What is this branding you talk about?

When you see a logo on a billboard you notice it and without thinking, you know who the brand is. Think Coca Cola or Nike or even Tesco.

The colours and shapes that are associated with the brand – the visual elements reinforce recognition.Online Course Creators – why branding your slides is important

Now when you are working on slides for an online course or presentation, you want to keep your brand top of mind.

I Thought Less Is More When It Comes To Slides For Courses?

And you would be correct. The best slides are plain with minimal branding (but some!) and have lots of images to help retention of the learning.

So, What Do You Mean By Brand Your Slides?

I mean using your brand fonts and colours and keeping your slides consistent with the visual elements of your branding where possible. For example, for my own online courses I use slides that have my brand colours top and bottom, the headings use one colour and the body text another.

Logos are used sparingly as I don’t want to detract from the content – however I have found a way of incorporating the logo into the slide background so that it is not taking away from the messaging.

Themes or Designs are the way to go

I have a design theme which incorporates my colours as mentioned above. I have a dark blue border at the top incorporating my logo and a turquoise border at the bottom the titles are all in the Orange from the brand and it has the logo in the top left dark blue border.

Now you don’t need to have the borders, you could just have a discreet logo top left or use your brand colours for titles, shapes and borders of pictures etc. The choice is yours.

However, using some form of branding that helps your learner remember who you are is a good thing! When teaching reinforcement is key.

OK – You convinced me, now how do I do this without taking too much time?

You can of course create a slide in a presentation and keep on duplicating that slide so that the brand elements you set up are on every slide. However, there are problems with working this way. First off you may forget to delete content that exists on one slide and it becomes included in the next one. Then, if the colours and fonts are not embedded within the design, you can easily miss them or use the wrong shade.

Enter the Slide Master

You may have heard about the Slide Master and wondered what on earth it had to do with you!

What does the Slide Master do?

The slide master is like a template – for the design elements of your presentations. In the Slide Master you can set the colour scheme, choose which fonts and colours to use in the Headings and body text. What the bullet points or numbers should look like. You can create specific layouts that do a particular job and are always consistent.

By setting up the Slide Master to reflect your brand, you no longer need to edit the colours or fonts on the slides themselves. If you also set up the way shapes look and which overall colour scheme to use, then picking colours from your brand palette is a cinch.

How do I get to the Slide Master and Make these Changes?

In PowerPoint, go to the View Ribbon, choose Slide Master from the icons on offer.

Next up you will see all the layouts in the side bar on the left. Here you will find the Master master slide with the number 1 showing and below that all the master slides for each of the different layouts on offer.

You can make changes to any element on the Master Slide, change the font and/or font colour here, and any new slides you create will have the new fonts and colours.

When you are done making changes, close the Slide Master and you will be back in the presentation.

Now when you add a new slide, you will be using the new colours and fonts and whatever else you have changed.

Can I save this Slide Master to use again?

Yes of course! That is the whole point. As an online course creator, you will be creating more than one course – or you may be a virtual assistant that has been asked to put the slides together for an online course creator. This means that you need to have access to this particular slide design again and again with the ability to switch to it fast.

The Slide Master is saved as a Design in Windows and a Theme on Mac.

They are saved in a special location on your computer and the next time you open up PowerPoint will be available on the Design Ribbon.

How do I Use my new Slide Master?

When you start PowerPoint, simply go to the Design Ribbon and select the Design you wish to use. The design will be applied to whatever slides you have, or you can even apply it mid presentation.

What About A Template?

A template is a master presentation that holds the design and any standard slides you want to use. So, for example, if you always have an opening slide or an end slide, you can create a presentation, apply your course design, create the standard elements and then save it as a template.

Next time you start a presentation for a new online course, you have the design sorted and need only concentrate on the content of your training! A real time saver I am sure you will agree.

To learn more about the Slide Master, you can take my online course called Master The Slide Master. In the course I take you through exactly what the Slide Master is, how to get to it, how to modify it and also how to change the colours so that you are using your brand colours. You will also learn how to create custom layouts and to save both the Design and a template.

There is one version of the course for Windows and one for Mac – you can access them here.

Master the Slide Master – Windows Version

Master the Slide Master Mac Version

I also have a couple of ebooks on Amazon (they are included with the course so when you sign up to the course you get the guide too!) if you prefer to learn by reading.

Master The Slide Master PowerPoint Windows on Amazon

Master The Slide Master PowerPoint Mac on Amazon

Until next time…