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Effective internal brand communications using presentations

Effective internal brand communications using presentations

Reading time 3 minutes

In another blog post, we talked about the fine art of creating brand experiences using presentations. Here, we’ll look at the role of presentations in internal communications. Our own research revealed that more business presentations are held internally than externally. Think of presentations to decision-makers, project updates, review meetings, sales conferences, departmental meetings, and a dozen other occasions. One little word tells you something about the level of importance attributed to these presentations. That word is “only.” It is “only” for internal purposes, “only” for our department, “only” meant as an update. Sound familiar? 

internal presentations

Brands come to life from within

You’ve defined your brand’s personality. You’ve set your image objectives. Perhaps you’ve even developed a tagline that sums up your brand in a few words. Then you gathered all your communication assets and distributed them via multiple channels in the market, to resonate with the hearts and minds of your customers and business partners. 

Brands and companies come to life through the people who represent them. This can happen at the most diverse touchpoints  over the phone, in the lobby, at client appointments, events, trade fairs, even at the goods delivery ramp or through maintenance personnel – all of these people are your brand ambassadors. Yet they can only fulfil this role if your internal marketing is clear and supports them in this function. 
So let’s fire up your internal communications and steer your brand into the hearts of your colleagues, using those nifty tools called presentations. 

Many hands make light work

Stop using the word “only” in relation to internal documents, meetings, and events. Use presentations to make the key attributes of your brand tangible, with a smile, with charm and with constant repetition. Use your tagline everywhere so that it becomes a presence in every situation. Get your organization excited about itself! 

What does this encompass?

  • Ask yourself how your key brand attributes impact on internal actions and behaviors. How do characteristics such as “customer-oriented, likeable, different from the others” impact on internal presentations? How do you get your team or other colleagues to feel that?
  • If you have a tagline, how does it run through the presentation? Is it implied? In wording and stories? Does it make your brand tangible? If so, how?
  • How do you make the presentation creation process easier for your colleagues? Which services do you provide internally that make PowerPoint easier to use for them? Some ideas: slide templates, brand narratives or storylines, simple graphics, instant adaptation of whole presentations or slides to your corporate design and corporate identity requirements. Your brand messages and brand image need to be consistently integrated everywhere.
  • Do you adopt a top-down approach? If so, how? Are C-level managers on your side and setting an example for internal presentations? Are your expectations clearly formulated? Do you give detailed feedback on the appearance and performance of presentations, all in the spirit of your brand and your marketing?  

External communications or marketing activities and internal communications efforts can all support and complement each other in reinforcing your whole brand experience. If you act consistently, check everything thoroughly and offer supporting services, then your internal presentations will go down a treat, and can contribute to the overall enjoyment of the brand. Depending on your organization’s setup, a specialized presentation agency can support you in your efforts. Before choosing an agency, make sure it offers these three things: true brand understanding, the necessary software, and a profound competence for implementation. 

Allocate “only” a bit more of your time today to the inner life of your brand. You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes when you have numerous brand ambassadors on board. 


How corporate design changes impact on PowerPoint

How corporate design changes impact PowerPoint

Reading time 2 minutes

Inspiring users and ensuring brand success

The time has come. A new corporate design has been created. Your brand is refreshing itself and taking the next step towards a successful future. It’s time for a new outfit, for elegant haute couture. The project is going well, and management is happy. Until… you guessed it, staff become outraged after suddenly discovering they need to rework all existing presentations in order to transfer them to the new master. We have seen cases where this outrage escalated all the way up to the senior management level, prompting the project to be stopped, the completely outdated master to be officially reinstated, and current discussions to now focus on whether or not to touch the PowerPoint template at all going forward. It goes without saying that this has a huge impact on how the brand is presented, not to mention the harm caused to the marketing department’s image, and the effects on overall acceptance of the new corporate design.

Corporate Design

So, what do you do?

  • Just reading this short introduction will have made you more aware of the impacts caused by operational intervention and the devil in the detail.
  • The issue of PowerPoint and presentations is so important that it should be on your briefing list right from the start, i.e. not just from the second or third step onwards.
  • Get PowerPoint presentation experts together with your agency to ensure optimized redesigning and handling are part of your CD ideas early on. This is a specialized piece of knowledge you can’t realistically expect your lead agency to give you.
  • Find someone who can automate the conversion of old presentation.
  • Make things easy for your PowerPoint users. Success will be reflected in the acceptance and implementation of the new corporate design.

If you need advice or practical help with your company-wide implementation and rollout of a new corporate design, get in touch with us. We support companies with this entire process and can show you smart ways for integrating corporate design changes smoothly and successfully across Microsoft Office.

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Online presentations

Online presentations – All you need to know

Online presentation - all you need to know

Reading time 4 minutes

Increased remote working has thrust us all unexpectedly into situations where we’re forced to give PowerPoint presentations via video conference. For many people, this has become the new normal. How different is it to have audiences logging on via Teams or Zoom instead of being in the same room as you? When comparing offline and online presentations, we realize they operate quite differently. Here’s a summary, with concrete tips to help you give professional, successful presentations online.

Remote presentations

Who’s attending your presentation?

Offline presentation: You generally know who will attend the meeting/presentation and how much they know beforehand.
Online presentation: Online meetings have fewer access barriers, so “surprise guests” can sometimes join.
Tip: Briefly explain the initial situation and your objectives for giving the presentation at the start. This helps ensure everyone is on the same page.

Participants of remote presentations

How are the participants doing?

Offline presentation: You can observe the participants and notice if anyone looks stressed.
Online presentation: You don’t know the participants’ circumstances, and it’s hard to gauge the “feeling in the room.”
Tip: At the start of your presentation, ask your audience what their current workload is like, and if anyone has other commitments immediately afterwards.

