In today’s modern workplace, preparing and delivering presentations has become a daily routine for several employees. Be it online or face to face, delivering a presentation is a default communication practices in business.
Presentations are generally complemented with visual assets; traditionally, presentation decks where presenters reinforce their message with visual impact. The most popular presentation’s deck software is Microsoft PowerPoint (with more than 2 billion installed base). PowerPoint is not only the most popular presentations software but also the most popular within business environments.
A traditional pain for business employees is that even PowerPoint is a simple-to-use tool, the ability to create engaging and professional presentations requires graphic designs skills. Here is where our product reviewed, SlideModel, comes to save the day.
In this article, we are reviewing the highlights of SlideModel product and service, some comments about their usability and our opinion of the overall experience.
SlideModel value proposition consists on providing presenters the ability to create professional presentation decks in PowerPoint in little time and without the need of sophisticated graphic designs skills. SlideModel describes itself as a PowerPoint Templates provider, focused on professional business templates that are fully customizable, created with up to date design trends and techniques aiming the ease of use. Subscribers can access their large templates gallery, find the designs they need for their message, customize their content, modify their look and feel and use them in their deck.
The first interaction with the platform invites users directly to access their content and downloads. Users can access the platform from the homepage and explore the content through the navigational menu, just run a custom search or just browse the content in a paged style.
The menu is segmented according to the kind content categories presenters and designers are used to work with. In the following sections, we drill down into the major categories and test the content to provide our insights.
This section can be considered as the starting point of the site. It groups the generic templates like backgrounds and themes. The user can find special subcategories as Marketing PowerPoint Templates, Business PowerPoint Templates, SWOT PowerPoint Templates and the Best and Latest additions; this keeps users up to date with new additions and popular content among the users’ community. From this menu users looking for inspiration will find what they need.
In our test drive, we downloaded a couple of options to benchmark ease of use and adaptability. Considering the category, we put ourselves in the shoes of a regular presenter that needs to updates its company decks to something more professional. We set our goal to create a deck of a company presentation and a simple products/services description.
We just selected the Business PowerPoint Templates menu and browsed within the first to pages. We downloaded the General Purpose Business PowerPoint Template, which provides the traditional company description sections with a modern look and feel.
We started editing the template straight away. Initially, changed the theme (to a more blueish palette) and decided to change images to more suitable ones for the imaginary company we invented. The process was simple as dragging and dropping, For the text placeholders, we just selected them and changed the content. In less than 30 mins we had a full professional presentation of our new company.
What I liked most of this template was that it provided different layouts I could use to display my information. Researching a little about presentation design I realized that there is a whole theory behind layouts and how to divide the slide canvas into quadrants and how much information to place in each of them in order to avoid losing the attention of the audience. This kind of stuff is already applied by graphics design experts in this simple to edit presentation templates.
NOTE: Great Support! When editing the template, I tried to replace a complex shape that contains an image. I struggled for 5 minutes to understand how I should replace the image, I knew for the instructions in the template that it was editable. After 3 minutes, I decided to post a question in SlideModel.com support site. In less than two minutes I received an email with the steps to replace the image. WOOW!
Following our test drive, we moved forward to the next top level category, the PowerPoint Diagrams. In the shoes of our fictional regular presenter, we would like to complement our company presentation with a couple of diagrams explaining our offering. The idea is to have a catchy diagram with a modern Look and Feel, that allows the listing of our core products/services, without the need of a tedious bullet list. Another diagram will show the process on how we execute. With this in mind we took two approaches. First, we browsed the category and then we made some searches.
For our product description we selected the 4 Steps Vertical Badges Infographics Template. The four 3D badges are ideal for decorating with icons and generate a great core product/services description. As we did earlier we needed to adapt the badges to our theme; it was extremely easy and straightforward. The following images describe the original diagram and how we paste it in our business template.
At this point we have a great corporate deck, and we were able to easily add a new diagram in it in justs minutes. Now we want to personalize some of the slides with our touch. In this case we want to add some shapes to create a higher visual impact and help our sales representatives use metaphors in their pitch instead of adding heavy text. That’s where the PowerPoint Shapes categories come into play. We thought about the metaphors of brain shapes, we are looking to describe our analytical and reasoning approaches using tools and agile methodologies. We searched for the word brain and we picked the shape that we liked the most.
