Whether you’re an entrepreneur preparing to give an official business plan PowerPoint presentation, or you're getting ready to deliver a proposal to a prospective client, one thing’s for sure: You’ve got a lot riding on these slides.
Do you know how to make a PowerPoint presentation that will get that resounding “Yes!” from your audience?
If not, worry not. We’ve got all the tips and resources you need to make a smashing impression with your upcoming PowerPoint presentation right here!
How to Customize a Professional PowerPoint Template
Step 1: Choose the Perfect Business PowerPoint Template
Sure, you could just open PowerPoint, throw a bunch of pictures and charts up every which way and call it a day. But if you’re going to do that, you might as well skip your business plan presentation altogether and accept defeat now.
No one’s going to be impressed with a presentation that looks like a 10-year old put it together. But that doesn’t mean you have to pay big bucks to a professional designer to prepare a presentation for you.
With the help of PowerPoint presentation templates, you can quickly and easily create your own professional-looking presentation in a matter of minutes.
Not sure where to start with so many templates to choose from? Take a look at some of the most popular business plan PowerPoint templates that business professionals and freelancers love and trust for closing deals.
Step 2: Choose Your Favorite PowerPoint Presentation
After browsing and drooling over all the wonderful business PPT presentations, it’s time to choose one. Difficult step, I know!
Some of the things you want to look for when making your decision is how many different slide layouts your presentations comes with because more layouts will give you greater flexibility. Whether it comes with additional PNG icons or not (especially if you love using visual elements in your presentation). Whether it’s fully editable and whether it can be printed (if you plan on printing your presentation) or not.
For the purposes of this presentation, I’ve selected this Modern Business Plan PowerPoint Presentation to show you how it all works. What I love about this template is not only that it comes with 50 different slides to mix and match, but also that it comes in three different color schemes, giving me options as to the mood of the presentation I create for each different occasion.
Here is a demonstration of this PowerPoint template's features:
The specific template also comes with lots of icons that you can use in your presentation to draw attention to key points. And is image-placeholder ready which—as we’ll see in later steps—will make your life so much easier!
I’ll be using the PowerPoint 2016 version to guide you through all the steps of transforming this template into a killer business plan presentation. If you’re using a different version of PowerPoint you may find some slight differences between my screenshots and what you see on your screen, but nothing so major as to stop you from following along.
Step 3: Set Up Your Template
When you download your chosen template to your computer, you’ll see that you have a few options to choose from in the main folder, before starting to edit your actual presentation.
First you need to decide the ratio of your presentation: 4:3 or 16:9. (Some templates also offer a third, printer-ready mode). Although 4:3 is the traditional presentation mode for slideshows, most modern slide projectors, TVs, and computer screens use a 16:9 presentation size. Make sure you take into consideration where you’ll be showing your presentation so you choose the correct ration.
For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll be using the 16:9 ratio of the Modern Business Plan PowerPoint Presentation template.
Next you have to choose whether you want to open up the presentation in PPT or PPTX mode. This depends on the version of PowerPoint you’re using for your presentation.
If you’re using Microsoft Office version 2007 or later, you can use the PPTX file. If you’re using a Microsoft Office version that was released prior to 2007, you’ll want to use PPT. Creating and saving your presentation in PPTX (X standing for XML) allows for greater compatibility of your file with other programs and software, so make sure you opt for that whenever possible.
The next decision you have to make before starting your presentation is whether you want to create an animated or simple presentation. If you choose the “NO Animation” option, new slides will appear on the screen immediately as soon as you press the next arrow. If you choose the “Animation” option, new slides will appear on the screen through some kind of animation, like fading in and out, sliding in from the side of the screen, or even by having each element of the slide pop onto the screen one after the other.
Both versions look and act the same during the editing process of the presentation. Your choice depends entirely on the aesthetics you’d like for your finished products. Since I enjoy animated presentations, I’m going with that version.
Finally, choose your favorite color template, launch it, and we’re ready to start editing!
Step 4: “Save As” Your Presentation!
Seems weird to start with the saving option when we haven’t created anything in our presentation yet, doesn’t it?
Not so weird when you understand the two things we’re trying to avoid:
First, we don’t want you accidentally overwriting your template file with this specific presentation.
