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What Is a PowerPoint Slide Deck? (PPT Presentations for 2021)

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When you've got to give a big slide deck presentation, it can be a bit daunting to get started. You might already be feeling nervous about speaking in front of a crowd. Or you could be running short on preparation time.

a PowerPoint slide deck can help!

Top visual slide deckTop visual slide deckTop visual slide deck
 Marketing Plan at Envato Elements offers you the perfect way to show off your talking points.

And don't forget to prepare those speaking aids or slides! Having a visual to go along with your presentation is usually expected by an audience.

That's why we use Microsoft PowerPoint to build out slide decks easily. You can use a PowerPoint slide deck template from Envato Elements to build one quickly. We'll learn how to do just that in this tutorial.

Download Our Free PDF eBook on Making Great Presentations

We want to make sure you know about this resource which will help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation. Download our Free eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations.

 Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Now, let's dive into learning how to build PowerPoint slide decks.

What Is a PowerPoint Slide Deck?

A PowerPoint slide deck is a collection of slides that are in the same presentation. You'll hear "slide deck" used somewhat interchangeably with "presentation." Like a deck of cards, each slide is a key part of the overall package.

Slide Deck ExampleSlide Deck ExampleSlide Deck Example
Individual slides make up the slide decklike the cards in a deck of playing cards that are included in this template from Envato Elements.

 "Slide deck" and "presentation" are sometimes used interchangeably. For example, you'll frequently see the term "deck" used when it comes to pitching your company or startup

Presentations can be supported with a slide deck. You'll approach building that PowerPoint deck differently based on the type of slide deck presentation. But the fact remains that slides are a helpful supporting tool when presenting. 

Save lots of time and make a great visual slide deck presentation by using a professional PowerPoint slide deck design from Envato Elements.

PowerPoint has a bad reputation for being a tool that presenters lean on. While your slides should aid your presentation, they shouldn't contain every word you say. It should be used as a tool to enhance your presentation. 

What Is a PowerPoint PPT Slide?

If a slide deck is a collection of slides, then what is a PPT slide? Slide decks are made up of individual slides. Each slide brings something new to the table. A collection of slides comes together to build a successful PowerPoint presentation.

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When I'm working in PowerPoint, I'm always keeping an eye on all the slides in the sidebar that come together to create a cohesive slide deck.

Think of a slide as an individual card in a deck. No matter what card game you're playing, every card has a role. You can't win a hand of poker or rummy without bringing many cards together. And you can't build a successful slide deck presentation with an individual PPT slide.

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A proper marketing plan PPT template can help you skip the work that goes into building slides from scratch.

Building a PowerPoint marketing plan is much easier when you use a pre-built template. Let's learn more about the tips and skills you can use to reduce the work in building your next marketing plan.

5 Quick Tips for Making Better PowerPoint Slide Decks

To help you build an engaging presentation we have outlined five quick tips that you can put in place:

1. Reduce the Content on Each Slide

Less is more when it comes to presentations. Start by opening up the slide deck and then find ways to reduce the content by half. That could mean removing entire slides, reducing the number of text bullet points, or removing multimedia from each slide.

We've got the tendency to overcrowd slide decks with content. We often write a presentation while preparing the slide deck at the same time. In doing so, we run the risk of using the presentation file as an overcrowded note pad. 

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Greatly reducing the content on a slide will help an audience focus on a singular or focused point.

A PowerPoint slide deck should only be the most important points of the presentation. Why show the points that you'll be speaking aloud in writing as well? There's no need for redundancy.

2. Build Each Slide in Phased Introductions

When you cut to a new slide, it can be a mistake to show everything at once. The same idea as the prior tip applies: the less you show, the better chance that your audience has of actually digesting the information.

Cutting to a slide with everything already showing is the fastest way to lose the audience's attention. As soon as you cut to a slide that has a wall of text, you'll lose the audience's attention. 

In the example below, there are basically four content blocks surrounding the center. Instead of showing them all at once, I'll use animations to bring them on in groups. 

Example of phased animation in PowerPointExample of phased animation in PowerPointExample of phased animation in PowerPoint
Animating the four content blocks in this slide template one at a time will bring them onto the slide in stages and hold the audience's attention on you.

To build your slides, introduce them in stages. You can use PowerPoint animations to bring parts of the slide in stages. Instead of showing the entire slide contents, try phasing in various parts of it using animations. Don't show an entire text box. Instead, bring each bullet point on with a single mouse click. This will help to hold the audience's attention.

