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33 Presentation Templates and Design Tips to Hold Your Audience’s Attention

By Sara McGuire, Jun 06, 2019

presentation templates blog headerWhat’s worse than sitting through a boring presentation? Being the one to deliver a boring presentation. Presentation templates to the rescue!

Say goodbye to typical, boring PowerPoint slides, too. Instead, use presentation templates like this one to engage your audience:

presentation templates


Just so you know, some of our templates are free and some require a small monthly fee to use. Signing up to Venngage is always free.

In this post, we’ll show you how create a presentation that will not only grab the attention of your audience but hold onto it as well.

This post will offers tips for creating different types of presentations, including:

We’ll also give you design tips to customize our presentation templates.

Venngage Presentation Export to PowerPoint

The example above shows how you can customize our templates and export them directly to PowerPoint. Click any of the presentation templates on this page, sign up for free and you’ll enter Venngage’s online presentation maker tool. It’s a drag and drop editor that anyone can use.

Just want the templates? Get all our presentation templates on one page.

presentation templates


Design a presentation that engages your audience

Think about the last boring presentation you sat through:

  • What did the slides look like?
  • Did they have a bland color scheme?
  • Were there too many points (or worse, paragraphs) crammed onto one slide?
  • Were the charts and diagrams clunky and hard to understand?

When people see the same old boring PowerPoint themes, there’s a good chance they’re going to lose focus.

The demand for creative, engaging visual content is higher than ever. If you want to really capture your audience’s attention, you need to use creative presentation designs, like this one:

presentation templates


That means incorporating eye-catching images, effective data visualizations, and bold typography into your slide decks.

presentation templates


This onboarding presentation, for example, strategically uses bright icons and illustrations to make the material more engaging. This is especially important when presenting to new hires, who are likely dealing with information overload on their first day. 

HR Presentation Template


In this particular case, a more visual approach is not necessarily a matter of aesthetic preference, but a decision that can make your presentations more likely to stick.

Pro Tip: Venngage has over 40,000 icons and illustrations you can use to spice up your presentations!

Need something more geared towards speaking? Our keynote presentation templates are all the rage.

Many Venngage users have told us that they’re always looking for ways to make presentations more engaging. But most of them don’t have any formal design experience.

If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry–this guide is for you. You can also check out this video for all the highlights:


Here are my top tips for designing a presentation with impact:

1. Dedicate each slide to only one topic

presentation templates


Just as it’s important for your slides to not be cluttered, it’s also important for your slides to be cohesive.

Keep each slide focused on just one topic. The topic of each slide should be clearly stated in the slide title.

For example, this presentation template covers different ways to be creative. Each individual slide covers one approach:

presentation templates


This simple, straightforward slide pattern will help the audience follow along without any confusion.

Or take this presentation template that introduces some of this year’s biggest business trends. Rather than listing multiple trends on one slide, each trend is fleshed out in its own slide:

presentation templates


As a presenter, keeping your slide topics organized will help you organize your thoughts as well. Each new slide will signal a new topic.


2. Start with presentation templates

Before jumping into the other tips, let’s set the foundation.

You’ve decided to create something a little more interesting than a standard PowerPoint theme–good on you! But that doesn’t mean you have to start completely from scratch.

Instead, you can give yourself a head start by using creative presentation templates, like this one:

presentation templates


Or this one:

HR Presentation Templates


While most PowerPoint themes are fairly limited in how much you can customize them, freeform presentation templates will give you the freedom to alter the design as much as you want.

For example, let’s take this template:

presentation templates


I used Venngage’s My Brand Kit tool to apply our brand color palette to the Uber template in one click:

presentation templates

We’ve got a ton of creative presentation templates. You can take a look at them in our templates library.

Cool? Now let’s talk presentation design.


3. Don’t overburden your slides with text

presentation templates


Even if you decide to ignore most of the other tips in this guide, don’t skip over this one. This is presentation design 101.

When you flip to a slide covered wall-to-wall with text, there’s a good chance your audience is going to think:

  1. I don’t want to read all of that.
  2. This presenter isn’t well-prepared.

In fact, a study published in Business and Professional Communication Quarterly found that anxious presenters tended to use more text on their slides, usually because they used their slides as speaking notes.

Instead of using a bunch of text, look for ways to present information visually using images, charts and infographics.

For example, this presentation slide template uses brief text and some simple icons to summarize the information:

presentation templates


This startup pitch deck makes use of evocative images, icons and big text to help present its ideas:

presentation templates


4. Establish a visual hierarchy on your slides

When you flip to a new slide, your audience will be seeing it for the first time. Their eyes are going to naturally be drawn whatever the focal point on the page is.

The focal point is the most dominant area on your slide–the point that draws the most attention.

You can create a hierarchy of information on your slide by making the most important information the focal point of your slide. In most cases, the focal point will be the slide title, or a particular visual, or an important phrase or number.

There are a few ways you can create a visual hierarchy on your slides.

You can bold important phrases, like the word “Facebook” in this slide:

presentation templates


Icons also help to establish a reading order. They draw your eye from point to point. Placing icons beside headers and important points will make them stand out from the other information on the slide.

presentation templates


Icons can also be used to indicate where a new point begins:

presentation templates


Color selection can also be used to establish a visual hierarchy. Take a look at how the colorful blocks in this slide help to make the slide titles pop:

presentation templates


Your eyes are drawn first to the title text, then to the supporting information beside it.


5. Pick a visual motif that runs throughout your presentation templates

You can use visuals to pull your presentation design together and make it cohesive. Picking a visual motif will allow you to use consistent visuals throughout your presentation.

