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The Psychology Behind Effective PowerPoint Slide Design

Creating an impactful and persuasive presentation requires more than just compelling content. The design of your PowerPoint slides plays a crucial role in capturing and retaining your audience’s attention. Understanding the psychology behind effective slide design can help you craft visually appealing and engaging presentations that leave a lasting impression. In this article, we will delve into the key principles that drive successful PowerPoint slide design.

Visual Hierarchy: Guiding Your Audience’s Attention

One of the fundamental principles of effective slide design is visual hierarchy. Visual hierarchy refers to the arrangement of elements on a slide in a way that guides the viewer’s eye through the content in a logical and intuitive manner. By strategically placing important information at the top or center of your slide, you can draw attention to key points.

To create visual hierarchy, use size, color, contrast, and positioning to distinguish between different elements on your slide. For example, make important headings larger or bolder than supporting text to emphasize their significance. Utilize contrasting colors for text and background to ensure legibility and make sure to position key visuals or illustrations strategically.

Consistency: Building Trust and Familiarity

Consistency is another vital aspect of effective PowerPoint slide design. When your slides have a consistent layout, color scheme, typography, and overall aesthetic, it creates a sense of cohesion and professionalism throughout your presentation.

Maintain consistency by using a limited color palette that aligns with your brand or topic. Choose fonts that are easy to read and stick to them consistently throughout your slides. Ensure that all images follow a similar style or theme so they don’t appear disjointed.

Consistency not only enhances visual appeal but also builds trust with your audience by conveying an organized and well-thought-out message.

Simplicity: Less Is More

When it comes to PowerPoint slide design, simplicity is key. Overloading your slides with excessive text or cluttered visuals can overwhelm your audience and distract from your message. Instead, aim for clean, uncluttered slides that allow your content to shine.

Focus on delivering one key point per slide to avoid overwhelming your audience with too much information. Use concise bullet points or short phrases to convey your message, rather than lengthy paragraphs. When incorporating visuals, choose images or graphics that are relevant and support your content without being overly complex or distracting.

Simplicity not only improves the clarity of your message but also enhances the overall aesthetics of your presentation.

Emotion and Storytelling: Engaging Your Audience

To truly captivate your audience, it’s important to tap into their emotions and weave a compelling story throughout your presentation. Effective PowerPoint slide design can enhance the emotional impact of your message by using appropriate colors, imagery, and typography.

Consider the emotional response you want to evoke from your audience when selecting colors for your slides. Warm colors like red and orange can create a sense of urgency or excitement, while cool colors like blue and green can evoke feelings of calmness or trust.

Incorporate storytelling elements through visuals that resonate with your audience’s emotions. Use relevant images or illustrations that depict real-life scenarios or relatable situations. Additionally, carefully select fonts that align with the tone of your content – whether it’s playful, serious, or professional – to further enhance the emotional impact.

By understanding the psychology behind effective PowerPoint slide design – visual hierarchy, consistency, simplicity, and emotion/storytelling – you can create presentations that not only inform but also captivate and inspire action. Remember: each element should work in harmony to support and amplify the key messages you want to convey.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


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powerpoint master slides how to use

Customize a slide master

Use a slide master to add consistency to your colors, fonts, headings, logos, and other styles, and to help unify the form of your presentation.

You can change a slide master's colors, fonts, or effects. You can hide or show placeholders.

powerpoint master slides how to use

Change the slide master

Select  View  >  Slide Master .

Make the text, color, and alignment changes you want.

If you want to use a predefined theme , select that first by clicking Themes on the Slide Master tab. Then proceed with selecting Colors , Fonts , Effects , and Background Styles .

When you're done, select  Close Master View .

To learn about slide masters, see What is a slide master?

To add or change placeholders in a Master Layout, see Add a placeholder to a layout

To change text attributes, see Change text alignment, indentation, and spacing .

To use more than one slide master in a presentation, see Use multiple slide masters in one presentation

Create and customize one or more slide masters

On the View tab, click Slide Master .

