Custom Presentations vs. Presentation Templates: What's Best for Your Business?

Custom Presentations vs. Presentation Templates

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In the world of business, presentations play a pivotal role in conveying messages and outlining plans to audiences. The dilemma often lies in choosing between custom presentations and templates. Custom presentations offer a tailored experience, allowing your content to shine through uniquely crafted themes and organization.

On the other hand, templates provide a cost-effective solution with pre-set examples to guide your presentation development. Factors such as pricing, editor capabilities, and the primary reason for the presentation are essential considerations in this decision-making process.

This post aims to delve into these factors and shed light on what's best for your business - custom presentations or templates?

Key Takeaways

  • Custom presentations are tailored to meet the specific needs of your business, offering a unique and personalized approach to engaging your audience.
  • Presentation templates provide a quick and cost-effective solution with pre-designed layouts that can be easily adapted, saving time and resources.
  • The choice between custom presentations and presentation templates depends on factors such as the importance of brand identity, the complexity of the message, and budget constraints.
  • Custom presentations can enhance brand consistency and professionalism, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.
  • Templates are ideal for businesses that require frequent presentations on diverse topics or those with limited design expertise.
  • Consider the long-term impact of your presentation choice on your business reputation and the effectiveness of your communication strategy.
  • Assessing the context and purpose of the presentation will guide you in selecting the most appropriate option for your business needs.

What is a Presentation Template?

A presentation template serves as a pre-designed framework that helps individuals and organizations create visually appealing and cohesive presentations.

Presentation templates can come ready-made, found in platforms such as Microsoft PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Canva or bought from various online collections. Alternatively, they can be uniquely designed by a specialist in presentation design.

These templates come equipped with a set of slides that have predetermined layouts, fonts, color schemes, and sometimes even specific thematic elements.

The main purpose of using a presentation template is to ensure that the presenter can focus more on the content they wish to convey rather than spending excessive time on the design aspects.

Templates can vary greatly in style and functionality, catering to different types of presentations such as business proposals, educational lectures, or marketing pitches.

By providing a consistent and professional appearance, presentation templates help in effectively communicating ideas to an audience, making the information more accessible and engaging.

What is a Custom Presentation?

A custom presentation is a specifically designed deck that is tailored to meet the unique needs and objectives of its presenter or organization.

Unlike templates, a custom presentation is crafted with a particular audience, purpose, and context in mind, ensuring that every element, from the layout and design to the content and visuals, aligns perfectly with the intended message and goals.

This personalized approach allows for a more engaging and impactful delivery, whether it's for a business pitch, educational lecture, or any other scenario that requires conveying information effectively.

By focusing on customization, presenters can better connect with their audience, making their message more memorable and persuasive.

Custom Presentations vs. Templates: Making the Right Choice

Understanding your business needs is crucial when deciding between custom presentations and templates. This involves identifying your audience, the message you want to convey, and how you want to present it.

For those who may not have extensive design experience, achieving a professional and impactful presentation might seem daunting. However, the process can be simplified with the right approach and tools.

For a detailed exploration on how to create visually appealing and effective presentations without needing a background in design, consider reading our comprehensive Presentation Design Guide for Non-Designers. This guide offers practical tips and insights to help you navigate presentation design with ease, ensuring your content shines regardless of your design skills.

When weighing options between custom presentations and templates, consider cost, time, and expertise.

Cost and Expertise Considerations for Custom Presentations

Custom presentations require more resources but deliver personalized content that resonates with the audience. They demand design skills or hiring a design agency which can be costly. The high price tag often associated with professional design services can be attributed to several key factors.

First, the expertise and creativity required for high-quality design work necessitate a significant investment in both time and specialized skills. This expertise often comes at a premium, especially when seeking services from top-tier design agencies known for their innovative and effective solutions.

The journey of bringing custom designs to life is fraught with obstacles, notably the layers of communication that exist between the client and the design team. Often, this dialogue is mediated by individuals who are not directly involved in the design process.

This separation can introduce challenges, as messages and visions passed through these intermediaries may become diluted or misinterpreted.

Such communication barriers can lead to a series of revisions, each one adding time and financial cost to the project. Furthermore, when working under tight deadlines, these miscommunications can exacerbate the pressure on the design team.

They may find themselves in a position where additional resources or extended work hours are necessary to fulfill client expectations within the constrained timeline, further complicating the project's execution.