How do you use the minutes before your presentation?

Offline presentation: You can establish a relationship with the participants through small talk even before starting your presentation.
Online presentation: There’s no “warm-up phase.” The minutes leading up to everyone joining the call usually involves no communication at all. Everyone tries to get something else done quickly before the presentation starts.
Tip: Use the quiet time before the presentation as a warm-up. Ask a few questions. Even if you don’t know the attendees well, you can ask, “Where are you right now?” or “How is everything going working from home?”

Say Hello in online presentations

How attentive is your audience?

Offline presentation: There aren’t many ways for your audience to become distracted, and you can tell if their minds start wandering.
Online presentation: There are lots of ways your audience can become distracted without anyone noticing.
Tip: Involve your audience in the presentation. For instance, do a quick poll, get their opinions, interact with them. Mention at the start that you’ll do this during the presentation. 

How do you get feedback?

Offline presentation: Observing your audience is a way to constantly obtain non-verbal feedback, such as approval, enthusiasm, confusion, etc.
Online presentation: It’s basically impossible to gauge non-verbal reactions. 
Tip: Actively obtain feedback on important points during your presentation. Highlight where you want to hear feedback, for instance, using specific slides.  


How important are breaks?

Offline presentation: You can tell when your audience needs a break, or can factor in breaks from the outset.
Online presentation: It is still uncommon for breaks to be taken during online meetings, as anyone can slip out briefly without being noticed. 
Tips: Factor in breaks, and advise this at the start of your presentation. Even a short break will increase your audience’s alertness. 

How much moderation does the meeting need?

Offline presentation: You and everyone else in the room can see who is currently speaking.
Online presentation: You often don’t know who is currently speaking. In many cases, two people end up speaking at the same time.
Tip: As the presenter, you are also the moderator. Address your participants by name for everyone’s information.

How do spontaneous visuals work?

Offline presentation: People often grab a pen and visualize an idea on a flipchart or whiteboard to explain a concept.
Online presentation: It’s not so common to quickly visualize something online.
Tip: Practice using a stylus and prepare a kit of visual elements you can use spontaneously. Test out the visualization process beforehand.

Notes in presentations

What are the technical requirements?

Offline presentation: You can test the technical requirements yourself to make sure everything is working.
Online presentation: The technical requirements aren’t totally within your control. Unexpected problems can occur.
Tip: Allow enough time for technical challenges. A rule of thumb: Factor in 30% more time than estimated for the presentation. 

For more tips on how to give successful presentations, check out our Strategy Compass Insights.

white map pf the world on orange background

Free PowerPoint Maps

Free PowerPoint maps

Reading time 2 minutes

The whole point of PowerPoint is for people to quickly be able to create visual combinations of text and graphics, and later use these to convey clear, convincing messages. PowerPoint maps that are visually integrated into a presentation are one particularly exciting, but not always easy-to-use, form of graphic material. They assign figures and texts to specific regions, often replacing things like complicated tables and charts. Free, editable map templates for PowerPoint can be helpful in quickly and efficiently creating attractive maps graphics for your next presentation.

world map illustration

Sales and management presentations in particular often need to present country-specific aspects, such as visualizing a company’s worldwide locations, or even just highlighting the countries in which new branches have been opened. Sales figures frequently also need to be shown by country or region. This is all easily done using a table, which is undoubtedly most practical for the person creating the presentation; all they have to do is copy their Excel data to PowerPoint. Find out how to import your data easily and automatically into PowerPoint using our QuickSlide software solution here.

But these sorts of tables aren’t necessarily very attractive, and will hardly convince your audience. Maps integrated into PowerPoint, on the other hand, allow regions such as EMEA or North America and associated information to be sorted perfectly and presented in a highly visual manner.

The advantage here is clear: One single map can be applied as an infographic to convey all kinds of information to the audience at just a glance, making it much more concise and incisive than mere text, and allowing it to be used in a variety of areas. But as is so often the case with useful aids, integrating and creating PowerPoint maps is anything but self-explanatory. Many users ask if it’s possible to integrate Google Maps into PowerPoint. Another common workaround is to insert PNG or JPG files featuring a map section. This is then “enriched” with additional information in a text box. Even PowerPoint itself now offers editable maps (these are a separate type of chart, and can be selected and inserted just like any other chart). While this has the potential to be a great tool, it is still, at the time of this blog post’s publication, yet to be fully developed, and is thus complicated and not sufficiently robust.

Any user applying these workarounds is likely to have wondered, on numerous occasions, whether any good, freely editable map templates exist for PowerPoint. The common feedback, however, is that it is impossible to find any (decent) maps to integrate into PowerPoint, or that the map material is not uniform. When searching online, you often also stumble upon outdated or paid map material, which is why we want to use this blog entry to provide you with a number of helpful, free map templates for your PowerPoint presentation.

Download our free map templates



Glossary for Microsoft Office terms




















An add-in is a software extension that provides additional functions to an existing software. In the basic software, interfaces for such extensions must be provided by the manufacturer. An add-in is closely linked to the existing software. QuickSlide for PowerPoint is a PowerPoint add-in that offers additional functions which can be adapted to the needs of large businesses. (See also add-on and plug-in)


The terms add-on and add-in are often used interchangeably. In simple terms, an add-on is additional software that is based on a main program but is not closely linked to it. For those working with Microsoft Office the term add-in is more common.

Agenda Assistent / Agenda Wizard

Agenda Assistants (also known as Agenda Wizards) facilitate the creation and editing of presentation agendas in PowerPoint. Sometimes, a company’s corporate design is integrated within the Agenda Assistant, so all agendas are automatically brand aligned.