PPT for Mac Slide Master Command

When you open Slide Master view, a blank slide-master with the default, associated layouts appears. If you want to add another slide master, do the following:

Click a location in the slide thumbnail pane where you want the new slide master to appear.

On the Slide Master tab, click Insert Slide Master .

Note:  In the slide thumbnail pane, the slide master is the larger slide image, and the associated layouts are positioned beneath the slide master.

Do any of the following:

To create one or more custom layouts or to modify existing layouts, see Apply or change a slide layout .

To remove any of the built-in slide layouts that accompany the default slide master, in the slide thumbnail pane, click each slide layout that you want to delete, and then on the Slide Master tab, click Delete .

To apply a design or theme-based colors, fonts, effects and backgrounds, see Create your own theme in PowerPoint .

To set the page orientation for all of the slides in your presentation, on the Slide Master tab, click Slide Size > Page Setup . Under Orientation, click the orientation you want.

PPT for Mac Page Orientation

To add text that will appear as a footer at the bottom of all of the pages in your presentation, on the Slide Master tab, click Slide Size > Page Setup > Header/Footer .

After you make your changes, on the Slide Master tab, click Close Master .

If you want to save this as a template to reuse again, click File > Save as Template , type a file name, and click Save .

Learn more about slide masters

Learn more about slide layouts

Learn more about themes

Create or change slide layouts in PowerPoint for Mac

Add a transparent picture (watermark) to your slides in PowerPoint for Mac

Add a logo, company name, or header or footer text to handouts

Add page numbers, the date and time, or footer text to all slides in PowerPoint for Mac

Change footer formatting on all slides in PowerPoint for Mac


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How to Use PowerPoint Slide Master Layouts

Use the Slide Master to effect a uniform appearance for your presentation

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What to Know

  • Go to View > Slide Master and select the top thumbnail in the Slide pane. Use the Slide Master tab to change colors, fonts, and more.
  • Use the Slides pane to choose a slide layout thumbnail and make changes to the layout master.
  • When you're done making changes, select Slide Master > Close Master View to return to your presentation.

To ensure that all the slides in your PowerPoint presentation have the same look, use the Slide Master. Apply fonts and styles, add multimedia, and insert footnotes. These instructions apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, and 2013; PowerPoint for Microsoft 365; and PowerPoint for Mac.

Access the PowerPoint Slide Master

The PowerPoint Slide Master is like a style sheet for your presentations. Changes made to the Slide Master apply to the slides that are created after you format the Slide Master.

To access the Slide Master in a PowerPoint presentation, select View > Slide Master .

Change the Layout in the Slide Master

The Slide Master view contains all the slide layouts used in PowerPoint. The Slides pane displays thumbnail images of the slide master (the top thumbnail image) and the related slide layouts (the smaller thumbnail images located below the slide master).

Changing the font on the slide master affects the text placeholders on all slides. However, not all placeholders are affected by changes made to the slide master. You may need to make additional changes to the different slide layouts.

Make changes to the Slide Master before you create a presentation. If you change the font style or color on a slide before you edit the slide master and slide layouts, the formatting is retained on those slides.

To make changes in the Slide Master:

Select the slide master. It's the top thumbnail in the Slide pane.

Go to the Slide Master tab to change the theme, theme colors, fonts, and background for the entire presentation.

In the Slides pane, select a slide layout thumbnail and make changes to the layout master, if needed.

Close the PowerPoint Slide Master

After you've made all your changes to the slide master, select Slide Master > Close Master View to return to the presentation slides.

Each new slide you add to the presentation takes on the changes you made. You'll save time by not having to make edits to every individual slide. Your presentation will have a uniform and professional look.

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How to Use Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Impressive Presentations

With Slide Master, you can customize every aspect of your presentation, including colors, fonts, backgrounds, and effects. Here's how to use it!

No one enjoys a presentation with mismatched colors, missing logos, or unstructured content. Consistency is the key to creating an impressive slide deck. How do you ensure that the presentation is well-formatted and looks professional? You can quickly achieve this by creating a master theme and defining layouts for different types of content.

