Icons are a versatile tool for visual presentations, replacing boring bullets and playing an integral role in storytelling. Custom presentation icons are crucial to building a strong brand identity across presentations. But, if you don’t have access to a library of brand icons, they can seem out of reach. Here's how PowerPoint could be your secret weapon.
When creating presentations in PowerPoint it’s important to have a template to ensure design consistency, but it takes time, effort and skill to create high quality templates and masters. Of course, there are lots of places you can get free PowerPoint templates, but are they any good? Well, we’ve done the legwork for you and have collected a few of the best free PowerPoint templates online.
Before we get started, a word of warning: Even nice-looking templates can be ineffective if the layouts are just bullet points on bullet points. Whichever PowerPoint template you chose, you should still try to create visual, engaging slides. Treating these free PowerPoint templates as building blocks, rather than finished masterpieces will help you create something more customised to your needs. Check out this blog post to find out more about visual slide design.
Slidesgo has lots of templates that can be used either in PowerPoint or Google Slides. They are organised under the categories: Popular, Business, Medical, Education, Marketing, and General.
There are oodles of different styles on offer but pay particular attention to the illustrated ones as these kinds of designs can be hard to create from scratch, especially if you don’t have much artistic talent!
The Slidesgo templates are easily editable: you can move elements around and duplicate or delete them. This means you can use as many or as few of the provided graphics as you want. You can also change the theme colours, so they fit into your brand. If you’re not sure how to change your theme colours, don’t worry: we’ve got a guide for that!
Top tip: If you think that an element of the template is not editable, it’s always worth checking the Slide Master before giving up hope. Go to the View tab in the PowerPoint ribbon, then click Slide Master. Here you can find all the slide layouts, without content, and you may be able to edit the objects in the background of the slide.
Slidesgo also has some lovely photography-heavy free PowerPoint templates. However, you can’t always swap out the default images for your own, which is likely to be an issue. An effective presentation uses photography intentionally to tell a story, not just to make slides look pretty. It might be best to use these templates for inspiration; see how they are constructed and then build your own version with your own images.
Along with a bunch of different slide layouts, one of the best things about Slidesgo’s free PowerPoint templates is that they all include 16 slides of assets. These slides provide you with lots of themed icons (in both a thin line style and solid style) covering nature, business, marketing, medicine and more.
There are also some useful graphic resources, including world maps and graphs, and each PowerPoint template includes a Fonts & Colours slide which tells you which fonts the deck uses (and provides links to download them), as well as the exact colours of the theme. These resources make it quicker for you to be able to start creating slides in the template style because you have all the information and assets you need.
You need to credit Slidesgo if you chose to use one of their free PowerPoint templates.
Slides Carnival offers harried presentation creators free PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Canva templates. The site is run by freelance designer Jimena Catalina who uploads a couple of new templates each month. There are plenty of free PowerPoint templates on the site already, though, so you can get started straight away.
Like Slidesgo, the templates are organised into different categories including formal, creative, simple, business, and playful. They are free for personal and commercial use – just remember to credit SlidesCarnival.
Each free PowerPoint template comes with 25 slide layouts including a title slide, quote slide, table, map, timeline and more.
You can easily duplicate or delete these slides to suit your project.
Slides Carnival templates don’t come with a huge set of icons, however if you visit the free resources section of the website, you’ll find various icon sets in different styles as well as world maps you can use in PowerPoint or Google Slides. Download these to have at your fingertips when creating your slides.
At the end of each deck is a slide telling you which fonts are used (and where you can download them) and the exact colours. Depending on the template, you may find some extra graphics here too. For example, these body graphics are at the end of a medical themed template.
Pixel Surplus sell resources for graphic designers, including cool font bundles. They also have a bunch of great free design resources on their website: these are perfect for creating a stylish PowerPoint presentation. To find the free PowerPoint templates, click on Freebies in the top menu bar and scroll down to Templates. You can get your hands on some super cool free fonts on this site too, so have a browse!
To download the free PowerPoint templates, you need to provide your email address. You’ll be subscribed to the Pixel Surplus mailing list and get a few emails a week, but unsubscribing is simple if you don’t want to be pestered.
Each template page makes it clear whether you can use the resource for personal or personal and commercial use – so make sure to check this out before you commit. Some of the free PowerPoint templates on Pixel Surplus are a limited version of a paid template – you might be getting 20 slides out of a possible 100, for example – but they still give you plenty to work with.
A word of warning – don’t pick a deck just because you like the images used: photography is likely not actually included in the template. This is what one image-based deck looked like once I’d downloaded the template:
This deck is full of image placeholders. You can insert your own images into the placeholders easily and can find free imagery online on sites like Unsplash.