Aspect ratio switch (in PowerPoint)

The widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio has become standard for presentations as it is more suited for display on digital devices than the 4:3 format. If, however, a presentation needs to be printed out as a handout, for instance, then 4:3 or even A4 in landscape orientation works better. A quick switch between different aspect ratios is not possible as the layout is shifted, meaning every individual slide must be checked and adapted to the required look and feel. Conversion tools are available which help automate the switch between different formats.

Asset management (in PowerPoint)

Asset management in PowerPoint is the professional management, maintenance and distribution of content elements and features used for the creation and editing of presentations. Assets include, for instance, slides, presentations, images, icons, charts, and graphic elements. Software tools like QuickSlide for PowerPoint provide comprehensive asset management functions for businesses. (See also content management)

Azure (Microsoft Azure)

Microsoft Azure is a cloud-computing platform which provides a broad range of cloud services, including computer, analytics, storage and networking. Users can select from these services to develop and scale new applications or run existing applications in the cloud. Azure offers four different forms of cloud computing: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) and serverless functions. Microsoft charges customers for Azure on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis, meaning subscribers receive a bill each month that only charges them for the specific resources and services they have used. For QuickSlide, Azure is an ideal solution for storing and managing content.


Brand control
Brand management (in PowerPoint)

Brand management includes the automated, company-wide integration and application of a corporate design in PowerPoint. The key objective is for all employees to automatically create brand-aligned presentations. A software tool like QuickSlide lets users work with a preset design, an array of brand-compliant templates and features like the Corporate Design Check which detects and corrects any deviations from the predefined brand specifications, such as the color palette and use of fonts. This eliminates the need to manually monitor presentations for brand alignment and improves the overall quality of company presentations.

Brand relaunch (in PowerPoint)

Relaunching a brand in PowerPoint presents special challenges for businesses. PowerPoint is usually not considered when developing a new corporate design, thus necessitating a special adaption of the design specifications for presentations. Presentations differ from marketing materials in that their creation and storage is often dispersed, not centralized. This raises the question of how to encourage all employees who use PowerPoint to consider the new brand identity and integrate it in presentations – or better still, how to enable them to work automatically in the new corporate design. (see also Key factors for implementing your corporate design.)

Brands in PowerPoint

PowerPoint is a key tool for business communications, and therefore also for internal and external branding. A consistent brand presence is not so easy to achieve in PowerPoint, however. Specific technical requirements, users’ varying levels of knowledge for using the application, and lack of flair for design, result in PowerPoint existing independently of any other branding assets in many companies, with little or no incorporation of corporate design specifications. Add-ins like QuickSlide bridge this gap and therefore ensure that every PowerPoint user can create brand-compliant presentations.

Business presentation


Company presentation

A company presentation works like an extended business card for a company. It would be typically developed with feedback and approval loops with the company’s managing directors and can be used as a basis for first meetings with new customers, partners and business stakeholders. Besides data and facts, a business presentation would also include the company’s values. Clear recognizability of brand elements and adherence to the corporate design are particularly important on a company presentation.
(Learn more about the creation of company presentations and modular kits for presentations)

Content management (in PowerPoint)

Content management in PowerPoint encompasses professional organization, distribution and maintenance of reusable content on slides and presentations. Professional content management saves time and effort for users who create presentations, eliminates duplicate work steps, and ensures that all content is always up to date. (See also asset management in PowerPoint)

Corporate Design Check

The Corporate Design Check is one of the functions in software tools like QuickSlide which checks through slides and presentations for any deviations from the corporate design and automatically corrects them. For this to function smoothly, the corporate design specifications of a company are stored directly within this function of the software.

Corporate design relaunch
Corporate presentation
Corporate Wording Check

Some software tools like QuickSlide provide a Corporate Wording Check. This is where the use of specific terminology and phrases in PowerPoint is checked for accuracy and corrected as needed. This type of tool is different from a standard spell check as it allows brand-specific spelling and capitalization, brand names and product names to be checked and standardized.


Data-driven presentations

Data-driven presentations are used to present important figures and KPIs visually and clearly, so they are quick to grasp. They can take the form of dashboards and regular reports. A software tool like QuickSlide can automate the setup of such presentations. As a data source, Excel can be directly connected with PowerPoint so that any updates to datasets are automatically incorporated and presented on the relevant slides. (See also presentation automation)

DAM connection/DAM integration

Digital Asset Management systems, like image and media databases, can be linked directly to PowerPoint with the help of add-ins like QuickSlide. Users benefit from the fact that they can access all the assets they need for presentation creation directly in PowerPoint, and businesses benefit from greater efficiency, with time saved that would have been spent on searching for presentation materials and content.

Dashboards (in PowerPoint)

Companies use dashboards, for instance, for financial controlling, to provide a quick and clear overview of important data which is significant for key business decisions. Any developments, changes and comparisons are depicted clearly and are thus quick to grasp. (See also data-driven presentations)

Data Connector

A Data Connector is a feature of add-ins like QuickSlide which links PowerPoint with Excel. This feature eliminates the tedious tasks of manually entering and updating data in PowerPoint presentations. Excel serves as the data source and synchronizes with PowerPoint’s preset formats, such as tables, charts, dashboards, etc. Data-intensive presentations can be automatically created this way. (See also data-driven presentations)


Extension software

An extension software is either a software component or a standalone software, designed as a supplement to a main application and to provide helpful additional functions. An extension software typically provides advantages in specific application areas which are either only partially covered by the main software application or not at all. Extension software can function as an add-in/add-on or a plug-in. (See also add-in, add-on, plug-in)


Format change 4:3 to 16:9 (in PowerPoint)


Holistic approach

A holistic approach to a software solution for customers is to support them at every stage, before and during implementation, and during and beyond rollout. Service providers who take this approach offer the full range of services, including the software itself, design, consulting, customization, training and system development, therefore avoiding process bottlenecks and improving efficiency. (See Partner for better business communication)



Permissions management

Permissions management, also called rights management, is the management of access and usage rights for specific user groups (individual users, teams, departments) when they work with presentations, slides and templates. This means the different user groups only gain access to content assets relevant to them. Restricted permissions for some content assets ensure that any confidential content is protected from view by anyone other than intended user groups, and that templates can only be changed by admin-level, not regular users.   

