My friends and clients think I’m a PowerPoint snob. It’s a fine tool, but it’s poorly implemented most of the time. And too often the result is a long, boring and ugly presentation that does little to make a speech more memorable or powerful.
For example, think about the standard slide you see (or make). There’s a header section where the speaker tells you the name of the slide. Then there’s the footer section, where nearly every slide I’ve ever seen has the organization’s logo. Finally, there are the large side margins that Microsoft builds into its templates.
That leaves an amazingly small portion of the slide for actual content. I analyzed a template for an organization recently and calculated that only 52% of the “real estate” of each slide could be used for actual content. The remaining 48% was the footer, the title, the margins, etc. Half the slide is unimportant branding or boring whitespace. Not all templates are this extreme, but I think you get the idea.
Let’s tackle just one of these problems: putting your logo in the header or footer. (Spoiler alert…don’t do it).
Think of a slide as a movie screen. You want the audience to want to look at it, and you want whatever they see to help you, the presenter, make your point. Coincidentally, most of Microsoft’s 4:3 templates encourage you to ignore the top and bottom of a slide, which makes the “usable space” of a regular slide shaped like a movie screen. (Some people are switching to 16:9 or 16:10 slides, but 4:3 still seems to be the standard.)
Compare the two “movie screens” below. I think you can tell which one is making fun of the “logo on every slide” habit. Movie theaters want to make money. But they also know when to get out of the way.
Putting logos on every slide will not help your branding efforts. Period. It will not prevent people from stealing the content and passing it off as their own. It doesn’t help you at all.
If you must remind people where you work, do it at the beginning and at the end of your presentation. But trust me, if you give a great speech and wow the audience, everyone will remember who you are and where you work. And it won’t be because of your logo.