Second, we don’t want to risk losing the work we’ll do to an unexpected program freeze or any other technical hiccup.
So, the first thing you want to do after opening your template is to click on File in your horizontal menu bar, and then click Save As…
Give your file the desired name and save it to the appropriate location on your computer.
If you don’t already do so, get into the habit of hitting Ctrl + S (or Command + S, if you’re working on a Mac) every now and again to make sure you’ve saved the latest changes made to your presentation.
Step 5: General Editing and Options
In the center part of your screen, you have the first slide of your presentation. In the left-hand side of your screen you can see a vertical menu containing all the different slides of your presentation. And in the top portion of your screen you see various horizontal menu bars and options that will help you edit your presentation.
The great thing about making a PowerPoint presentation from a template is that anything and everything you see on a slide is editable. That means you can make your presentation look exactly like you want it to.
Let’s start with the text elements in this step and move on to the graphic and visual ones in the following step.
Double-click on the title of your first slide to change the words “Our Business Plan” to the name of your presentation. Do the same for the subtitle and all other textual elements on the first slide to add your details.
When you’re happy with the information on the first slide, go over to the left-hand side menu and click on the second slide. Double-click on any piece of writing or numbers on the slide to edit, just like before. Change the wording to fit your presentation, or delete a piece of text entirely if it doesn’t suit your purposes.
Want to add a new line of text where currently no text appears? Click once on the edge of the slide’s grey background to deselect any item you may currently have selected with your mouse. (You should see no editing boxes anywhere on the slide when all items are deselected.) Then double-click where you want the new text to appear and begin typing, as in the image below.
Using the top menu of your software, you can edit any new or existing piece of text to the size, font, color, and look you like. The options are countless!
In the same way, you can change, add, or delete any textual elements on any of your presentation slides. You can even change text that doesn’t run horizontally on your screen as the word “Renew” in slide 4 of our Modern Business Plan PowerPoint Presentation.
Simply double-click it and type to edit.
Step 6: Images, Graphics, and Other Elements
Knowing how to make a PowerPoint presentation say exactly what you want it to say is only half the work. The other half is making it show exactly what you want to show. Which is just as easy!
You can edit, change, or delete any icon, picture (or picture placeholder), and graphic element you see on your template.
Let’s start with pictures. The little images with a yellow sun shining over green mountains that you see in the screenshot below and which appear scattered throughout your template mark the location of picture placeholders.
You can think of these picture placeholders as ghost pictures. They’re merely holding the space that your actual picture will occupy once you insert it into your presentation.
When you click on the picture-placeholder icon, a dialog box will appear on your screen so you can select the picture you want to use from your computer. Alternatively, you can also drag a picture from your computer over to the picture placeholder to automatically add it on.
The best thing about picture placeholders? No matter how large your image is, it will be automatically resized to fit the area occupied by the placeholder. Look how different my picture looks when I add it to slide 1 of the template…
And when I add it to slide 8 of the template.
Same picture, same process, same template. Both additions took just two seconds of my time and I’ve had to make absolutely no changes to my picture. Magic!
A good powerpoint template doesn’t just allow you to add pictures to your presentation but also has places for icons.
Whereas pictures are the full-colored photographs you can add to a presentation, icons are simpler graphic elements that help enhance the main points of your presentation through visual representation.
To change an icon in your PowerPoint presentation simply click on it once to select it, and then right-click (or click down with two fingers on a Mac trackpad) to bring up the options menu.
Choose the Change Picture option. When the dialog box opens, find your saved template folder, choose the icons subfolder, select your desired icon, and click insert.
You can resize, reshape, and recolor all png icons in any way you like using the right-hand side and top menu bars of your program.
Finally, let’s talk about other visual elements of your presentation, such as graphs.
Our template already contains a number of graphs in it, and like all other elements, these are fully editable. To change a graph simply click on the specific element you want to change and drag it to a new position, change it’s color, or resize it to fit your data.
Notice how in the example below I’ve changed the size and color of both the red and light blue lines in the chart of Slide 6 of our presentation template.
Step 7: Adding or Deleting Slides
Each business PowerPoint presentation is as different as the entrepreneur or freelancer creating it. And in addition to changing the text and visual elements of each slide, you may also want to delete entire slides of the template or add new ones to your specific presentation.