Pitch deck

A pitch deck is a condensed presentation, usually around 10-15 slides max, which showcases the most important and convincing information about a company as a pitch for new business. Startups, for instance, use this kind of presentation to convince investors to back their business model. Just like the term “elevator pitch,” the idea is to impress busy investors, sponsors, etc. with an idea for a company, or unique selling proposition of a product or service, within just a few minutes. The pitch presentation needs to stand out among those of competitors to be given a chance for consideration for backing and investment.


The term plug-in is used to describe software which is integrated within an existing application. Advantages of using plug-ins are that they can be applied quite specifically, plus their software component is only loaded in the main application when it’s needed. The terms add-in, add-on and plug-in are often used synonymously. (See also add-in and add-on)

PowerPoint library
PowerPoint image database

A PowerPoint image database contains visual material that is already licensed and that can be used for creating a presentation. Organizations typically store their own corporate images, such as product photos, in the image database, but also images which have been purchased specifically to use in PowerPoint presentations or for other purposes, including adverts, brochures, on social media, etc. (See DAM connection)

PowerPoint corporate design

A company’s corporate design defines the specific components for consistent branding. The design specifications also apply to presentations and PowerPoint as a key tool for business communications. However, the specific technical requirements of PowerPoint mean the design specifications which work for other comms channels can’t always be applied easily for presentations. This makes it even more important to adapt the design especially for PowerPoint, taking its technical requirements and functionality into account, to ensure optimal brand impact.

PowerPoint Corporate Identity

Corporate Identity reflects a company’s self-image. Besides the (visual) corporate design, the company culture, brand language, behavior and philosophy are all elements of a Corporate Identity. The brand impact in PowerPoint is generated through the design, as well as the tone of voice, visual language, use of terminology, how information is presented, etc.

PowerPoint design
PowerPoint library

All content assets and functional elements needed for the creation and editing of presentations can be found in a PowerPoint library. Here, they are managed, updated and made centrally accessible which ensures users can find what they need and always work with the latest versions. (See also asset management in PowerPoint, Slide Pool, slide management)


PowerPoint master

A PowerPoint Master is a .potx file which is stored in the “slide master” function within PowerPoint. By opening this, users automatically create a new presentation. The master comprises design specifications, including fonts and colors. Master layouts provide a basic design framework that can be applied for different types of presentations or occasions, for instance, it specifies the positioning and sizing of images, as well as where headlines or other text elements are placed on a slide.

PowerPoint picture database
PowerPoint style guide

A PowerPoint style guide encompasses and consolidates all design specifications for presentation creation, as well as providing application examples and practical dos and don’ts. The PowerPoint Style Guide is usually developed using a corporate design manual as a basis but can be seen as a supplement which provides specific guidance for the context of PowerPoint presentation creation and usage.

PowerPoint templates

PowerPoint templates – or slide templates – are sample slides which make presentation creation easier for PowerPoint users. However, the term is often used as a synonym for a PowerPoint master.

PowerPoint tool
Presentation automation

Recurring presentations, dashboards or regular reports can all be automated with QuickSlide. The data source is Excel which can be linked to PowerPoint via an extended Data Connector function. This lets users create and update data visualization presentations in a few clicks.

Presentation management

More and more businesses are recognizing the efficiency potential of PowerPoint and thus establish professional presentation management or asset management for their company. This involves making all content assets, such as slides and templates, whole presentations and visual elements centrally available to use, organize and update as needed, which optimizes all processes for these purposes. (See also asset management)

Management presentation

Management presentations are those delivered to a company’s decision-makers to enable them to quickly make fundamental business decisions. There are formally regulated management presentations which can be defined very well with storyboards, and there are those which must be individually created and adapted for specific occasions or situations.
(See also storyboards, and the article Effective board meetings with pertinent presentations)

Master slides
Media Connector

A Media Connector function allows you to link DAM systems, image banks and media databases directly with PowerPoint. This means users gain instant access to all assets they may need to create presentations.

Modular kits for presentation creation

Especially for those creating fairly standard or repetitive slide decks, such as sales teams, a modular kit comprising slide templates and even completed slides saves a lot of time. Reusable modular assets can either be inserted as they are, click by click into a new presentation, or would need to be modified just slightly for their audience or precise situation. This avoids the time-consuming “reinventing the wheel” scenario for creating such presentations.

Modular sales kits

A modular kit for sales is a type of slide library which helps sales personnel to prepare for specific customer meetings with customized slide decks much faster than if they were to start from scratch. The structure of the kit is based on the sales funnel and target customer groups. For each preparation step, slides and presentations are provided which can either be applied as they are, or content modules can be selected and adapted as relevant to the meeting, thus allowing sales teams to produce highly customized presentation decks. Updates and maintenance of the content assets is carried out centrally. Sales employees have instant access to all the slides and templates they need, which saves valuable time that can instead be invested in further talks with customers.  