At the end of the day, hiring professional designers might be pricey, but their skills often make it worth it because they can create designs that really speak to people. Still, it's key to manage your budget carefully so it doesn't get eaten up by unexpected problems or miscommunications.

Working directly with the presentation designers can help make sure your money is spent wisely, protecting it from being wasted and making sure you get the most out of paying for professional help.

Evaluating the Price and Skills Needed for Presentation Templates

Opting for presentation templates is a cost-effective choice when it comes to making presentations. Popular presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Google Slides come equipped with a variety of pre-made designs, or as we mentioned before, presentation templates can also be designed by presentation experts.

These templates are designed to be user-friendly, allowing even those without graphic design experience to put together visually appealing presentations.

This ease of use template can significantly cut down on the time and financial resources needed to create a presentation from scratch.

It's important to note that templates found in presentation software or collections are accessible to anyone with the same software. This means there's a significant possibility that many businesses, potentially including your competitors, could be using designs that are identical or extremely similar.

This can make it challenging for your presentation to stand out in a sea of look-alikes.

In summary, while templates offer an accessible and cost-effective solution for creating presentations, their widespread availability and customization limitations might hinder your ability to create a truly unique and impactful presentation.

It's crucial to weigh these factors carefully when deciding whether a template or a custom-designed presentation is the best choice for your business needs.

Bridging the Gap: The Custom Template Approach

If budget constraints make it difficult to afford a fully custom presentation, an alternative option is to hire professional designer services to create a custom template. This approach allows for a balance between customization and cost-effectiveness.

A custom template is essentially a template that is custom-made to cater specifically to the needs, branding, and messaging of an individual or organization. Unlike generic templates, which can often feel impersonal or may not perfectly align with one's specific requirements, custom templates are meticulously crafted with the client's unique identity and objectives in mind.

Custom templates can include specific color schemes that align with a company's branding, custom slide layouts designed for different types of content, and unique graphical elements that make the presentation stand out.

Moreover, custom templates offer a sustainable solution for organizations and individuals who frequently create presentations. Once developed, these templates can be reused and adapted for various purposes, saving time and resources while maintaining a high standard of presentation quality.

This repeatability ensures consistency in branding and messaging across all presentations, reinforcing the organization's identity and professionalism.

In essence, custom templates strike an optimal balance between customization and convenience, providing a tailored yet efficient approach to creating impactful presentations, making it an ideal solution for businesses aiming to stand out without going over budget.





Understanding the Importance of Presentation Templates

Time Efficiency with Templates

Presentation templates offer a significant advantage in terms of time efficiency. Instead of starting from scratch, you can use pre-designed layouts that only require you to input your information. For instance, when using a template, you have access to numerous free templates that cater to various presentation needs.

  • Example: Imagine having to prepare a business proposal within a limited timeframe. By using a template, you cut down the time spent on designing and focus more on content creation.

Branding Consistency through Templates

Another benefit of using presentation templates is the consistency they provide in branding. All elements, including colors, fonts, and styles, are uniform across all slides. This consistency helps reinforce your brand identity throughout your presentation.

  • Case Study: A study conducted by Lucidpress found that consistent branding increases revenue by 33%. Therefore, maintaining brand consistency through templates can significantly impact your business's success.

It's crucial to understand that while pre-designed free templates can provide a starting point, the best template for ensuring brand consistency and effectiveness is not one of these off-the-shelf options. Instead, investing in a template created by professional designers is invaluable. Such a bespoke template ensures that every element is tailored to your unique brand and the specific purpose of your presentation.

Cost-effectiveness of Pre-designed Templates

Lastly, let's not overlook the cost-effectiveness of using templates. Hiring design agencies for custom presentations, as discussed before, can be costly for small businesses or startups operating on tight budgets. However, a well designed template offer high-quality alternative without compromising on professionalism or aesthetics.

  • Stat: According to, 85% of small businesses consider cost as their primary concern when deciding whether to invest in design services or opt for free resources like templates.

The Benefits of Using Custom Presentation Designs

Unique Designs Enhance Brand Identity

Custom presentations allow businesses to express their unique brand identity. A well-crafted, custom design can convey the company's personality, values, and mission more effectively than a generic template.

For example, Apple, known for its minimalist and sleek designs, extends this aesthetic to its presentations. This consistency reinforces their brand identity and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

Flexibility with Custom Designs

Custom presentation designs offer flexibility that templates often lack. Businesses can adapt these designs according to their specific needs and preferences.

