Public speaking is a scary assignment for 40 percent of Americans, according to the Gallup website. Between hard-to-read note cards and malfunctioning presentation equipment, a presentation can be a nerve-wracking task. Constructing a well-designed, easy-to-navigate PowerPoint presentation is an excellent way to keep public speaking jitters from becoming a mid-presentation breakdown. A number of websites offer free PowerPoint templates to get your presentation off on the right foot.
Determine which version of Microsoft PowerPoint you are using by clicking "Help" from an open PowerPoint window. If you do not find the version number, look in the "About Microsoft PowerPoint" link.
Visit the official Microsoft Office website. Click the "Templates" tab, then locate PowerPoint templates. Browse the titles by category or operating system. Templates directly from Microsoft Office are the most stable and are likely to be fully-compatible with the version of software you are using. You may also want to check out other PowerPoint template sites, such as TemplateWise and Brainy Betty.
Read the Terms of Usage associated with your chosen template and follow the site's instructions to download the file. Save the file in a location you will remember. Locate the file on your computer and double-click its icon to open the template.
Add titles, body content and pictures to the template to suit your needs. Click "View," then "Slide Master" to edit the universal formatting that applies to each slide. When you are finished, click "Save As..." and enter a new file name to save a copy of your edited file while keeping the original template intact.
When searching for templates, be sure to distinguish between templates, which contain pre-made formatting for titles and content, and backgrounds, which only provide an image on which to build content.
Choose the most compatible templates with your operating system.
Always check the validity and trustworthiness of a third-party website before downloading files. Files from untrustworthy sites may contain viruses or malicious programs.