How to Create a Custom Theme in PowerPoint for Branding

Have you ever wasted hours trying to jazz up a presentation or make it look unique? You shouldn't be spending your time on this end of content creation!

Several customers have asked me how to make their Content Sparks slides have a branded look without spending a lot of time, so I decided to put together a little tutorial for you.

It's FAR easier than you might think!

In fact, it's surprisingly simple to brand your slides once you have a theme or design you like. Especially with PowerPoint, though I'm sure other programs are similar.

The idea is to create a branded, custom look to your slides, and then apply that design to every one of your presentations (past, present, and future).

Here's the quick approach:

Step 1: Create a custom theme

In the Design tab, you can create new theme colors, new theme fonts, and even the effects you want.

Start from the basic ‘Office' theme, or pick another by clicking the down arrow, and then play with the details.

If you go into View > Master Slide, you can also add other graphics, logos, etc that will appear on every slide of that layout.

TIP: Be sure to set the size of your slides first, preferably to widescreen (16:9) for video. Otherwise, graphics will get distorted if you later try to switch sizes.

Step 2: Save your theme

When you're done creating the branded look for your presentation, click the down arrow for Themes in the Design tab and Save Current Theme.

That will save your new branded theme to a local folder so that it always shows up as an option in Design. Usually it will be one of the first ones shown.

TIP: If you have themes in different versions, eg wide or onscreen, be sure to put that into the name so you can recognize the correct one easily.

Step 3: Open your presentation

Now open any presentation that you want to brand, such as generic ones from ContentSparks.com.

TIP: Make sure you take note of the size of the page setup, so you can pick the right theme.

Step 4: Apply your branded theme

Click on the Design tab and pick your branded theme to instantly apply it to your presentation.

TIP: If you just want to copy the theme from another presentation on your computer, click on ‘Browse Themes' (at the bottom of the list of themes when you click the down arrow for more)

Step 5: Adjust where needed

You'll probably have a few places in the presentation that need to be tweaked, so look through all the slides.

If there's anything that's on all slides, it's probably in the Slide Master.

For example, the ‘Your Logo' placeholder we normally put in to show you where to insert your own logo needs to be deleted (or just replaced, if you don't have it in your theme).

To get rid of it, just go back to View > Slide Master.

Then click on the top slide, click on the object, and delete it.

TIP: You can always get rid of any background graphics that are distracting from your presentation on an individual slide. Just right-click on the slide. Click ‘Format Background'. Then check off ‘Hide background graphics'. You can just close it to apply to that slide OR apply it to all slides to get rid of all background graphics.

Once you've done Steps 1 and 2 one time, you have very little to do each time you have a new presentation to create or customize.

If you'd like to see these steps in action, watch the video below:

UPDATE:

Since recording the above demo, I did another in PowerPoint 365, the latest version. You can watch that short video here:

 

The hardest part you might have to do is move some things around if they conflict with your new theme.

That's why we try to keep the slideshows from Content Sparks as simple and generic as possible.

If you try to apply your branded theme to a presentation that has a lot of complicated designs in it, you might have more fiddling to do.

Here's my biggest tip for speeding up your branding…

Outsource the design of your theme!

I paid a designer one time to create a branded theme for my slides.

And now I just apply that theme every time I create a new presentation.

I literally don't even have to think about design and branding AT ALL.

NOTE: The presentation I used in the video to show how to apply your new theme is from our course on Service Business Success. You can grab a license to use that content yourself here:

==> Service Business Success

Don't forget to rebrand the content!

Do you have a custom, branded theme for your own slides yet?

We've created an in-depth, step-by-step checklist to cover everything we've gone over in this post. Download a free PDF copy below!


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