A tech startup may prefer a modern and dynamic look while an established law firm might opt for a classic and professional design. With custom presentations, each business can create something that truly represents them.

In 2018, Airbnb redesigned their presentation decks to match their vibrant and community-focused brand image. This wouldn't have been possible with rigid templates.

Better Audience Engagement through Custom Presentations

Engaging audiences is crucial in any presentation. Custom designs can help achieve this by integrating elements that resonate with the audience's interests or expectations.

Consider TED Talks - they use custom presentations tailored to each speaker's topic. This approach helps keep the audience engaged throughout the talk.

The Spectrum of Custom Presentations: From Simple to Sophisticated

Low Budget, Simple Customization

Custom presentations don't have to break the bank to be effective. Even with minimal resources, small tweaks and personalized touches can significantly enhance audience engagement. Starting with a low budget doesn't mean low impact.

By utilizing free or inexpensive presentation software, individuals can begin by selecting templates that align closely with their message's theme or the interests of their audience.

Simple customizations such as changing the color scheme to match a brand, incorporating a logo, or using specific fonts can make a presentation feel more unique and tailored.

Adding personal or company stories relevant to the topic can also create a more engaging experience without any cost. Furthermore, carefully selecting and embedding free-to-use images or videos can greatly enhance the visual appeal and keep the audience's attention.

Transforming Your Presentations by Refreshing Your Template Design

Engaging a professional designer to refine a pre-existing template for your presentation slides can be a strategic move to balance cost efficiency with aesthetic appeal. This approach not only saves you significant time that would otherwise be spent on designing each slide from scratch but also ensures you benefit from a professionally designed deck without the full expense of custom work.

By leveraging the expertise of a designer, you can transform a basic template into a captivating presentation that resonates with your audience, ensuring your message is delivered with both clarity and visual impact. This method allows for personalization and sophistication in your presentation, making it stand out, all while keeping a keen eye on budget and resource allocation.

These steps, while simple and low-cost, can transform a generic presentation into one that resonates more deeply with viewers.

High-End, Highly Creative Presentation

At the other end of the spectrum, high-end custom presentations are where creativity knows no bounds, and the budget is less of a constraint. This level involves leveraging advanced design tools, engaging multimedia elements, and possibly even professional assistance from graphic designers or multimedia specialists.

High-end customizations might include creating bespoke animations that explain complex concepts in an easy-to-understand way, integrating interactive elements such as polls or quizzes to keep the audience engaged in real-time, or using high-quality video footage to tell a compelling story.

Moreover, sophisticated data visualization tools can be employed to present statistical information in a visually striking manner, making it both informative and memorable. Custom-built templates that perfectly reflect the brand's identity, with unique layouts for each slide, ensure that the presentation stands out.

High-end presentations might also incorporate augmented reality or virtual reality elements for an immersive experience, depending on the context and setting.

Enhancing Business Efficiency with Custom Presentations

Streamlining Communication Through Tailored Content

Business presentations are a crucial tool for communication. They help to convey complex ideas and data in an easily digestible format. The use of custom presentations can significantly streamline this process.

With tailored content, businesses can efficiently deliver their message, ensuring that every slide deck is specifically designed to meet their needs.

For example, instead of using generic PowerPoint templates or Google slides, a company could create individual slides that reflect its brand identity and values. This not only makes the presentation more engaging but also ensures that it aligns perfectly with the business's objectives.

Boosting Sales Pitches with Customized Visuals

Visuals play a crucial role in any presentation. They capture attention, aid comprehension, and make information memorable. In sales pitches, customized visuals can be particularly beneficial.

A study by Prezi found that presentations featuring visual storytelling techniques were 21% more persuasive than those without. By incorporating custom visuals into your business presentation, you can enhance your sales pitch and increase your chances of success.

Enhancing Team Collaboration Through Personalized Presentation Tools

Custom presentations don't just benefit external communication; they're also valuable for internal collaboration. By creating personalized presentation tools suited to your team's needs, you enable smoother workflow and better teamwork.

For instance, if your team often collaborates on new product development projects, a custom template highlighting key stages could be invaluable. It would provide a consistent structure for each new presentation and ensure everyone is on the same page.

