What is a Powerpoint deck: 7 facts you need to know
Angelica A.
June 30, 2020
  |  

What is a Powerpoint deck: 7 facts you need to know

Angelica A.
June 30, 2020
  |  

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When creating presentations, we tend to look for help and inspiration in online templates. In doing so, we usually come across terms we probably hadn’t ever heard before. And they might be a bit confusing, too. For instance, when people talk about PowerPoint deck or slide deck instead of a pitch deck. To help clear a few basic queries, we came up with 7 facts about a Powerpoint deck that we’d now like to share with you. Let’s start off with a basic one. 

1 - What is a PowerPoint deck?

The first of our 7 facts about a Powerpoint deck focuses on the first computer-based presentation software created by Microsoft. The term PowerPoint deck simply refers to the slides anyone can build on that platform. However, most people use it now to describe just any regular aid to give a presentation sometimes. In theory, however, a collection of slides created on PowerPoint is what we’d call a PowerPoint deck. 

You may wonder, but what about the “deck” part of it? Where does that come from? And we’re on it! Let’s move to our next fact to clear that.

2 - Why is it called a deck?

The term deck is used thanks to those old projectors that we called acetate decks. That’s, in the end, from where digital presentations come. We cover a bit more of this in our 8 interesting facts about pitch decks, if it helps. 

You can also think of them as if the slides were cards. And so, all of them together become a deck of slides in the same way you’d put together a deck of cards. In times when we only had those big projectors to show something against a wall, you’d pile the slides up as a card deck. 

Also, it might help to think of your slides the way we see a deck of cards. For powerful and effective presentations, each slide should serve a specific value and function, the way cards do.  

3 - Is there a difference between a deck and a PowerPoint?

First, let us clarify this is all a matter of a bit of tricky misemployed linguistics. While everything we defined above is real, you’ll find people in diverse industries using words differently to express various concepts. As mentioned above, the combination “PowerPoint deck” is used to talk about a collection of presentation slides. It refers to them as a whole. Now, that term can be used interchangeably with the word presentation. 

Furthermore, you can also hear each word being used on its own. As we said, people very commonly use PowerPoint to mean any sort of presentation nowadays. And they do so regardless of the software or platform in which the material was created. The word deck is most commonly linked to pitch decks that startups use to raise funding. We hope this helps clarify matters somewhat.

4 - How do you create a deck in PowerPoint?

For you to create a deck in PowerPoint, you’ll need to get their software. One of the limitations is that you’ll need to do some downloading and a bunch of learning about their features and possibilities. And that needs to happen before you can call an excellent presentation done. But you’ll get there, eventually. 

We certainly prefer our online version shared through the cloud for access virtually everywhere. With a free version, we also recommend making use of our templates and our AI feature to customize presentations in indeed almost no time. However, regardless of the software platform you use, please focus on envisioning your goals and future structure ahead of time. 

What’s crucial here is to set a clear goal with what you want to achieve out of the presentation to get precisely what you want out of it. That’s the first step. 

You then just need to navigate through tools to look for the option to “create a new presentation.” Start adding to it to include whatever content you need. Work on its design and finalize a great story to tell as you present slides to an audience. Following these steps, you’ll be able to call your presentation work done. 

5 - What should be included in a PowerPoint deck?

The fabulous aspect of working with presentation templates is that they answer this question in many ways. A preformatted template gives you titles, hints, and options. You should only take those as suggestions as to what goes into a PowerPoint deck, precisely. 

Other than this, what goes into a specific presentation depends on the topic you’re tackling. We can’t fit the same data, figures, or slides into a restaurant business plan template as we would an executive report. 

Fortunately, from academics to business, corporate to small businesses, marketing, and sales, we’ve got all sorts of templates in different presentations to give you a hand. Just pick one right and take it from there. Study each area appropriately to make sure you’ve got a solid base on which to start your new project. Once you’ve chosen a style, just add the content to your slides accordingly! 

6 - Can I fill my slides with text?

It’s really best if you don’t. One of the most crucial factors to a slide deck is that it be cohesive. So, please deviate from adding information just for the sake of it. Even the most exciting or compelling data can be a massive distractor if they don’t adhere to your presentation’s topic. Instead, weave everything to be a part of the story you’re telling. Like we said before, every slide should serve a particular purpose.

When you organize your slides, also consider people’s attention span. Long presentations usually fail because it’s impossible to pay attention in the same setting, context, and to the same person for long periods. Go straight to the point and keep your presentation simple as you do so. 

7 - Can I vary the format?

It’s best if you stick to a single type of formatting throughout your entire deck. If you pick a template, you’ll see it customized in the same patterns and colors from start to finish. 

If you create a presentation from scratch, pay attention to any changes the platform can make. Like auto-correctors, presentation tools can sometimes automatically adjust font choices, the size of each text, and alignment, among others, based on different features you choose. 

Aim to keep the same style throughout, basically. That includes choices in terms of font and colors for every slide. This homogeneous look will help the cohesiveness and integration that needs to come across to your audience, not necessarily in explicit or conscious ways, as you pitch.

Keep in mind that the key with a PowerPoint deck is to edit down, not up. Another good tip part of our 7 facts about a Powerpoint deck is to write great titles for your slides that catch the eye and the attention of your audience and keep them interested in what you’re sharing. In this sense, the preformatted headings, titles, and slide choices are typically designed for a quick and easy read. Keep them that way. 

If you genuinely feel your slides could use a more powerful look than any template can give you, there are other options. You don’t necessarily need to risk a deck’s quality on edits yourself. Through our consulting and design services, for instance, we give presenters the chance to have professionals craft beautiful and functional slides that excel beyond any home-made updates. If you’d like to look further into this, we’ve also shared 5 common questions about presentation design companies you might want to scout. 

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