Microsoft PowerPoint is commonly used to create presentations. You can make a deck from a blank canvas or use predefined themes. Before creating a presentation, let's understand how you can set a theme and style using the Slide Master feature.

Applying a Predefined Theme to Your Presentation

There are many styles and options for creating a theme that aligns with your brand.

Having a uniform color combination, font style, or picture layout on each slide makes a presentation look professional. You can select the theme based on the company's style guide. If there is none available, you can try out different inbuilt themes by Microsoft PowerPoint.

To select a theme, follow these steps:

  • Click Themes and choose the desired theme. It is immediately applied to the presentation.
  • If you have downloaded a theme on your laptop from Microsoft Office, select the Browse for Themes option.

What Is the Slide Master Feature?

The Slide Master feature in Microsoft PowerPoint helps you create a template or layout for the presentation. You can select a theme, add backgrounds styles, add a company logo, or set the slide size.

Your choices on slide master define the look and feel of the presentation. One presentation can have many master slides, which means you can create one look for the first half of your presentation and another for the second half.

Each master slide can have multiple layouts, which can help you define templates for different slides. In a way, the slide master serves as a master template for the slide decks. Different teams within the company can reuse the slide master or slide layouts.

To access the slide master, open the presentation and select View > Slide Master . You can view the parent and child slides with different formatting options.

How to Use Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint

You can create the slide master with nested layout slides and apply a combination of texts, images, or videos on each slide. On the slide master, you can define the master layout for the presentation.

  • After opening the presentation, click View > Slide Master .
  • Select the master slide and click the Master Layout button on the top ribbon.
  • You can select a placeholder for title, text, date, footer, or slide number. These options are automatically applied to all layouts and slides.

Related: Microsoft PowerPoint vs. Google Slides: Which One Should You Be Using?

Inserting Slide Master or Layout

The layout acts as a template for the slides. You can create different layouts for every slide type.

  • To insert a new slide master or layout, click Insert Slide Master or Insert Layout on the top ribbon.
  • Alternatively, you can right-click on the left panel and choose the appropriate option.
  • To rename a layout, select a layout and click the Rename button on the top ribbon. Alternatively, you can right-click on a layout and select Rename . You can also delete a layout.
  • Click Preserve so that the slide layout remains in the presentation even if it is not used.

Configuring the Size of the Slide

You can set up the presentation in the standard size (4:3) or widescreen (16:9), which works well for most modern projectors. If you are not happy with the default size of the slide, you can change it. The slides can also be viewed or printed in A4 size, banner, or letter paper format.

  • Click Slide Size, and from the drop-down option, you can choose the Standard or Widescreen layouts.
  • You can select the orientation of slides, the notes section, and the slides to which you want to apply the size.

RELATED: The Best Sites for Free Animated PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Setting the Background of the Slide

You can select the background colors, fonts and apply effects to the slides. To view the style and format options, click Slide Master in the top ribbon.

  • Click the Colors option to view the color combinations. Select your preferred option, and it is applied to the deck.
  • Click Fonts to apply the selected font to the text. The font is applied when you exit the Slide Master mode.
  • Select the Effects option to apply a specific effect to objects such as charts or graphs.
  • Select the Background Style to choose the background color for the slide.
  • You can also right-click on a background style to apply the same background to all layouts in the master.
  • You can get more options for background colors, including gradient fill, texture, pictures, by clicking the Background Styles > Format Background menu.
  • Select the Hide Background Graphics option to remove background graphics on selected layouts.

Inserting a Placeholder on the Slide

Every slide can have text, a chart, or images. These can be added while designing the theme of the presentation. To add a placeholder, follow these steps:

  • Select Insert Placeholder .

RELATED: How to Make Professional Slideshows With PowerPoint's Designer Feature

Enjoy Creating Interesting Themes for Your Presentation

Creating a presentation with different slide layouts is an excellent practice. Depending on the type of content they want to present, diverse teams can reuse these slide layouts.