Long-Term Impact on Business: Custom vs. Template Presentations

Value of Investing in Custom Designs

Custom presentations can offer a long-term value to your business that templates might not provide. When you invest in custom designs, you're not just paying for a one-off presentation. You're investing in a unique brand identity that sets you apart from the competition.

For instance, consider Apple Inc.'s keynote presentations. They are renowned for their minimalist design and innovative visuals, which reflect Apple's branding ethos perfectly. This consistency has helped establish Apple as an industry leader and innovator.

In contrast, using off-the-shelf templates may save time and money initially but could cost more in the long run. Templates lack originality and uniqueness, which might lead to your brand blending into the crowd rather than standing out.

Impact of Templates on Brand Consistency

Brand consistency is crucial for any business aiming for longevity and success. It helps build trust with customers and creates a recognizable identity across all marketing channels.

However, relying solely on templates can hamper this consistency over time. Since these designs are readily available to everyone, they don't allow your brand to shine uniquely.

Take Coca-Cola as an example - their consistent branding across all platforms is instantly recognizable due to its distinctive red color scheme and iconic logo. If they had used generic templates for their presentations or advertisements, it would have diluted their strong brand image.

Presentation Design's Role in Customer Perception

Lastly, how your company presents itself through design plays an essential role in shaping customer perception over time. A well-designed custom presentation sends a message about your professionalism, attention to detail, and commitment to quality.

A survey by Venngage found that 49% of marketers rate visual content as very important to their marketing strategy. This underlines the impact good design can have on influencing customer perception positively.

Factors to Consider for Long-Term Scalability in Design

Importance of Future-Proof Designs

Future-proof designs play a significant role in the growth and expansion of your business. As businesses evolve, so do their needs and requirements. A future-proof design is one that will not become obsolete as technology or trends change.

For instance, consider the case of Dropbox. The company began with a simple logo and user interface. Over time, as the company grew and its user base expanded, they evolved their design to be more sophisticated yet still easy to use. This evolution was possible because of a future-proof approach to design from the start.

Role of Adaptable Design Elements

Adaptability is another key factor in scalable design. Businesses must ensure that their designs can adapt to changing circumstances without losing functionality or aesthetic appeal.

Take Netflix for example. The streaming giant has continuously adapted its user interface over the years based on customer feedback and evolving viewing habits. Despite these changes, they've managed to maintain a consistent visual identity thanks to adaptable design elements.

Consistent Branding During Scaling Processes

Consistency in branding is crucial during scaling processes. It helps maintain brand recognition while allowing for necessary changes and improvements.

A great example here would be Starbucks. Even as they've expanded globally and diversified their product offerings, their iconic green mermaid logo has remained largely unchanged - ensuring instant brand recognition wherever you are in the world.

PowerPoint Themes vs. Templates: An Overview

Understanding Themes and Templates

PowerPoint, one of the most popular presentation tools, offers two main design options: themes and templates. A PowerPoint template is pre-designed slide or set of slides that you can open and fill with your content. It simplifies the design process by providing a structure for your presentation.

On the other hand, a PowerPoint theme is a color scheme combined with font styles and effects. It sets the tone of your presentation by providing consistency in colors and fonts across all slides.

Suitability of Themes vs. Templates

The choice between themes and templates depends on your specific needs. If you require a quick solution with minimal customization, then using a PowerPoint template might be ideal for you.

For instance, if you're presenting quarterly sales data to stakeholders, an already designed template would save time.

However, if you're looking to create a unique identity for your brand through presentations, then themes would be more suitable as they allow more room for customization.

For example, if you're launching a new product line and want the presentation to reflect its branding elements like colors and typography, then using a theme would be beneficial.

Role of Customization in Themes and Templates

Customization plays an integral role in both themes and templates. With templates, customization often involves replacing placeholder text or images with your own content while maintaining the overall structure provided by the template.

Themes offer deeper levels of customization as they control visual elements like color schemes and fonts across all slides in your presentation.

This means that when you change one element of the theme such as color scheme or font style it will be applied consistently throughout all slides enhancing brand recognition.

Essential Tips for Designing Impactful Business Presentations

Clear, Concise Content is Key

The first step to creating an effective business presentation is ensuring your content is clear and concise. The audience should be able to understand the message you're trying to convey without getting lost in jargon or unnecessary details.

For instance, if you're presenting a new product, focus on its unique features and benefits rather than delving into technical specifications. This approach aids in maintaining audience interest and comprehension.