QuickDoc is the Word add-in by Strategy Compass for the easy creation of business documents. Employees use intelligent templates which they can fill dynamically. Text modules, addresses, business details and contact fields are centrally managed and always up to date. All documents created automatically appear in a company’s established corporate design.  (See also QuickDoc – add-in for Microsoft Word – Strategy Compass)


QuickSlide is the PowerPoint add-in by Strategy Compass which elevates the use of PowerPoint to a whole new level for businesses. Presentations, slides and templates are professionally organized, a company’s corporate design is firmly integrated in QuickSlide, and the creation and editing of presentations becomes much easier and more intuitive. Companies save time and business costs when using QuickSlide for PowerPoint. (See also  QuickSlide – the add-In for PowerPoint)


Rebranding (in PowerPoint)

See brand relaunch (in PowerPoint)

Rights management

The term rollout is used to describe the company-wide implementation of software which is then made available for all intended users once the rollout phase is complete. A test or pilot phase can precede the rollout where a limited number of users get to try out functions and features – and can provide feedback and suggestions for adapting the software before the rollout begins. Usually, training sessions on the software take place during a rollout phase.  

(See Partner for better business communication with Microsoft Office)


Sales deck

A sales deck is a sales presentation primarily used by a sales team to convince potential customers of the company’s products, services and benefits, with the intention to close a sale quickly. Sales decks ideally follow a sales story that resonates with the target customer and indicates the advantages to them of making the proposed investment without simply listing performance features. (See also storyboards)

Sample presentation

Sample presentations are set up as example versions which can then be used as technical, design or content templates for the creation of new presentations. (See also storyboards


SharePoint is a web application from Microsoft that improves collaboration within a company. For example, SharePoint can be used as a collaborative platform and as a central document-storage repository. In the past, SharePoint offered a feature called “Slide Library.” However, due to its limited capabilities this feature was not used very often. Microsoft has therefore discontinued development.

Slide database

A slide database is a central repository for storing a company’s slides and presentations. This provides all colleagues who work on PowerPoint presentations with central access to these assets. Ideally, a slide database is not purely a storage location, but an intuitive work tool that can run automatic updates, and where user permissions are managed and search functions are provided. (See also slide library)

Slide deck

Used as a synonym for “presentation” – typically in a sales and marketing context (sales deck, pitch deck, etc.) – referring to a former hard-copy and now digital “deck of slides.”)

Slide design

The quality of a presentation isn’t only gauged by its content, but also by the level of consistency in the layout. Presentations which look completely different from slide to slide can be off-putting and distract an audience from core messages and content. In a professional context, PowerPoint slide design should be based on the company’s brand identity and convey its key design attributes. This includes fonts and color palettes, as well as specifications for text lengths, and defined ratios for images and text. (See PowerPoint specialists – masters, templates and slide pools

Slide library

A slide library facilitates presentation creation and content maintenance for businesses. Slides and presentations are stored and updated in one central location, and employees can access existing slides and templates to help them create their own presentations. Duplicate effort is thus eliminated, and central updates ensure that everyone is working with the latest versions of content assets. (See also asset management in PowerPoint)

Slide management

This incorporates the organization, provision, updates and maintenance of a company’s slides and presentations, as well as ensuring consistency with standard attributes for content, design and currency.

Slide master

The slide master in PowerPoint (often called a „master slide“ can be used to create of slides and presentations with predefined formatting and content positioning. Companies use the slide master to set some standards for presentations. However, the slide master alone isn’t usually enough to ensure a consistent brand presence in PowerPoint. Add-ins like QuickSlide are specially developed to establish uniform branding for presentations, company-wide.
See What makes a good PowerPoint master

PowerPoint specialists – masters, templates and slide pools

Slide Pool

A Slide Pool is a central repository from which slides, presentations, plus other content assets including icons, logos and design elements are made available, maintained and updated company-wide. PowerPoint add-ins like QuickSlide provide an integrated Slide Pool feature. (See also asset management in PowerPoint)


By storyboards for PowerPoint we’re referring to presentation templates which follow a common thread with their content and structure. These serve as orientation for users when creating presentations for specific scenarios or target groups. For example, presentations for decision-makers follow a storyboard that’s different to, for instance, sales presentations or product demos. (See also sales deck)


Template management

Template management falls under the wider term “asset management” but focuses on the provision and updates of presentation and slide templates for presentation creation. (See also asset management)


User groups

Setting up user groups is a tried-and-true system which provides structure for handling access rights and permissions for using and managing a software application. When using QuickSlide for PowerPoint, for instance, user groups can be set up to ensure content in PowerPoint, such as slides and presentations, is accessible for the relevant and authorized teams or employees in an organization. (See also permissions management and rights management)

Employee creates Word Templates

Word templates at your company

Word templates at your company

The smart way to create and provide Word templates

Reading time 9 minutes

They still exist. And in large numbers too: 

Standard templates for letters, internal documents, press releases, faxes, newsletters, or circulars. Templates for diverse quotes for goods and services. Templates for retainers, individual contracts, NDAs, calls for tenders. Templates for quality management, procedural documentation, or handbooks. Templates for job advertisements or candidate communication.

Wordvorlagen Illustration

While emails have largely replaced letters, and mass communication with customers may often be automated, most companies do still continue to use Word, and therefore Word templates.

These Word templates will ideally have a clean layout in keeping with corporate design specifications, and be technically correct and user-friendly. Users will use the correct and latest template each time, and make the most of Word’s features to ensure their document ultimately looks just the way the template’s creator intended it.

There is potential to get a lot right here. With a well-thought-out template concept, proper execution, and the aid of helpful tools and processes, it is possible to make professional Word templates a reality.

The three factors for successfully using Word templates at your company

When it comes to Word templates, success is measurable. And the criteria for this are actually quite similar at most companies: Consistent branding, legally compliant documents, high-quality content of standard documents, user productivity, and efficient provision processes. The fine-tuning that leads to this success is simple:


Good template skills:

The basics of a professional Word template

A Word template’s quality and usability are based on a combination of many small settings. As such, every approach always involves at least thinking about the most important of these details. The following questions will give you a good overview of what to remember in terms of basic design and formatting, and which aspects are critical in practical usage.