At first, the layouts and slide styles can seem overwhelming. But you can access learning resources by Microsoft to gain in-depth knowledge about all the features. Don't forget to experiment and create your custom themes.

Even though Microsoft PowerPoint is commonly used to create slide decks, you can also teach skills by creating online learning modules.


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PowerPoint Slide Masters: Save Time and Customize Your Presentations

How to insert PowerPoint Slide masters

Editing a PowerPoint presentation is not without risk: new images or text can ruin the layout, new slides from external sources aren’t visually cohesive. And when it comes to color design, it’s incredibly difficult to accurately reconstruct the original color scheme from sight.

To avoid these issues and a lot of headaches, consider using a slide master. With it, you can change or enhance presentations as often as you like without losing the plot. Here we’ll show you how to best use your PowerPoint slide master.

PowerPoint Slide Master: What is it?

The slide master (found in PowerPoint under > View > Slide Master ) is the basic framework and control center of any good presentation. Think of it as a kind of toolbox in the background of your presentation that encompasses all the rules of layout . It helps you maintain a uniform appearance and quickly create new slides at any time. And best of all? You won’t have to worry about annoying formatting.

In the slide master, you can preset the formatting and positioning of all principal elements in your presentation. This includes titles, subtitles, text and image placeholders, footers and logos. In short, the slide master in PowerPoint is nothing more than your individual design template .

Elements that are set in the master can’t be moved or deleted in the normal editing mode. This is a useful feature when you’re working in a team. Team members can create new individual slides or entire presentations in the company’s own design without running the risk of moving or removing essential elements.

When you open Microsoft PowerPoint in edit mode and create a new slide, you or your collaborators will no longer find blank, white surfaces, but will be able to choose the layout design you need right away.

You can make changes on the slide master at any time. These changes are directly applied to all slides . This saves you so much time! It also guarantees that all fonts and font sizes, color schemes and positions of logos or other elements remain identical on every slide.

The benefits of using a PowerPoint slide master

A master layout in PowerPoint allows you and your staff to focus more on content and not waste time formatting or modifying individual slide layouts . This means fewer formatting errors and more consistent presentations across your organization.

Your clients benefit from a PowerPoint slide master, too! Not only is it more enjoyable to watch a professionally designed presentation, but your presentation will also be more persuasive and inspiring.

ppt slide master

Are you interested in an individually fitted slide master? Our agency is looking at a successful past in which we were able to help many satisfied customers . Don’t hesitate to contact us !

The master slide

The first slide of your slide master is the master slide , or mother slide. It contains all your fundamental formatting . Adjustments made to this slide will carry over to all your master’s subsequent layout slides, the children. That’s why it’s best to define the font and size of your titles, subtitles, footers and logos on the master slide.

Each layout slide can also be customized . Common layout slides include title slides, divider slides, comparison slides, slides with text-image combinations, image-only slides, slides with list formatting, chart slides and more.

powerpoint slide master in powerpoint mother slide

Using a master template customized to your company’s requirements allows you to create a predefined standard for new presentations. This standard plays an important role in shaping your company’s corporate image.

How to use the PowerPoint slide master

The slide master allows you to create custom grids and align elements at specified distances. A well-defined slide master with slide layouts is by no means a set of slides with randomly selected placeholders. It is a well-thought-out construct of layouts and rules.

Defined margins provide the framework for your content. The spacing between the individual objects on the slide (e.g., images, headings), ensure a clean and professional design across all slides.

When our agency creates PowerPoint slide masters for clients, we also select a unique color scheme or adopt the client’s CI (corporate identity) color scheme. This means that you, as a client, can immediately access the predefined color palette to adjust font or object color.

Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to use a PowerPoint slide master correctly.

Create and edit a PowerPoint slide master

1. Open your PowerPoint presentation.

2. Click on the View tab.

insert powerpoint slide master into your presentation

3. Click on Slide Master . In the Slide Master view, you’ll see all your presentation’s slide layouts in the thumbnail pane on the left.