To delete a slide, simply select it from the left-hand side menu, double-click (or click down with two fingers on a Mac trackpad) for the options menu and select Delete Slide.
As you can see in the image above, the option above Delete Slide says Duplicate Slide. If you want two slides with the same layout in your presentation, simple click that option and a new, duplicate slide will be added right after the original one.
The options menu also gives you the choice to add a New Slide, which will be added right after the slide you’ve clicked on. Whereas the Duplicate Slide option will add a new slide to your presentation with the same layout as the one you’re currently on, the New Slide option will add a new, empty slide to your presentation for you to style as you wish.
There’s also a second way of adding new slides that you should know.
Select the place in your presentation where you want the new slide to be added. (Note: new slides are always added after the slide in your current selection.) Click the Insert option from your main horizontal menu bar. The first picture option you see beneath it says New Slide. If you click on the picture you’ll get an empty new slide. But if you click on the little arrow to the right of the picture, a menu of template slides will open up for you to choose from.
Step 8: Reordering Your Presentation
The great thing about using a template to create your PowerPoint presentation is that the template acts as a guide to the structure of your presentation. The slides come already ordered in a logical sequence that will help you present your plan or proposal in a convincing manner.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t make changes to the order of your slides. You can reorder the slides in your presentation in any way that suits you and your purposes.
To change the order of your slides, simply click on a slide in the left-hand side menu to select it, and then click-and-hold your desired slide and drag it to its new position.
Step 9: Transitions
Remember that at the beginning of this tutorial I told you I would choose the animated version of the tutorial? Well, you can change even the animation of our business plan presentation to fit your taste.
Click on any slide in your presentation and then click on Transitions in the main horizontal menu bar of your software. The slide I’ve selected in the image below has a transition called Fly Through. But as you can see in the area I’ve highlighted in red below, you can choose to change that transition to anything else that fits your goals.
You can also change the duration of the transition and even add a sound if you so wish. Keep in mind though, a light touch goes a long way with transition animations.
Step 10: Play Your Presentation
After all the clicks and changes it’s finally time to view the masterpiece you’ve created in real time! Always play your presentation before presenting it to your clients or prospects to make sure that everything flows nicely and makes sense.
The last thing you want is a small transition hiccup or other minor detail to undermine the work you’ve put into creating an awesome presentation.
Go to the beginning of your PowerPoint presentation, choose Slide Show in the main horizontal menu bar and then click the first option below that, Play from Start. Sit back and enjoy!
Finding the Ideal PowerPoint Presentation Template for You
Remember that this is just one business plan PPT presentation example. With the same process and easy steps, you can change any PowerPoint presentation to fit your needs and purposes.
For example, if you want a colorful, print-ready presentation that your clients can take home with them, the Max Pro - Business Plan PowerPoint Presentation template might be just the one for you.
If, however, you’re looking for something with a more corporate look that comes in both light and dark tones for a dynamic twist, check out the Business Plan PowerPoint Presentation template that’s sure to stun any members of the board.
If you’re after a clean yet creative look that captures your business sense while still allowing your creative side to shine through, I’d recommend you go for the Business Plan StartRight Presentation Template.
If you’re a visual type who loves the organizational style and easy flow of infographics you’ll love the Business Plan Infographic PowerPoint template. Suffice it to say that it comes fully customizable in 7 different color schemes, including both light and dark, has fully editable vectors and icons, and contains over 1100 slides in total!
Want to really pull all the stops out and impress your prospects not only with your business plan and its professional presentation, but also with your creative customization skills? Then try your hand with the Marketofy - Ultimate PowerPoint Template. It comes with 200 unique slides, 24 color schemes, 2500 vector icons, 3 ratio modes including print-read, and is fully editable and customizable! Talk about going pro with your business plan powerpoint presentation!
Here is a showcase of PowerPoint templates for presenting business plans:
- Microsoft PowerPoint15 Best Pitch Deck Templates: For Business Plan PowerPoint PresentationsSean Hodge
Whatever your needs, desires, and PowerPoint editing skills, there’s a PPT template out there that’s just right for you. Once you find it, apply the 10 steps outlined above to turn it into your own masterpiece that will help you convince your prospects and close your deal!
Which is your favorite business plan PowerPoint presentation template?