Pixel Surplus’ free templates might not have the full range of icons you can see in the paid versions, as you only get a few slides. However, they often include some cool assets – like these really nice photo masks – to make up for it. We’ve pulled together some of our favourite free design resources here to help you find images, icons and more to make your presentations look beautiful.
These slides are from the Start Up template.
Pixel Surplus’ free PowerPoint templates have set colour themes, so any PowerPoint shapes or text you add will automatically be consistent with the style. The slides aren’t animated but you can add animation to these and any other PowerPoint slides in native PowerPoint. Use your favourite default animation or take your slides to the next level with BrightSlide’s Animation Library.
BrightSlide is BrightCarbon’s own PowerPoint add-in designed by our experts to boost design and productivity. The Animation Library is a library of animation sequences that you can add to any object with just one click, to give a consistent, professional, and polished feel to your content.
Showeet supplies free PowerPoint templates online alongside charts and diagrams, maps, CVs, business cards and more. They have lots of PowerPoint templates, so if you have something in particular in mind, use the search bar to narrow down your options e.g. search ‘business’, ‘health care’, ‘Lego’ (yes there is a Lego themed template!).
The decks can be downloaded in 4:3 or widescreen 1:9 aspect ratios. They include custom colour palettes and are fully editable. As with the other free PowerPoint template sites we’ve looked at, you will need to credit Showeet if you use one of their templates.
As always, it’s important to use your best judgement when picking which layouts to use. This ‘BLAK’ template has over 100 layouts. The title slides look cool once you add your own pictures:
But a few of the other layout options are very text heavy!
It’s worth checking out Showeet’s other categories, including charts and diagrams, maps, and shapes and objects. You can find some great assets to help your deck stand out from the crowd, including these brush effects:
And these product mock-ups.
All in all, some great resources!
HiSlide offer free PowerPoint, Google Slides and Keynote templates. You have to register for a free account to download any of their resources, and there are paid options if you want to use their content without giving them credit.
A word of caution: HiSlide offers both free and paid PowerPoint templates. To save yourself from heartbreak, click PowerPoint Templates then Free PowerPoint Templates to filter the options accordingly.
HiSlide differs a bit from the other free PowerPoint template websites we’ve looked at in this post because it offers lots of one-slide templates, as well. These include calendar slides, and various charts to help you organise information. Some of these you could easily create using PowerPoint shapes but there are a few fun options.
HiSlide also has standard templates that would work for a professional presentation. Like with Showeet, the images you see on their website are often not included and some of the slides are really text heavy. You can (and should!) delete all the text and add in your own visuals.
Depending on the template you chose you’ll get timelines, icon sets, graphs or charts, maps, image-based slides, tables etc. You’ll receive around 25 unique slides per template (though some are huge, like this 1500 slide deck with 76 unique slides!).
An impressive bonus is that some of the templates have both an animated and a non-animated version. It’s great that at least one free PowerPoint template website appreciates the animation capabilities of PowerPoint. These simple animations chunk out the slide content and help the presenter stagger information. The animations are super easy to edit or remove so you can make changes to fit your own purposes. Kudos to HiSlide for offering animations!
Honourable mention: Behance
Behance is an online platform allowing creative professionals to share their work and view the creative work of others. There’s a small section showcasing PowerPoint design. There are some lovely looking PowerPoint templates and a few that you can download for free. It’s worth noting that you’re usually downloading a limited section of the template; you can follow the links to find a full paid version.
You’ll likely find that the samples offer enough inspiration to get you started – some of the paid templates have up to 250 example slides which is overwhelming and unnecessary for most presentation contexts.
Behance hasn’t made it into the main list because you may be directed to sites which ask for payment (even though the slides are described as free) and because there are different designers, so the quality is inconsistent.
There you have it – some of the best free PowerPoint templates online! Hiring a PowerPoint expert is always going to be the best option as they can design a custom template to fit your content and to scale with your organisation, but if you’re looking for budget options then these sites are your friends. Treating the templates as building materials, rather than something set in stone, means you can build something customised to help tell your story effectively. If you want to learn more about templates and masters in PowerPoint join us for our next templates and masters free masterclass or take a look at our free resources.
Have a different favourite? Let us know in the comments below!Leave a comment
Olivia Kippax Jones
Senior consultantView Olivia Kippax Jones's profile
Engaging social media graphics are a key part of any digital strategy, but social media is a beast that always needs feeding! Learn which PowerPoint features will help you create eye-catching custom social media graphics.
Power-user is a PowerPoint add on that provides lots of little features every regular PowerPoint user has had day dreams about. I’m going to take you through a few of the features that I’ve found most helpful, and some that will be more helpful to those who haven’t been able to devote as much time to getting well versed in PowerPoint. Let's begin!
All of the content I've seen so far has been valuable and definitely worthwhile. The resources are awesome, and you're really crushing it with useful content.Theresa Schuck Thorp Olympic Steel