4. Click on Insert Slide Master located above the thumbnail pane.

add a powerpoint slide master slide to ypur presentation

5. The new slide master will appear in the thumbnail pane below the existing slide master. It will be given the number 2 if there is already one slide master, or 3 if there are already two slide masters, etc. Now you can edit the new slide master in the master view.

Any changes made to the PowerPoint slide master are automatically applied to all other slide layouts . Changes to a single slide layout (e.g., title slides, comparison slides, image-only slides) will only affect that specific layout. All new slides with that layout will incorporate the changes you have just made.

The master layout

There are basically two levels to a PowerPoint slide master: the master slide and the subsequent slide layouts/master layouts . These layouts can differ greatly from each other.

Certain slide layouts work better than others, depending on what content you intend to include. Some are better for presenting images or graphs, while other layouts are more suitable for text-heavy content.

All layouts consist of coordinated text and/or object placeholders that are scaled and designed to match the purpose of the slide. These “objects” are, for example, photos, statistics, or animations. You can quickly add content to the placeholders and customize the different layouts as needed.

insert powerpoint slide master with various slide layouts

A change to the master slide applies to all slides in your presentation. A change to a particular slide layout applies to all slides with that specific layout. Do you want tighter spacing between individual text or image boxes on all comparison slides?

All you need to do is make this change on the comparison slide master layout in the Slide Master view. All comparison slides in your presentation will have the new layout.

Tip: Slide Master view vs. Normal view : Changes made in Slide Master view can’t be changed or accidentally deleted in Normal view. This makes editing mistakes to the layout almost impossible.

Rename a PowerPoint slide master

2. Click the View tab.

3. Click on Slide Master .

4. In the thumbnail pane, right-click the layout slide you want to rename and select Rename Layout .

5. In the dialog box, enter the new name for the layout and click Rename .

6. Click on Close Master View and switch to the Home tab. Click on Layout in the Slides group. You will now see the renamed slide layout in drop-down menu.

Use different PowerPoint slide masters

Can’t decide which design suits your content or personal preferences best? You can insert several design themes and combine them with each other. To do this, you’ll need several PowerPoint slide masters.

How to add multiple PowerPoint slide masters:

1. Go to View > Slide Master to switch to the master slide view mode.

2. Click Insert Slide Master in the Edit Master group.

3. Your new slide master will appear below the previous one. You can now edit the new slide master as you wish or use a theme template to customize it.

Shortcut : In Slide Master view, click on Themes to select a new design. You can then create a new slide master in the selected theme.

Editing headers & footers in the PowerPoint slide master

1. Go to View > Slide Master .

2. Select the master slide from the thumbnail panel on the left.

3. You’ll see placeholders for footer content at the bottom of the slide. Fill, customize and arrange these as desired. To create a header, place one of the boxes at the top of the screen.

PowerPoint Slide Master use the footer for adding information

4. In the Home tab, you can change elements such as font, font size and color scheme.

5. Go back to Slide Master and click Close Master View . All changes will be saved and automatically applied.

Other PowerPoint masters

In addition to the slide master, PowerPoint provides two other helpful masters: the PowerPoint handout master and the PowerPoint notes master .

Handouts are printouts of your presentation that you can pass out to your audience before or after your presentation. The handout master helps with the content and visual design of these handouts. As with the slide master, changes made in the handout master apply to all pages of the handout.

Go to View > Handout Master . Here you can define formatting, color design and how much content should be used on each page of the handout.

Beneath the powerpoint slide master your can use other masters

PowerPoint’s notes master helps you organize additional information or personal notes. During a presentation, your screen will display each slide’s notes. Best of all, the audience won’t see any of this.

The PowerPoint notes master allows you to customize the structure of your note pages across all slides. Just like the other masters, all changes are automatically applied to all note pages. Go to View > Notes Master to customize your personal note pages.