If you want to learn more about animating elements of your PowerPoint slides, check out the tutorial below. You don't have to use eye-popping and sophisticated animations to introduce your slide's elements.

3. Content First, Style Later

When you're preparing a slide deck, the content of the presentation is your number one priority.

Instead of starting off in PowerPoint, start off with pen and paper. Write the content and structure of the PowerPoint presentation deck first. Then you can add the supportive visuals and slides.

There's plenty more to learn when it comes to building supportive PowerPoint presentation decks. Make sure to check out Cassie McDaniel's tutorial that features 22 tips for building out great decks:

4. Use Illustrations & Graphics to Explain

You can explain everything in text boxes, but your audience is sure to zone out and lose focus quickly. Instead, it helps to use charts and graphs that can help you translate ideas into graphics.

Check out the two tutorials below to learn more about building engaging visuals for your audience.

5. Let the Conversation Continue

A slide deck presentation is a chance to grab an audience's attention. The last thing you want to do is let the presentation be the last point of contact with your audience.

That's why I always recommend that your presentation include a contact or follow-up slide. Using a slide that showcases your social media or simply asks the audience to get in touch is a great way to take the next step with your business.

Lets TalkLets TalkLets Talk
Use a template like Marketing Plan and include a follow-up option for your audience.

What Types of Presentation Can You Give?

Every presentation is different. There are many types of presentations that you can give to make an impact on an audience. Here are the categories that I tend to think of presentations as spanning:

  • Persuasive. Presentations that are designed to change the mind of the audience.
  • Decision-driven. The purpose of these presentations are to provide a recommendation or path forward in a situation or project. You will often find these in the corporate world. 
  • Introductory. An introductory presentation is designed to be the first point of contact. This showcases your business and work to potential clientele.
  • informative (educational). Informative presentations are really geared around showing knowledge or new ideas to an audience.

Before you even open PowerPoint, you should understand what type of presentation that you're giving. This will help smooth out the writing process and give you a clear goal to aim for. 

How to Build a Slide Deck Quickly

For any creative project, you can cut many hours out of your work if you avoid recreating the wheel. In other words, don't build slides from scratch. Use a presentation deck template from Envato Elements to get a head start.

Best of all: you can customize these presentation deck templates in five quick steps. Let’s learn how.

We’ll use the Visionare PowerPoint Presentation from Envato Elements in this mini-tutorial.

Presentation deckPresentation deckPresentation deck
Download Visionaire and learn how to make a slide deck quickly.  

Let's get started:

1. Pick Out Slides to Edit

Think about how to make a slide deck support your message. Remember, slides are a visual aid, not a presentation by themselves. Choose only slides that support what you’re already discussing.

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Working with a template starts by selecting your slides to work with on the View > Slide Sorter menu.

In PowerPoint, find Slide Sorter on the View tab. From here, click and drag to reorder slides in the deck. Hold Shift and click on unwanted slides, then press Delete. Start editing by clicking Normal back on the View tab.

2. Add Custom Text

Custom text is a key part of how to create a slide deck fast. Templates like this have text placeholders already built-in. To edit, click and drag to highlight any block of text. 

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Click and drag to highlight a text box, then type over the placeholder.

Then, simply start typing (or paste in words from elsewhere). It’s that simple. Repeat throughout the presentation deck as needed.

3. Add Images

How to create a slide deck that inspires audiences: it’s a common question. One of the best ways is to build an illustrated deck. Image placeholders make it a breeze. 

Image presentation deckImage presentation deckImage presentation deck
Browse to an image stored on your computer, then drag-and-drop it into an image placeholder.

Simply browse to an image stored on your computer. Drag it over the placeholder and drop it into place. PowerPoint will import and scale the photo to fit perfectly.

4. Change Object Colors

Changing object colors on your presentation deck has several advantages. It lets you add contrast or share your brand’s special colors. Click on any object to get started. 

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Use Shape Format > Shape Fill to select a new shape color for a selected slide object.

On the Home tab, find Shape Format, then choose Shape Fill. A color chooser menu opens, where you can click to preview (and apply) any color you want.

5. Delete Unwanted Objects

Pre-built presentation decks include all kinds of content. But keep in mind, you don’t have to use all of it! 

Layout presentation deckLayout presentation deckLayout presentation deck
Select a slide object, then press Delete on your keyboard to remove any object you want to remove.