The template's basic design

Word Vorlage

Page layouts and formats

  • What formats do you need? DIN A4, letter, others?
  • Do you want to strictly follow certain standards (e.g. DIN 5008 for letters)?

Headers and footers

  • What information do you want in the footer? Work on the maximum amount of space needed if there are different footers (e.g. for different companies in your corporate group).
  • How is the logo positioned? Is there more than one logo?
  • What other design elements are to be used?
  • Are document IDs required?
  • Where should all these elements be displayed? (e.g., only on the first page, only on even pages?)
Kopf-und Fusszeile Icon

First page

  • Do you need a first page with a different layout?
  • Will you be using Word’s cover page function?

Structuring document content

  • Is content to be specifically positioned in a certain place (e.g. a certain starting position for text on all pages, fixed positions for recipients and senders in letters)?
  • Is certain content to be kept at a certain size (e.g. set height of a signature, set size for image placeholders)?
  • Content in Word is best arranged using tables (with borders set to invisible). The critical factor here: Are your users familiar with using tables or is it a case of the easier the better?

Print outs

Will your documents be printed on company letterheads that already contain some of the aforementioned elements?

Text layout


Color scheme:

  • Is there already a color scheme/theme for Microsoft Office? Due to its heavy use of color, PowerPoint often acts as a primary medium of sorts, with Word simply adopting the color scheme.


  • What different formatting styles do you need for your text, headings, captions, highlighting or links? Styles can help you combine font sizes, spacing before/after paragraphs, line spacing, left/right indentation, page numbering and other features into easy-to-use formatting.
  • How are the styles to be displayed to users? Word shows styles in simple alphabetical order, enabling you to control the display through clever naming.

List levels

  • What types of lists and numbering do you need?
  • What logic can you use across the various list levels?
  • How are users meant to switch between the levels?
  • Cleverly linking styles with list levels makes it possible, for instance, to switch levels simply by pressing the Tab key.


  • What types of indices do you need? Word offers tables of contents, bibliographies, tables of figures and tables of authorities as basic indices.
  • For example, how do you want your table of contents laid out? Do you need one variant with page numbers and one without?

A Word template’s quality and usability are based on a combination of many small settings

Other help for users

Tables and shapes

  • How do you want to format tables? (Even this can be managed with styles in Word.)
  • How do you want to format inserted text boxes, shapes or lines?

Locking headers and footers

  • Do you want to protect headers and footers from accidental/intentional modification? Remember that all variants, e.g. of footers, then need to be provided as separate templates, as users won’t be able to enter anything else themselves.

Control elements

  • Should certain text boxes (e.g. overwritable boxes for instructions or subjects) already be stored in the template with predefined formatting?
  • Do you want to specify how certain elements are positioned and displayed (e.g. date, image placeholders, dropdown lists)?

The more set specifications you have, the more uniform your documents will be. But users often find this too restrictive, as it doesn’t cover all practical cases, and cannot always be handled properly by everyone.

Instructions and copy templates

  • Are your users trained in using Word? If not, you should store some instructions on how to properly use the template within the template itself (e.g. How do I use the available styles and list levels? How do I use tables to structure my content?).
  • What elements are constantly needed? Add things like a standard table, CD-compliant boxes/info boxes, a removable cover page or different first page with section break to your template. Users can then easily use, copy or delete these.


Sophisticated coordination

Some companies make things easy for themselves (and difficult for users) and provide only one single basic template, while others centrally provide a number of templates for different purposes. And indeed multiple copies of each of these templates, as every subsidiary or branch office needs its own headers and footers. The individual departments in turn make additional templates out of these, e.g. for questionnaires or forms. This vast array of templates is virtually impossible to manage, let alone use flawlessly. That’s why it’s important to devise a clear plan before creating any templates.

Devising a template concept

First collect all the templates you can get. Go to each of the departments, ask them for their templates, and make sure you understand what their requirements are. Group these templates by combining things that are similar. Use this to then create basic templates due to be provided centrally at the company in future, and on which all other templates can be based.

Typical basic templates for internal purposes include memos, reports or handbooks, while letters, newsletters or contracts are often needed for external purposes. You may not be able to please everyone when combining requirements and setting standards, but you don’t necessarily have to go for the lowest common denominator.

Skizze Wordvorlagen

Understanding which basic templates are needed, and what the requirements for these should be, is the foundation for all further steps. You can establish the necessary settings using your corporate design specifications. In doing so, you define a standardized basic layout across all templates, and develop a consistent concept for styles – e.g. which (sub)headings are needed for which documents, and how these can be standardized wherever possible.

Using the same styles in all documents makes it much easier to transfer content between documents. So, make your styles general for all templates, using case-specific exceptions if necessary, to keep the number manageable. The time spent on a concept beforehand pays off very quickly, especially for styles, as the effort involved with repeatedly adapting styles in all documents down the road can be sizeable.

You can now implement the individual templates. It’s advisable to test out the finished templates with selected users from the company, as this often provides valuable insights for improving usability, and highlights potential errors.

Bausteine Wordvorlagen

Different companies, brands and languages

The template concept gets a bit more complex if your corporate group comprises multiple companies, multiple brands and/or international locations. When several companies are pooled under one brand, the main challenge lies in the mandatory information (trade name, address, executive bodies, bank details etc.). You need to incorporate all requirements here, particularly for the footer layout, so that every piece of mandatory information has its place, and the number of basic layouts doesn’t multiply. There’s an additional challenge when you have different brands: While each brand needs to preserve its own brand identity, you don’t want to increase your number of basic templates here either. If your template concept has been well thought-out, you can generally make the templates fully compatible, so they only differ in terms of logo, color use and font. Colors and fonts can then be managed using Designs or Themes in Office. This means you can create the variants of your basic templates quickly and easily, and the subsequent documents remain fully compatible with each other, despite their different appearance. Language variants are another challenge. There are various ways of setting languages in the template, and the solution depends heavily on the respective requirements.