The PowerPoint slide master: organizer, time saver and designer for your PowerPoint presentation

The PowerPoint slide master functions as the control center of a presentation. In it, you can define design rules that affect every slide. PowerPoint also offers the handout master and the notes master. All three masters have children slides or pages.

All changes to a master are automatically applied to every slide. PowerPoint’s masters are the perfect tools for creating a professional and consistent layout and design for your presentation.

Are you interested in an individually fitted slide master? Our agency is looking at a successful past in which we were able to help many satisfied customers . Don’t hesitate to contact us ! We’d be happy to design a layout that suits your individual preferences and needs.

If you have questions about the slide master or other topics regarding powerpoint – please write us an email to [email protected] . We would be happy to help!

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Quick Tip: Apply and Transfer PowerPoint Slide Master

In this article, we will show you step-by-step how to apply a PowerPoint slide master. A PowerPoint slide master allows you to apply a predefined design to all slides of a presentation. It can be designed for each presentation individually and can also be exported into other presentations so you can ensure a consistent design across all your presentations.

Apply a PowerPoint slide master - step by step

To apply a PowerPoint slide master, you must of course first create a slide master. We explain how to create a slide master here.  After you have created your slide master, it is automatically applied to the current presentation. However, the slide master contains not only the master slide itself but also various layouts that you can define. If you edit a layout in the master, it automatically adjusts any slides where that layout has been applied. If you add new layouts, you have the option to apply them to existing slides. We will show you how in 2 simple steps:

  • Select the thumbnail of the slide you want to reformat on the left side of the normal view. Highlighted: TIP: You can select multiple slides at once by holding down the CTRL key. This saves time.
  • Select the Layout button on the “Home” tab and click the new layout you want. It will be applied to all selected slides.

apply PowerPoint slide master layout

Transfer a PowerPoint master to other presentations

Now that you know how to apply a slide master to an existing presentation, we will show you how to transfer that master to another slide. This is a simple process:

Open Source

First, open the presentation with the slide master you want to transfer and the presentation into which you want to paste the slide master.

copy apply PowerPoint slide master

Switch to the presentation you want to update and open the slide master.

Right-click the thumbnail on the right and select one of the two actions:

  • Use target design: The design colors, fonts, and effects of the target presentation are retained.
  • Keep original formatting: The design colors, fonts, and effects of the presentation you are copying from will be applied.

paste apply PowerPoint slide master

Now you know how to apply a slide master and how to transfer a slide master. Both processes take just a few steps.

Especially in large projects, manually copying slide masters can still lead to problems: old versions remain in circulation and the current version of the slide master is not necessarily applied to existing presentations. That leads to an inconsistent appearance to the outside world, looks unprofessional, and makes it difficult to enforce a corporate identity.

empower ® Content Enablement  can help you manage your slide masters and ensure that your current slide design is used in all PowerPoint presentations. Are you looking to go one step further and want to implement a tool that ensures uniform and corporate design adherent documents among all Office applications? Then have a look at our Brand Control Solution !

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    What to Know · Go to View > Slide Master and select the top thumbnail in the Slide pane. · Use the Slides pane to choose a slide layout

  10. How to create master slides in PowerPoint

    To create your own Master template, you just need to go to the View tab > Slide Master. This will allow you to access the Slide Master view. How

  11. How to Use Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint to Create

    How to Use Slide Master in Microsoft PowerPoint · After opening the presentation, click View > Slide Master. · Select the master slide and click

  12. How to Use the Slide Master in PowerPoint

    How to Edit the Slide Master in PowerPoint · Open your PowerPoint document. · Click on View then Slide Master. · Click on the very top thumbnail

  13. PowerPoint Slide Masters: Save Time and Customize Your

    Use different PowerPoint slide masters · 1. Go to View > Slide Master to switch to the master slide view mode. · 2. Click Insert Slide Master in the Edit Master

  14. Quick Tip: Apply and Transfer PowerPoint Slide Master

    Transfer a PowerPoint master to other presentations · Open Source. First, open the presentation with the slide master you want to transfer and