A visual motif is a repeated pattern, design, or image. In your presentation design, a motif can take many forms.

One of the simplest approaches is to use a consistent color motif (or color scheme). That could mean using one or two colors for all of your headers, background and borders.

For example, this presentation template uses to shades of purple for a modern design:

presentation templates


But combining different colors and patterns can also make for a more interesting design. For example, this presentation template uses a blue stripe motif to link the slides together visually:

presentation templates


You could also use a recurring shape or image, like the the circle image frames in this presentation template:

presentation templates


Or you could use a motif that reflects the theme of your presentation. For example, this presentation template uses a recurring cloud motif throughout the presentation to reflect the “dream” theme of the brand:

presentation templates


This is a case where starting with a presentation template can really come in handy, because the template will already have a motif. Look for presentation templates with a motif that fits your topic and brand.


6. Visualize data using charts and infographics

Replacing text with visuals is one of the best ways to prevent your slide design from becoming cluttered. Charts and infographics present information in an engaging, digestible way.

I won’t go into too much detail here about what types of charts you should use for what data. We’ve got an in-depth guide to picking charts for that.

But I’ll give you a few ideas for some types of charts and infographics that work well in presentations.

Related: How to Make Better Infographics for PowerPoint

If you want to visualize steps in a process, the history of something, or a roadmap, use a timeline.

This slide template uses a simple timeline with complementary icons to emphasize each date:

pitch deck templates


To compare amounts or sizes, a bubble chart can help drive the point home:

pitch deck templates


Learn how to customize this template:


For geographic and demographic information, a map can make a big impact on your audience:

presentation templates


A classic pie chart or bar graph should be easily understood by your audience, provided you’re following chart best practices.

This presentation template uses a bar graph, a pie chart and a line graph to show different metrics:

presentation templates


If you can, mix up the types of data visualizations you use. This will help prevent your audience from getting bored.

Those are just a few different ways you can use charts to visualize. For more ideas, check out our guide to picking the best charts for your data.


7. Create custom illustrations using icons to help tell stories

Custom illustrations are one of this year’s biggest graphic design trends. They’re fun, quirky, and more exciting than a boring old stock photo.

Creating your own illustrations might seem like a costly and time-consuming undertaking. And it can be. But I’m going to offer you a hack:

Use icons to create illustrations.

You can arrange icons together to create a scene–like the pieces of a puzzle. (Venngage offers over 40,000 icons, so finding an image shouldn’t be too hard!) presentation template


For example, this real estate presentation template uses icons to illustrate each real estate hack:

presentation templates


When picking icons or symbols for your illustrations, make sure that the icon style you use is consistent. For example, this presentation template uses line art icons for a scribbly youthful look:

presentation templates presentation templates


For more ideas, read our guide to creating icon illustrations.

8. Highlight important information using big, bold colorful text

Returning the the idea of focal points on your slide: emphasize a key number or phrase in your persuasive presentation using big, bold text in a contrasting color.

This will communicate to your audience that if they take away one thing from your slide, it should be that piece of information.

For example, this presentation template uses brightly colored font in several sizes larger than the rest of the text to emphasize important numbers on each slide:

presentation templates


But you could also pick one color to emphasize key information with. That way, your audience will catch on to the pattern and look for that color in upcoming slides.

Take a look at how this presentation uses teal to contrast with the other text and emphasize information:

presentation templates


9. Alternate between different slide layouts to keep your audience engaged

You may be tempted to use the same slide layout throughout your entire presentation–either for consistency, or because you’re not sure how else to design your slide.

The problem is, using the same slide layout over and over again won’t do much to excite your audience.

There are other ways you can create consistency throughout your presentation, while also using different slide layouts–like through a visual motif.

For example, this presentation template uses five different slide layouts. The consistent color scheme, image style and font style pulls the presentation together.

presentation templates


To come up with different slide layouts, try dividing your slide into columns. This can make it easier to arrange the elements in your slide.

column layout

This can make it easier to arrange the elements in your slide.

presentation templates

presentation templates


10. Add a progress tracker to your presentation slides

Creating a sense of forward movement will help keep your audience engaged.

Similar to how you would put the chapter title at the top of the pages in a book, you can track the progress of your presentations in your slides. This will let your audience know what stage you’re at in your presentation. Your audience will also be able to refer to the sections in your presentation more easily afterwards.

A simple progress bar along the bottom of your slide shouldn’t distract too much from the rest of your information.


11. Download your presentation as a PDF to give to your audience afterwards

It’s common for audience members to request a copy of your presentation for their reference. Make sharing your presentation easy by exporting it as a PDF or zipped file.

presentation templates

If you don’t want to send a PDF, you can present directly in Venngage using our presentation tool. Simply Publish  your presentation to be taken to the presentation page, or click the Preview button to view your presentation privately.

presentation templates

Now that you’re equipped with some fundamentals of presentation design, the best way to learn is by doing. It’s also the perfect time to upgrade your presentation skills while you’re thinking about it too!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.


More presentation templates and design guides:

120+ Best Presentation Ideas, Design Tips & Examples (+ Presentation Templates!)

12 Business Pitch Deck Templates and Design Best Practices to Impress Investors

5 Foolproof Presentation Layout Ideas (+ Presentation Templates!)

How to Get Featured on the Front Page of SlideShare [Infographic]

What Is A Webinar & How Do They Work? [Beginners Guide]

About Sara McGuire

Sara McGuire is the former Content Marketing Manager at Venngage. She believes that growth by content doesn't require a big budget if you're scrappy. Her writing has been published on Marketing Profs, HubSpot, and Content Marketing Institute. Follow her on Twitter @sara_mcguire