We picked the Left Brain Vs Right Brain PowerPoint Template and then selected the the shapes we liked. Then we dragged and dropped in our corporate template. The process was smooth and the results really rocked. The brain diagram automatically updated to the template theme, without the need of any customization. The resizing worked flawless, as the shapes are created as vectors and change in their size do not affect the visual quality. The following images show the result.
Data and Charts
Almost every corporate template include some kind of chart, infographic or KPI. Be it for sales, employee counts or products pricing comparison, charts are an invaluable tool to present numbers in a more understandable way. SlideModel Data & Charts category contains dozens of charts, dashboards and infographics to create your visual, but the most important fact of the category is that all of them are Data-driven PowerPoint Charts, these means that the user just needs to copy paste their data from Excel to PowerPoint and VOILA!, the chart will update with your data.
We tried the data driven feature in a cool radial chart to describe spent amounts according to the company area. The result looks really professional and matches the look and feel of the business template. Take into account that the data was updated selecting the “Edit in Excel” PowerPoint feature.
Maps are an incredible tool for presenting geographical information. Nowadays maps can be found on the web, on mobile platforms, and in different geo oriented applications. SlideModel is not the exception. Bring to your presentation the power of vectorized Maps, with political outlines and states separations. SlideModel Maps are created as a composite of smaller shapes (regions and states) that allow the user to ungroup them and us it individually. For testing we picked up the US Map and highlighted California and Magnified Florida:
Conclusion of our real life test
With the aim of navigating SlideModel’s gallery and the objective of benchmarking the editability of the templates and their visual capabilities, we ended up creating a wonderful corporate template in less than 15 minutes. Looking it into retrospective, the edition process was as simple as:
- Start with a high level, all in one template.
- Start customizing the sections with your own content, palette, font and branding theme. Take ideas from other SlideModel templates.
- Add diagrams, shapes, charts and maps as you need them.
- Save the file, and you are ready to present!
The result is awesome, really like hiring a designer. And even more productive, as if I hire a designer, I will need to specify clearly my needs, something I did not have clear from scratch. The creative process was happening in the way that I was realizing the capabilities of the tool and the resources provided by SlideModel.
In my opinion, SlideModel is a valuable resource for business, ranging the audience for the one time presenter to the for the everyday business employee that requires a couple of presentations decks a week.
How to get SlideModel?
SlideModel is a subscription based service. This means that users purchase a subscription that grants a perpetual license for the content. Users can log in with their account, and download the content they need.
Each subscription has a quota limitation of downloads, a differential support service and even a number of related seat licenses grants.
But SlideModel makes it easy to select the appropriate plan for you. It presents four main segments where the user can choose:
One Time Presenters: For the one time user segments (purchase 1 or 2 templates to create my deck and do not use the service again until I have a new presentation requirement). For this segment, SlideModel offers the One Day Access plan which allows 5 downloads for a one time payment. This plan only offers basic Q&A support and allows downloads for only 24hs.
Regular Presenters with Project Budget: This segment aims the users that need to create several decks, but in a medium period of time (3 months max.) In this cases, users use SlideModel for specific projects and they include the subscription cost in the cost of their project. For this segment, SlideModel offer the 3 Months Basic plan, which allows 100 downloads a month, for a 3 months period.
Regular Presenters and Keynoters: this segment is self-explanatory. These people create at least 1 presentation decks a week, during the whole year. For this segment, SlideModel offers their Annual Basic plan, with 200 downloads a month, special support (including requests and designs support) for a period of one year.
Teams of Presenters: For those companies that have a small team that needs assets for content creation or presentation decks creation SlideModel offers the Annual Unlimited plan. It does not restrict downloads, it provides cloud storage capabilities and it includes a package of seat licenses included in the subscription.
As you can see, the options are wide, and for sure you will find a plan suitable for your needs and pocket. If you have any doubt you can contact SlideModel.com support team through their contact form. They accept major debit & credit cards as well as Paypal.
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