Since its release in 1990, PowerPoint remains the most popular presentation tool among consultants, with more than 1 billion installations worldwide and a 95% share of the presentation software market.

For those in the industry, the fact that PowerPoint is one of the most important tools in a consultant’s arsenal, is hardly surprising. It’s the foremost way to communicate months - maybe even years - of client deliverables, in a visually clear, concise and accessible way.

At the same time, consultants know all too well the consequences of a dry, drab and technically basic slide show. At best, their ideas can come across as uninspiring and fail to get their audience’s attention. At worst, a poorly executed presentation can make the presenter look like they don’t know what they’re doing, undermining their expertise.

As a result, a consultant can often be judged as only as good as their last PowerPoint presentation, making it all the more important to stay ahead of the game when it comes to the software’s most advanced presentation features and customized solutions.

This is why add-ins are crucial for consultants looking to get ahead of the competition and keep on top of their PowerPoint game to produce the sleekest, most engaging presentations possible. Here’s the breakdown of why they’re indispensable.

The evolution of PowerPoint has slowed

Despite new versions of Microsoft’s Office suite - released around every three years - PowerPoint’s evolution itself has stagnated. A lack of new features and tools mean the program isn’t developing fast enough to keep consultants on the cutting edge of presentation solutions.

Consequently, a market has opened up for third-party developers to identify the needs of consultants and create add-in solutions that can keep PowerPoint up to date with fast-paced, tech-driven business environments.

These add-ins, designed to provide advanced features and customization, are a way for consultants to impress clients with something new - the presentational equivalent of demonstrating that their finger is on the pulse.

PowerPoint add-ins eliminate errors

Unexpected mistakes are the last thing any consultant needs in the midst of a high pressure presentation. Even when it’s the smallest mistake (the ones that are often the hardest to spot) these come across as unprofessional and add to a negative impression of the whole presentation.

Add-ins like SlideProof offer advanced checking tools that detect and fix inconspicuous errors. For example, SlideProof will check an entire deck against 40 rules including double spaces, hyphenation, missing footnotes, mixed fonts, color schemes, alignment, margins, bullet types and page numbers - as well as allowing for consultants to customize the checking rules to their own specific needs. By grouping together errors throughout the deck and fixing them simultaneously, large numbers of revisions can be made in an instant.

As one consultant who uses SlideProof puts it, “It has saved our consulting teams several hours, which frees us up to focus more on the content of our slides.”

Get more info about SlideProof

PowerPoint add-ins ensure your decks are visually cohesive

One of the keys to an impressive, professional-looking deck is consistency in brand assets such as color, font and text placement - especially if you’re using PowerPoint to deliver a presentation that has to adhere to a client’s branding. Misusing or deviating from the brand world you’re showcasing can be a serious corporate mistake.

PowerPoint add-ins currently on the market can not only check decks for uniformity of color schemes and fonts, but there are also a number of visual-centric add-ins that consultants can use to ensure a slick, visually cohesive deck.

One example of the visual-led PowerPoint add-ins group is Pexels, which plugs into a huge online library of stock images for commercial and personal use so that you can browse their selection without ever leaving PowerPoint. Sometimes a well-placed stock image is just what you need to inject some life into your presentation.

Cutting the learning curve

Although add-ins are a great way for proficient PowerPoint users to take their presentations to an even more advanced level, at the other end of the scale add-ins can reduce the learning curve for less experienced users by taking over the legwork needed to put together a slideshow.

The best add-ins trade in on how intuitive they are, so that beginners can get just as much out of their features as seasoned PowerPoint aficionados, allowing users of every stripe to reduce their manual labor and produce impressive results quickly and efficiently.

Some add-ins can even turn PowerPoint into a tool that allows you to manage your own time and projects. Office Timeline, for example, is an excellent tool that transforms PowerPoint into a factory for interactive project timelines and Gantt charts that will benefit you just as much as it will benefit your clients.

Rapid slide customization

Integrated with PowerPoint, an add-in like Templafy provides a comprehensive asset library of slides and on-brand content that allows consultants to quickly include slides, images, text elements, logos and many more components in their presentations - without having to worry about jeopardizing brand compliance.

Templafy customizes PowerPoint templates to individuals’ needs, so that a starting point of a standard company template can be given a personal touch that adjusts your PowerPoint presentation to the right aesthetic for any given employee, department or scenario.

Consultants can have access to a bank of templates relevant to any number of branding guidelines, allowing them to easily create presentations that are up-to-date with clients’ highest standards at any time. Through its cloud-hosted, centralized dashboard, Templafy offers simple and powerful search tool for finding the content that you need when you need, and lets you insert it into your presentation with a single click - without ever deviating from the established guidelines.

To find out more about how Templafy can help your company produce industry-leading, on-brand documents and increase productivity and brand compliance, why not schedule a meeting with a member of our team?