A modular mindset

Another option for reducing the number of templates is to work with components. This is of particular interest when you are using templates not only as a layout framework, but also providing pre-formulated text and other elements in the form of templates.

Say, for example, you want to provide templates to communicate with candidates. On the one hand, there’s the letter confirming receipt of the application, and on the other, there’s the letter of invitation to an interview and, ultimately, often a rejection letter. Word has a Quick Parts feature which enables you to save the content of your letters. Instead of creating a separate template for every letter, you simply use the general letter template, and insert the relevant content from the Quick Parts as needed.

Bausteine Wordvorlagen modular Icon


Smart provision

With a bit of expertise and attention to detail, you can use Word to create templates that enable staff to easily implement even complex corporate designs. One area where Word very quickly reaches its limits, however, is the efficient handling of variety, e.g. as a result of multiple companies, locations or brands at one corporate group. Without the help of additional tools, managing these templates takes a lot of time and effort in terms of provision and maintenance, involves organizational problems (e.g. how do you make sure changes to a company’s executive board are promptly applied to all affected templates?), and makes it extremely difficult to ensure users always work with the right templates.

To give you an idea of how templates can be managed smartly in such cases, below is a brief description of the way Word add-in QuickDoc works when it comes to handling templates.

  • QuickDoc adds an extra tab to the Word menu bar, which gives users direct access to elements such as the current templates so that they can create documents.
  • Instead of concrete data (e.g. information on the company and its management), the templates contain placeholders/bookmarks. Even logos are only contained as bookmarks in the template. When the user selects a template, for example, a letter, the relevant data is inserted dynamically.
  • This data is managed centrally. The change to an executive board, for instance, is entered in QuickDoc by an administrator, or QuickDoc accesses a pre-existing database directly. QuickDoc synchronizes this central change and inserts it into the relevant templates for the user.
  • The central provision of content building blocks is also made easy, with users able to select and insert them based on the open template with a single click.
  • Printing on (pre-printed) letter paper does not require separate templates. The elements already existing on the letter paper are marked in the templates and can be shown or hidden in the template with the click of the mouse.
User Icon

This approach drastically reduces the number of templates at the company and ensures consistent usage. It also facilitates more streamlined processes. Creating and managing templates no longer requires support from the IT department, but can instead be performed directly by the department responsible (e.g. Corporate Communications) or its agency. All the IT department needs to do is provide the software. As responsibility for the process now coincides with responsibility for the content, less coordination is needed, and implementation occurs faster.


If your organization exceeds a certain level of complexity, and you have clear brand and quality objectives for the documents you create, you probably won’t be able to avoid expanding on Word’s capabilities. But before introducing such a solution, you’ll need a fully thought-out template concept and professionally executed templates. The three aspects are all very closely entwined, which is why it’s advisable to pool the responsibilities in one place. With clear project management and focus, you’ll be able to cimplement this sort of project in around three months, from conception to rollout. As a result, you’ll not only be putting an end to template and formatting chaos and saving your users time; you’ll also be making your own life easier, as, in future, you’ll be taking template provision and modification to a completely new level.

Notebook PowerPoint

Orientation: Presenter view in PowerPoint

Orientation: Presenter View in PowerPoint

Reading time 3 minutes

Keep an overview as speaker

We cover the subject of orientation in several of our blog posts. Why? Because orientation is really important! Here, we focus on your security and orientation as the person standing up front and speaking. The more authoritative, confident and relaxed you appear while presenting, the more credible and interesting you’ll come across as to your audience.

Er … where was I?

It’s easy to lose your thread. Perhaps you got carried away or were interrupted by a question or a short discussion. Then you lost track of time. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you see someone indicating that it’s time to wind up. And you haven’t even reached your key message. Or maybe you were a bit nervous and forgot what you wanted to say at one key point in your presentation, so digressed. This can happen, even to the best speakers.

The speaker’s trick

Referentenansicht in PowerPoint
PowerPoint’s Presenter View is there to help you with orientation for more security while you’re on stage. The audience can only see your slides, but you, and you alone, see everything:
  • The slide currently being shown
  • A preview of the next slide
  • Your notes and keywords to prompt you, next to the slide being shown
  • The elapsed time since you began
You can also use the pen and highlighter tools to annotate your slides as you speak. Or jump forwards and backwards to certain slides, or even skip some slides altogether. If time’s running, you might decide to leave out some less-important points. Or you might want to remind the audience of something on an earlier slide. With Presenter View, all this is child’s play.

Speaker orientation in PowerPoint has never been easier

  • Extending the display: To use Presenter View, make sure your computer is correctly set up for multiple displays. Right-click on the desktop and choose Screen Resolution/Display Settings. Then, under “Multiple displays” choose the option “Extend these displays.” If you just duplicate the display, Presenter View won’t work, as you’ll then only have one screen.
  • Activate Presenter View: In the PowerPoint Slide Show tab, check the option Use Presenter View. All done. If you like, you can click the Set Up Slide Show button to make further adjustments.
  • Start the Slide Show. If the monitors have been swapped, you can change this using the menu above the checkbox Use Presenter View.

Now you, the speaker, can see everything you need on your laptop screen, and the audience sees only the current slide via the beamer. You can relax. The part of your brain that’s always been preoccupied with these things is now free to focus on your presentation and the interaction with your audience.

Note: Presenter View is an option for virtual presentations as well. Just be careful here. Don’t share your whole screen, or an uploaded version of the presentation file, or everyone in the video call will see everything you see. Choose the specific window displaying your presentation from the options given when you click the “share screen” icon. This will let you see your notes, and use the pen, laser pointer, etc. as before, while your audience only sees the main presentation on their screens.

