Create dynamic sales presentations using Office PowerPoint 2007 templates and your Slide Library

A successful presentation accomplishes much more than simply keeping an audience busy for 30 minutes or so. A good presentation may keep an audience interested, but a great presentation inspires them to act — by following the ideas you presented, making a phone call to schedule an appointment with your company, or sharing what they’ve learned about your products, services, or programs with others. This article shows you how to use Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 to create professional presentations faster; add attention-getting charts, diagrams, and tables; and share what you create easily in a variety of formats.

Use professional PowerPoint templates

When you choose New from the File menu to begin a new presentation in Office PowerPoint 2007, several resources automatically appear in the New Presentation window (see Figure 1). The Templates pane on the left offers different choices for the type of presentation you might want to create; the center pane displays the list of templates associated with the currently selected left-pane category for starting a new presentation and information from Microsoft Office Online; and the right pane previews the template currently selected in the center pane.

the new presentation window
Figure 1 The New Presentation window.

You can start your presentation by clicking one of the template categories on the left and then selecting the template style you want, or you can search for the type of presentation you want to create.

Finding a Presentation Template

  1. Click in the Search box in the top center of the New Presentation window (see Figure 2).

    the powerpoint presentation search window
    Figure 2 The PowerPoint template search box.
  2. Type a description of the kind of presentation you want to create (for example, sales presentation).

  3. Click the Start Searching button. If you are connected to the Internet, Office PowerPoint 2007 searches Microsoft Office Online for templates that match the description you entered. The search results are displayed in the center pane.

  4. Scroll through the templates and choose the one you want. Click Download (if you have selected an online template) or Create (if you want to use a template already on your computer).

    Note: In the top of the Search Results window, you’ll see a set of buttons that enable you to filter the templates displayed in the results list.

    Sort by Most Relevant shows the templates most closely related to the search phrase you entered. Customer Rating enables you to display the templates with the highest number of rating points; Sort By Name lists the templates alphabetically; Show Customer Submitted Templates includes the templates users have sent in as part of the templates displayed; and Hide Customer Submitted Templates suppresses the display of customer-created templates.

Apply a theme

The look of your presentation says a lot about your company and the products and services you represent. But many presentations wind up looking the same — slides of bullet lists, blue or brown backgrounds, and graphics and charts that don’t provide much visual interest to get your audience’s attention. Office PowerPoint 2007 includes a Themes gallery with a set of professionally designed presentation themes you can apply to your own presentations to make them stand out.

Applying a theme

  1. Open the presentation you want to use.

  2. Click the Design tab.

  3. Click one of the displayed themes or click the More button in the lower-right corner of the Themes command set to display the full gallery of choices (see Figure 3).

    the themes gallery
    Figure 3 The Themes gallery.
  4. Preview a theme by positioning the mouse pointer over the theme you want to see. The slide in the presentation window changes to reflect that style.

  5. Click the theme to apply it to the presentation.

    Tip: You can easily modify themes and save them to the Themes gallery to use again later. Simply modify the slide to fit your corporate design (or open an existing presentation with that existing theme), click the More button in the Themes command set to display the menu, and then click Save Current Theme.

Create and use slide libraries

In Office PowerPoint 2007, you can create slide libraries to save and organize your favorite slides so that you can easily insert them into other presentations. This can save time that you might otherwise spend recreating slides you use in most presentations; for example, slides with your company mission statement, history, location, or contact information can be stored for retrieval again and again. You’ll find the command for creating a Slide Library in the File menu. Select the Publish command and then click Publish Slides. Click in the check box to the left of each slide thumbnail to select the slides you want to add to the Slide Library. Use the Browse button to locate the Slide Library folder where you want to store the selected slides, and then click Publish. To add a saved slide to your current presentation, click the Home tab and click the New Slide down arrow; then click Reuse Slides from the bottom of the menu that appears.

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