To build cleaner slides, you can click on images, text boxes, and other items to select them. Then, press Delete on your keyboard. It’s a helpful way to ensure templates always work for you.

Learn more about customizing PowerPoint template designs (or read on for more great tutorial resources): 

Top 5 Design Trends For PowerPoint Slide Decks In 2021

It's important to present modern designs in your PowerPoint slide decks. This will give your presentation the best possible chance of succeeding. To help you stay on top of modern design trends, we've got a list of the top five design trends of 2021:

1. Add Space

Add space around the different elements on your slides is an excellent way to add a modern feel. To help create this modern look, try to reduce the number of elements on your slides. This will allow you to add space to your slides that looks natural. 

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This premium template features a spacious design for a modern look.

2. Layer, Layer, & Layer

Layering your presentation deck designs will give your slides a more professional look. Layering the different elements on your slides will add a sense of depth. This helps create an eye catching design. Try using various color blocked shapes as the base layer and then layer on your text and images. 

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This premium template has plenty of layered elements on the presentation deck slides.

3. Use Simple Fonts

Simple and easy to read fonts will instantly give your presentation deck a modern feel. Sans Serif type fonts are going to give your slides a clean look. Be sure to choose the appropriate font sizes as well. Having headings and body text make for a visually appealing slide design. 

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Simple fonts are a great way to show your slides are professionally designed.

4. Include High Quality Images

Including high quality images is a must if you want to feature a modern looking design that'll deliver. Envato Elements has a wide variety of high-quality images. You can use these images for your presentation decks. Lean towards bigger image sizes on your slides. 

High Quality ImagesHigh Quality ImagesHigh Quality Images
Pitch Deck Business uses high quality images throughout the presentation.

5. Use a Simple Color Scheme

Simple color schemes work best for presentation decks. Picking two or three colors is plenty to deliver a trendy looking presentation. Adding more colors can make the design seem disconnected. Try using one main highlight color throughout your slides. 

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This premium template uses blue as its main highlight color.

Looking for even more templates? Don't miss out on the next section where we cover even more presentation templates that you can download.

Discover More Top Selling Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation Decks

Still haven't found the perfect PowerPoint slide deck for your upcoming presentation? Don't worry! There are plenty of best-selling PowerPoint presentation decks to download. Check out the articles below for more great presentation deck templates:

Now let's look at the differences between Envato Elements and GraphicRiver. 

Where to Find the Best PowerPoint Templates in 2021 (Envato Elements vs GraphicRiver)

For any creative project, you can cut many hours out of your work if you avoid recreating the wheel. Instead of drawing each slide design from scratch, use a premium PowerPoint template.

Here's how I think about it: when you've got to give a presentation, you've got a limited amount of time to prepare. Why spend it building slides from scratch?

You've seen two marketplaces that offer solutions as you learn how to create a slide deck. So, which one is right for you? Let's compare:

1. Key Benefits of Envato Elements

Envato Elements is a subscription-based service that's truly tailor-made for creatives. Elements includes more than 500 PowerPoint slide deck templates. This allows you to skip the design process.

That's not all that Elements has to offer. You also have access to stock photos, graphics, and more. These types of creative assets are the perfect complement to a presentation. You don't have to buy these files one at a time. Instead, grab them all with a single subscription to Elements.

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Envato Elements includes many PowerPoint slide templates that'll be perfect for your next presentation. 

2. Key Benefits of GraphicRiver (& Envato Market)

GraphicRiver is the top choice for pay-as-you-go marketplaces. It's remarkable just how many digital assets are inside the library.

When you need a single presentation deck template, then head over to GraphicRiver. It's a quick and efficient way to get the designs you need for a presentation.

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Top presentation deck templates from Envato Market.

Your Choice (What’s Right for You?)

Envato Elements is the best choice if you're learning how to create a slide deck. The freedom to experiment is priceless.

Even if all you only download PowerPoint presentation templates, it's worth the subscription. You can keep using the files you've downloaded even if you decide to stop subscribing to Elements thanks to the licensing agreements. Sign up for Envato Elements now.

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Envato Elements features a simple license where all files are included with a single subscription.

Or just grab a single presentation deck template on Envato Market. It's a cost-effective way to start quickly.

