Branding in PowerPoint – Is it Needed?

April 2008, my PowerPoint corporate template was neatly designed by an external agency; and I never questioned the usability aspects of the concrete elements that were a part of the template. For four years, I continued with the same template, and must have presented in front of hundreds of prospects. I won’t get into the color and font aspect of the branding, but let me point to a very specific and common element that companies use: Information in the Footer.

Check out our PowerPoint template footer.

footer-brandingOkay, so we have the following items: Our logo, company name, website URL and slide number. While it feels good to see your own company identity on each slide, I never thought that it actually might be quite distracting for the audience. May be it’s little too much hammering?

What’s the functional value here? I realized (late of course) that I have never presented in front of an audience, who was not aware before the meeting – where I’m coming from, which company I represent, and what is the URL. My Email signature would have done the job – established my brand identity with the prospect. Why then should we not restrict ourselves, our identity to just one slide – at the start and/or end? Why should we keep reminding the audience where we have come from, on each slide? Apart from the subconscious hammering effect, it also consumes space. Even if your slide does not have dense content, the footer is adding to the noise.

Retain that slide number if you must – that is something valuable. The above theory has been verified by several audience when approached on the subject.

The Tiny Advice:

Remove the logo, company name, URL and any other branding information from your PowerPoint template. Keep your branding out of your presentations, except for maybe title slide and/or last slide.

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta

Vishal Mehta is a UX professional, hands-on designer and coder. He is a consultant to product companies in San Francisco Bay Area. He loves to play chess and design solutions in spare time. He ran a UX company, IDYeah Creations for six years in India. His expressions can be found on popular platforms like UX Booth, Technorati and SAP Community Network.

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