The security you gain from using Presenter View puts you at ease and boosts your confidence while presenting. You can concentrate much better on your material and key messages – and keep an eye on the time.

Picture frame leaning against wall

Finding royalty-free images for business presentations

Finding royalty-free images for business presentations

Reading time 3 minutes

Designing a promotional brochure, programming a website, and creating a business presentation are all very different tasks that frequently revolve around the same question. How can we find good, informative images? As cost effectively as possible? Our list of free and paid image databases will show you where to find the best images for your project. 


An initial look through a company’s in-house Digital Asset Management (DAM) is often sobering, as you realize there are no suitable images available for your specific project. But nor do you usually want to pay for expensive image licenses – especially not for a normal presentation. So you go looking for royalty-free images. But where can you find them? Most people head to Google Images for some initial inspiration, except that the images there are generally copyrighted, and therefore not royalty-free.  

Our article “Image license rights – What to look out for” provides an overview of the aspects you need to bear in mind when it comes to licenses and costs for online images.  

Utilizing online image databases for image searches

Online image databases offer a wide range of images, licenses and formats. For example, there are image databases that are totally free, royalty-free (i.e. purchasable with a one-off payment), or licensed (i.e. involving usage-based licensing fees) images, both for standard photos and higher quality images.  

As practical as this sounds, finding the right image database is often an arduous process, as a simple Google search yields a plethora of results that have little to do with professional image databases. So, we’ve put together a list of image databases we consider as suitable, without rating them. Each database has its own features and benefits, and may be helpful to some people, while not suiting others.   

Why not bookmark this page, to ensure you always have quick, direct access to the list of professional image databases without having to start a new search?

Bilder, Icons, Videos, Diagramme

Predominantly free image databases

Flaticon  (predominantly free  – voluntary paid section) 
flickr Creative Commons 
Kaboom Pics“One Woman Show” freely sharable CC0 photos 
Image Base 
Open Photo 
Stock Snap 
Wikimedia Commons: 

Predominantly paid databases

Tip: If your company uses a DAM (Digital Asset Management) system to manage images, you could control purchases from image databases centrally, so that the photos can then be made available specifically at the company. It’s often tedious to use images from DAM systems in Office documents. It involves laboriously navigating to a website, register/log in, download the images, and then potentially insert them into your presentation. The QuickSlide for PowerPoint add-in / QuickDoc for Word add-in simplifies this process. Users can search for, and insert, the images directly in PowerPoint/Word, without any additional registration/login. Meanwhile, your DAM system takes care of the relevant management tasks in the background. 

Did you have any luck with our list? Or have we left out your preferred image database? Want your image database to be included in the list? Email us at, and we’ll be glad to add you in.  

Man at flipchart

Presentation success with the right mix of training

Presentation success with the right mix of training

Reading time 3 minutes

Of course, it’s important to give people all they need to properly position themselves, their company, their topic, and their message in presentations, and achieve the success they desire. In addition, they shouldn’t test their audience’s patience. This raises the question of strategy in relation to an overall corporate presentation objective, plus questions about the range and availability of seminars, personalized support and methods used, and yet more questions about classroom training, online training, personal coaching, about in-house training, or external course providers.

Discrepancy between training programs offered and the need for action

The results of a Strategy Compass international study on presentations show that most companies offer presentation training. And yet there are also surprising discrepancies when these offers are matched with the identified needs for action.

reasons for presentations failures
trainings offered

Components of success

A successful presentation is the sum of multiple components: Good technical skills, high-quality content and design, and a convincing delivery. But not everyone contributing to a presentation has or needs all of these. The focus differs depending on the target group within the company.

Technical skills

These include simple basic training courses on how to implement predefined slides in PowerPoint. There are a number of web-based training solutions which teach the software basics. In addition to a basic understanding of PowerPoint and its key functions, however, there are other important factors which can be taught better by a coach. A coach familiar not just with the software, but also the fundamental design principles and, particularly, the specifications of your corporate design and company-specific aids. The critical issue in practice is less about how to apply animations, but rather how to use your corporate template wisely, and which formatting options are allowed or prohibited by the corporate design.

High-quality content and design

PowerPoint trainers can’t normally teach these things. For example, how to convince decision-makers in specific situations, what makes a story, what options there are for visuals, and how to design good slides. The choice of providers here is quite limited; you can generally choose between external providers and training courses or in-house training usually by external experts. We believe the following points are important for your success:

  • The coach must be familiar with your specific requirements, for instance, template and design guidelines. Slide design must always be in keeping with your corporate identity, so the techniques and tips they give you can be adapted to your context.
  • As a training participant you should practice using your own examples. Many of the methods are easy to grasp, but very difficult to apply in the complexity of your own project. You therefore need a competent sparring partner to support you with this.
  • The context of your organization must be actively incorporated. Only then is it possible to generate new ideas and approaches that can be implemented in everyday reality, with its time constraints, complex interpersonal relationships, and input from other departments which is hard to influence.
presentation content and design

Personal delivery

This is what ultimately brings your presentation to life. It’s the performance that convinces listeners, captures their interest, makes them fans or facilitates their decisions, regardless of whether it’s an internal or external presentation. As a presenter, you’re not only a brand ambassador; you’re the ambassador for your area, your subject field and, not least, for yourself. This is where role-based coaching and personal presentation, speech and voice training come in. They require good briefings. They’re what top off your success.

Young woman presenting

If you’ve developed a general concept for these areas using basic formats, you’ll also have the freedom to support and tailor these competencies with highly personalized coaching sessions based on your individual needs or specific events.

Learn more about our presentation trainings.