As usual, you generalise and there may be legitimate reasons for some presentations to have some level of corporate branding involved. The level of branding will vary on the circumstance.
For most internal use, a standard (well-chosen) background and a set general layout (typeface, colours, sizes, styling) can help to differentiate a professional presentation from some crud an amateur has thrown together. When the ppt is part of a suite of ppts then overall consistency again reinforces that professionalism - something like a conference where everybody is preparing their own content it can be beneficial to use a common theme and it can even help to prevent crazy people making painful colour or font choices (or using every transition and noise in the arsenal)
What we don't need is large, intrusive graphics on every single page. By all means have a RAFAC logo as page 1 with the title if you really must but that should be enough to establish the "branding". Anything mess steals space I can use for proper content.
A small (I mean small) logo on each page may be appropriate if you are presenting to the public, but internally it is wasted screen space.
Having said that, some of my presentations are totally black except for select images or text - it is all down to what you want to do and if the intention is to focus on the speaker until the photo I am talking about is called up. Sometimes the most useful tool in powerpoint is the "B" key.
So, if you are being Dave Gorman for a day, design your own ppts from the ground up. If you are preparing common slides for use as part of a set of lessons and to be used by various people then a light corporate theme is justified, but have a consistent, clean, friendly layout that suits the audience.
Oooooh, now you have me on the topic of centrally prepared powerpoints and so much of the stuff we get in the syllabus is barely fit for purpose (that purpose of being downloaded and used to teach a subject). Thread split?
- A bit of corporate branding is fine, but remember we know who we are.
- A common theme is useful, across the whole syllabus, a set of subjects or at least within the slides in one subject!!!
- Provide 4:3 and 16:9 versions,
- Each slide should include more detailed notes built into the ppt so that the minimal info presented has a more detailed explanation at hand.
- Design the slides with relevant transitions (fast fades or simple appearances unless there is a very good reason to use something else) and test them. Some sort of visual cue to guide the instructor through the transitions is beneficial
- Every lesson and presentation needs to come with an extremely detailed teaching plan and background information so that the instructor can fully understand the subject taught before trying to pass that on to the students.
- Get the slides checked for accuracy (typos, inconsistencies, factual errors).
- Keep thinks targetted at the correct level - don't skim over one part whilst examining the minutia of a specific nozzle unless that is actually needed
- Keep the content current and relevant. I don't care which engine the Andover used to use!
- While each instructor should be able to tailor their slides, minimise the work they need to do by at least providing something that isn't better off being scrapped and started afresh.