The PowerPoint Slide Master Part 1

PowerPoint Slide Master is the basic tool for creating your presentation. If the slide master is used correctly, the quality of your slide set will increase, and you will also save a lot of time. You can use it to specify uniform design elements such as font or design.

Most people who regularly deal with the creation of PowerPoint slides use the slide master automatically. Working with the slide master belongs to the once one of every beginner course. To my surprise, however, I have repeatedly found that many users handle this element poorly and do not know the full extent of the design options. Today I would like to give you a brief introduction to the PowerPoint slide master. In a second part, we’ll look at custom design options outside of the PowerPoint defaults.

Your PowerPoint slide deck must have a consistent look and feel. This is the absolute basic requirement for a successful presentation. If you want all slides to appear uniformly with a continuous font, uniform graphics and images, etc., you can specify this in advance in the PowerPoint slide master. The master forms the basic framework of your presentation and assigns a fixed place to important elements such as company logo or images, etc. When you insert changes or additions in the slide master, all slides will automatically have these new corrections inserted as well. Therefore, you do not need to correct each slide individually. This article is intended to give you a brief overview of the subject.

The three levels of the PowerPoint slide master

When you start with a PowerPoint presentation, you should first start with the slide master. Here you specify design of your slides. If during your work you notice that some areas need to be changed, it is enough to make the changes in the PowerPoint slide master. This will automatically align all slides. The slide master consists of three layers: The slide master itself, the layout and the individual slides.

The slide master

The slide master, sometimes called the master slide, is the skeleton of the slide set. There you will set important preferences for the appearance, for example, fonts and colors of your presentation. To access the slide master in PowerPoint, click on View – Master Views – Slide Master .

The view how to get into the slide master in PowerPoint

The layout

Within the slide master, the layouts are defined in the second step. Slide layouts define formatting, positioning fields for all contents of a slide. For example, you mark where the headings, the text passages or diagrams should be placed on the slide. You can access the layout in PowerPoint via Start – Slides – Layout .

The slide master in PowerPoint

The individual slides

The slide is the layer where the contents of the presentation are inserted. The content of your slide presentation will be inserted here.

Ready-made designs from PowerPoint

If you’re in a hurry, or if you simply don’t have the practice to work with your own designs yet, PowerPoint provides a set of fully designed themes for immediate use. The advantages are obvious. You will receive professionally predefined designs that you can choose according to your personal taste. There is a wide range of colors, fonts and interesting effects waiting for you to insert your content. Each of these design templates has a slide master and a corresponding number of layouts. Of course, these design templates have some disadvantages. There is a risk that the design you choose will be used by many other users as well. You also have no way to make changes within the design templates. You can find them in the slide master under “Designs”.

Ready designs in the slide master

Own design options with the PowerPoint slide master

It gets really interesting for advanced users when you don’t use PowerPoint’s standard grids, but work with your own layout ideas. This allows you to stand out impressively from the presentation standard of the masses. We will discuss the design possibilities you can achieve with your own elements in the second part.

You can find many practical examples in my book PowerPoint – Der Ratgeber für bessere Präsentationen, published by Vierfarben-Verlag.

In our second part we will show you how to make a custom design with the slide master, for that just click here.

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Speaker and PowerPoint Trainer Matthias Garten

Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 10,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.