to do so to speed up the presentation creation process or if you are a corporate communication department that must create that BRANDED PRESENTATION for your organization to use as a template.


So over the next 20 minutes, I will coach you through

  • Working from a blank presentation
  • Use PowerPoint’s slide design tool to create a unique look
  • Do a complete makeover of all the design elements
  • Lastly, look how to save your work of art for easy reuse or to distribute as a template

So Lets Go and Get Powered up by Creating a Slide Master Template from Scratch

Hands-On Training

To recap, the parent master slide controls the foundation of all the settings for the below CHILDREN slides . . which are specifically named layout slides that are variations of parent master slide.

Some items are typically standard, such at the title section and the footer. Most layout customization is tied around the inside content items taht PowerPOint calls Placholders.

This placeholder could be tables, charts, text, photos . . see the faded icons for hints.

Lets try this out by creating a NEW layout by clicking INSET LAYOUT.

See how it creates one with the standard items like title and foooter items but is empty in the middle.

So we can keep track of this, I will use the RENAME icon to name this “POWER UP TEST LAYOUT”

Now, lets add two different placeholders. NOTE that you must be in the SLIDE MASTER menu.

I will add ONLINE IMAGE placeholder and drag on my slide where I want the images to be located.
Next, lets add in a TEXT Placeholder, doing the same positioning, but now see that there area guides for when I put this on the page. Subtling indicating that I am centered on the page or in relation to the other placeholder or matching top or bottom.

Now let’s check out how these two placeholders work. We need to EXIT out of the slide master view. One way is to click on the SLIDE MASTER menu and select CLOSE MASTER VIEW.

Now let’s add a new slide by click NEW SLIDE

And next attach our newly created layout called POWER UP TEST LAYOUT.

BOOM our new two placeholder layout page is applied.

First let’s add a title: called THE TITLE

And then click on the ICON . . nice to see the default instructions.

In the stock images, I will choose a random photo of a stopwatch. and INSERT it in. BOOM again, the image in the designated spot.

Now let add some text in the adjoining placeholder (conveniently titled CLICK TO ADD TEXT).

With that, we now understand the relationship of adding specific types of placeholders to a layout defined in the master slide to create a consistent theme.
Ok, let start from scratch with a new blank presentation and build our complete MASTER SLIDE FROM SCRATCH.

With an empty canvas, other than the default placeholders, we will go into the slide master view VIEW and SLIDE MASTER)

And work with the PARENT Master slide.

Note that it is very vanilla.

At this point, you would use your artistica graphic designer to creat the visual look for your prsenatition theme.

They would choose a color scheme, font families and an artistic background.

The problem is that I am an Microsoft Office expert, not a designer. So I will cheat with some help from MIcrosoft. If you have a recent version of PowerPoint, especially Office 365, you can lean on DESIGN IDEAS to get your inspiration.

To do this artistic Power Up Training cheat trick, exit out of SLIDE MASTER view and create a new generic slide.

On this slide add a title and some text (it is needed to see the design ideas)

Then, as long as we arein the HOME menu, click DESIGN IDEAS (for PowerPOint 2016, you need to be in the design menu).

From here we can scroll though and even test different styles and decide whether that LOOK would be a great graphic theme to add to our homemade presentation style.


This is a unique look that leaves the left side of our slide open for content. Let’s work with this Stylist Graphic Image as the foundation for our Slide Master Theme.

The title and text placeholders are clickage and manable elements, but what about our images?

Click, click click and they don’t get highlighted. They seem to be untouchable.

Let’s close the distracting design ideas and figure out where these object are.

Often, unclickable items are attached to background of the slide, so let’s go there.

I will slick on the DESIGN menud and choose FORMAT BACKGROUND.

It says it is a SOLID FILL not a some graphic image. And if we change the color, LOOK the graphic elements are still there!

So they aren’t attached to the background. Where are they?

Well it turns out that these DESIGN IDEA elements are LOCKED OBJECTS and can’t be modified, BUT they can be selected and copied. However, the only way to select them is by way of the SELECTION PANE.

Go to HOME. Drop the the dialog box from SELECT and click SELECTION PANE.

And now as we click the strangely name objects, they show up selected in the main workstpace.

But even when selected, they still can be resized or moved.

That is ok. Here is our strategy, we want to select these design elments and copy them to our SLIDE MASTER.

I will turn off the two content placeholders by click on the “visible” icon to OFF.

And then click in our slide workspace and use the KEYBOARD short cut of CTRL + A to select all.

Next I will do a CTRL -C to copy all that is selected.