  • Avoid lengthy sentences
  • Use bullet points for key information
  • Keep slides uncluttered

Visuals Enhance Audience Engagement

Visuals play a vital role in making presentations engaging. They can break down complex data into digestible chunks, making it easier for the audience to grasp the information being presented.

Infographics, charts, diagrams, images - they all contribute towards enhancing the visual appeal of your presentation design.

Consider this: A study by 3M Corporation found that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text. So when you’re debating between custom presentations vs templates remember that both need strong visuals to be effective.

Compelling Narrative: The Heart of Business Presentations

A compelling narrative is what separates a good presentation from a great one. It's not just about presenting facts and figures; it's about telling a story that resonates with your audience.

This could involve discussing challenges faced by your company and how they were overcome or showcasing customer testimonials that highlight the effectiveness of your product or service.

For example, Apple Inc.'s product launches are masterclasses in storytelling. They don't just list out features; they explain why those features matter to their customers - creating an emotional connection with their audience.

Characteristics of an Outstanding Business Presentation

Emphasizing Clarity, Coherence, and Conciseness in Presentation Design

A custom presentation or template should be clear, coherent, and concise. These three Cs are vital for effective communication. It's essential to present information in a way that's easy to understand and digest.

For instance, using simple language rather than jargon can enhance clarity. Moreover, coherence is achieved when ideas flow logically from one point to the next. Lastly, conciseness refers to delivering your message in as few words as possible while still being comprehensive.

The Role of Engaging Visuals and Infographics

Visual elements play a significant role in business presentations. They capture attention and make complex data easier to comprehend.

A study by MIT Neuroscientists found that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds - highlighting the power of visuals in communication. Infographics are especially useful in presenting data or processes because they simplify complex information into digestible chunks.

Whether you're using a custom presentation or a template, incorporating relevant visuals and infographics can significantly enhance your audience's engagement levels.

Importance of a Strong Call to Action in Business Presentations

A strong call-to-action (CTA) is crucial for any business presentation aiming at driving action from its audience. This could be anything from making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or engaging with your brand on social media platforms.

An effective CTA is direct and compelling - it leaves no doubt about what action the viewer should take next. For example, instead of saying "Contact us if you're interested," say something like "Sign up now to enjoy our special offer!".


The decision between custom presentations and templates carries significant implications for businesses. Both options offer unique advantages, with templates providing ease and efficiency, while custom designs grant a higher degree of uniqueness and brand alignment. The choice ultimately hinges on the specific needs, resources, and long-term goals of your business.

Considering the potential impact on business efficiency, scalability, and overall brand perception, it's crucial to weigh these factors carefully. Whether opting for PowerPoint themes or custom-built designs, the aim should always be to create impactful presentations that reflect your business's identity and values. Take the time to evaluate your options and make an informed decision that will best serve your business in the long run.

If you're still feeling uncertain, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to help guide you and offer options tailored to meet your unique needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between custom presentations and templates?

Custom presentations are tailor-made to suit specific business needs while templates are pre-designed formats that can be personalized with your content.

Why should I consider using presentation templates?

Presentation templates save time, provide a consistent design across all slides, and reduce the need for designing skills. They're ideal for standard presentations.

What are the advantages of custom presentation designs?

Custom presentation designs offer uniqueness, flexibility, and full control over every aspect of your presentation. They allow businesses to stand out and convey their brand effectively.

How do custom presentations enhance business efficiency?

Custom presentations streamline communication by precisely addressing your audience's needs. They also reinforce brand identity which can improve customer recognition and loyalty.

What factors should I consider for long-term scalability in design?

Consider adaptability to different platforms, ease of updating content, consistency with your brand image, and potential for growth or expansion.

Can you give an overview of PowerPoint themes vs. templates?

PowerPoint themes are overarching schemes that apply color, font, and effects across all slides. Templates include these themes but also have predefined layouts and structures.

What makes an outstanding business presentation?

An outstanding business presentation has clear objectives, engaging content, compelling visuals, a strong call-to-action (CTA), consistency in design elements, and aligns with the company's branding strategy.

About The Author

Mariana Nakamura

Mariana is an influential Presentation Design expert with 20+ years of experience, particularly in the B2B sector. Her work spans leading firms in America, Europe, and Australia, where she has fostered innovation and talent.

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