Check out these top PowerPoint slide deck themes that you can use for a head start on designing your presentation:

5 Top Presentation Deck Templates from Envato Elements (For 2021 Slides)

Envato Elements has thousands of presentation deck templates ready for you. Here are five top designs trending now:

1. Coftofee - PowerPoint Template 

Coftofee presentation deckCoftofee presentation deckCoftofee presentation deck

When you consider how to create a slide deck, it pays to think about your message. A flexible template is a great choice because it gives you a lot of creative power. Coftofee delivers just that, with 150 slides and five custom color schemes. All you've got to do is drop in your own content.

2. Drove Creative - PowerPoint 

Drove how to make a slide deckDrove how to make a slide deckDrove how to make a slide deck

Think building an amazing presentation deck takes forever? Think again. Drove Creative makes it a breeze, thanks to powerful use of master slides. In essence, these let you make bulk edits in a single step. Plus, you’ll find a full set of vector icons and resizable graphics throughout.

3. Simple Work Presentation 

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Whether you’re making a business or personal presentation deck, versatility is a must. Simple Work lives up to its name, with 33 slides created in beautiful HD resolution. Simply drag and drop content onto the slides. Every graphic is fully editable, letting you have full creative control at every turn.

4. Station PowerPoint Presentation 

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Wondering how to make a slide deck more interesting? Station is packed with ideas and designs to help you do exactly that. Bright colors feature on each slide. There are charts and infographics that present your ideas in unforgettable style. Also included are maps and vector icon sets.

5. Be PowerPoint Presentation Template 

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Be is a presentation deck made in a minimalist style. It really helps your content stand out. Choose from dozens of sleek layouts, including images and device mockups. It’s quick, easy to edit, and sure to impress even the toughest audience.

Let's now go over a few FAQ's for Microsoft PowerPoint. 

Common Microsoft PowerPoint Questions Answered (FAQ)

Do you have questions about Microsoft PowerPoint? Below, we've collected five of the most frequently asked questions and provided answers to them:

1. Can You Print Your Presentations?

Yes, you can! PowerPoint supports the printing of all your presentations. This makes it easy to distribute your presentation if you need to.

Printing out your slides can use quite a bit of ink. Check out our tutorial below on how to print your slides and still use less ink:

2. How Can I Be Engaging and Effective With PowerPoint?

PowerPoint can be quite intimidating if you're new to the software. But don't worry! As long as you've got a professional template, all you need to do is add your content to the placeholders. This will instantly give you a professional looking presentation deck.

For more information on how to create engaging presentations, check out the article below:

3. Does the Quality of My Template Really Matter?

Absolutely! When you use a low-quality template, your presentation will be much less impactful. The templates on Envato Elements are professionally designed. This ensures that you're only using the most impactful designs. 

For more information on how to make a slide deck from a template, check out the tutorial below:

4. Where Should You Start?

Starting a presentation deck from scratch or even with a template can seem like a daunting task. The number one priority when starting a presentation deck is the content. Before you even get into the design customization, you need to have quality content to add to your slides.

Check out this article on how to write a professional PowerPoint presentation:  

5. How Do You Change PowerPoint Templates?

Using PowerPoint templates are a must if you aren't a professional designer. Thankfully, it's very easy to switch in and out of PowerPoint templates. 

To find out how to change PowerPoint templates check out the article below:

 Looking for even more helpful tutorials on how to create a slide deck? Check out the next section where we offer up even more great resources!

Learn More About Using PowerPoint (Helpful Tutorials on Envato Tuts+)

This PowerPoint presentation deck tutorial showcased some of my favorite resources and tips for building a PowerPoint slide deck. There's still plenty more to learn to help you rapidly build out a slide deck that you feel confident showing to an audience.

Check out these other helpful PowerPoint tutorials:

Grab This eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free Download)

This eBook will help you learn how to write, design, and deliver great presentations.

Download The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations for FREE with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. Get your ideas formed into a powerful presentation that'll move your audience.

The complete guide to making great presentationsThe complete guide to making great presentationsThe complete guide to making great presentations

Now's the Time! Go Make Your Own PowerPoint Slide Deck

What is a PowerPoint slide deck? Using custom PowerPoint PPT slide templates from Envato Elements can save you a lot of time on your presentation deck. Be sure to browse through more great PPT slide deck templates on GraphicRiver.

Select the PPT slide deck templates you like. Then, build your own PowerPoint slide deck.

How do you build your slide decks? What are your favorite tips for helping reduce the time you spend in PowerPoint? Let me know in the comments section below this tutorial.

Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in June of 2018. It's been comprehensively updated to include new information and slide deck examples—with special help from Andrew Childress and Daniel Strongin.

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