Now that we have the3se objects in our clipboard, we will switch back to the SLIDE MASTER view and make sure that we are on the PARENT master at the top and click in the work space so that we can do a PASTE of CTRL V

And once again BOOM. the elements are on the PARENT master and all the children layouts below. ALL AT ONCE!

On closer inpsection, I do have one issue, the the new grpahic look has stepped ON TOP of the SURFACE of my SLIDE MASTER PARENT.

No Problem, with the objects still selected, I can move them to the BACK layer by click on HOME and the ARRANGE icon and SEND TO BACK, and now all the placeholder items reappear on the top layer.


I am close, but I have an issue with the GREEN TRIANGLE . . . I think it will distract from my TITLES, so I want to remove it. Still, I can’t click on it on the slide workspace, but by hunting around, I can find it in the SELECTION PANE (it gets highlighed when click on it) and once selected, I can then do a CTRL- X to delete it out. And of course, it then gets removed from all the children layouts below.

If you have a professional created set of graphics, you would have inserted them into the background with similar steps.

Now let’s get serious about creating our own custom look.

We will start with COLORS (i find this to be the best starting place as other items will be based on our color selection.

Note that as we make these changes, some of our trusted tools have move from their original locatoin. SPecially, when in SLIDE MASTER view, there is no DESIGN menu, but you find many of these elements under the SLAID MASTER VIEW.

Great example, COLORS>

Once I select the COLORS drop down menu of choices, I can drag my mouse over them and get a preview of the changes to our background objects. The TEXT still stays black, but we will get to that once we select a color theme.

Note that if you have a corporate color scheme, you can CUSTOMIZE COLORS, but that goes beyond this video. If you want a YOUTUBE totorial on that, just leave a request in the comments below>

I am going to choose MARGUEE for our theme.



Let now change the font family. At the moment, we can see the default font is CALIBRI LIGHT, which we see in the normal view.

To make the change for the new slide master theme, we go back into VIEW and SLIDE MASTER and on the top MASTER SLIDE< we choose FONT

Lets choose CENTURY GOTHIC and then go back to the standard view to make sure the change too place by checking both the title placeholder and the bullet text placeholder.

So now that we have a FONT THEME for the whole presentation, let’s start to tweak indvidual items.

Note that some of my tweaks are not for artistic rfeasons, but more to show you how they impact the whole presentation.

So lets start with the TITLE.

I will change it to BOLD & ITALICS (in real life, choose one or the other) plus I turn on SMALL CAPS which I find cool as it a bit bolder, but still show some variety in letter sizes.

Next lets choose FONT COLOR.

While at the bottom we have standard colors, we want to use the THEME colors that we choose ealirer on (and now y0ou can see what COLORS THEMES should be choosen early on). If we were to go back and change the color theme, then these 10 theme colors would change.

And look, all the TITLES for the children layouts followed the new title font change.


Next, just for training purposes, we are going to change the THIRD LEVEL font color so that I can emphasize that each of the five levels have the ability to control font, color, indentation, size for the whole presentation slide deck. RED is noticable for this video.

If you want to learn everything about bullet levels and indentation, look for our other YouTUbe PowerUp video just on this topic.

Time to give our slide deck theme a bit more style by ditching the white background.

Once again, we must be on the top MASTER parent slide and in the SLIDE MASTER menu, to then access the icon for BACKGROUND SYTLE


If we use the suggested color backgrounds, which we can preview, it does nothing for me, so lets select format background.

On this dialog box, we could choose a new color from the paint can, or if you had your graphic designer background, you would drop it in as a PICTURE.

I am instead going to a TEXTURE FILL from the drop down menu.

I can click and preview the choices. For my taste, some are too bold and hide the presenation. Instead I will choose the paper like background, which is more like a background, but still a bit too strong. I can fix that by raising the transparency to get it to blend into a lighter look.

And of course, it changes the background for ALL the layouts.


NOw lets add a logo fomr the insert picture.
WHen it comes in, we do need to resize and reloate it. Lets fit in the circle.

And we can do even more, including adding the slide transition that happens when giving the presentaion.

On the parent slide, we go to TRANSITION and I will choose one that we will notice when we test it out: disolve.

This is subtle, but once you add a TRANSTION, powepoint will indicate its existance by adding a small star by the slide.

We are not stopping there, we also want to add bullet point animation.

THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Normally you have to do this slide by slide, but with SLIDE MASTER you can apply it once!

So you have done all this hard work and you want to easily access it. Simple enough, you can save it as a DESIGN THEME for future application.


Oh my!  We just covered a ton of techniques, but you are now ready to go out to create unique presentations from you master slide templates.

In the comments below Let me know how you new skills are working out.

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