How to Organize a Good PowerPoint Presentation

Some presentations have 60, 70, or even 100 slides. How can they be kept organized?

I use a two-step method to organize PowerPoint slides. The first part involves using master slides and the second part uses the sorter.

1. Master templates

Like Word has styles, PowerPoint has master slides. You can apply a master slide template to a slide, and later on you can change formatting and slide design and by just changing the master slide.

For organization purposes, I create masters called “Title Level 1,” “Title Level 2,” and “Title Level 3,” along with a couple of Content templates. Each of the Title Level slide masters have a bright, colorful, large object on the master slide denoting that level’s heading. So, Title Level 1 might have a giant bright blue box on the left hand side with a large font 1 in it. Title Level 2 might have a bright orange box with a large font 2 in it. The point is to make something that is large and easy to recognize when you’re looking at a thumbnail of the page.

Here’s an example outline and which slide templates apply.

I. Plants-Level 1

IA. Fruits-Level 2



IB. Vegetables-Level 2



II. Animals-Level 1

IIA. With Spines-Level 2



IIB. Without Spines-Level 2



To Apply A Template

On the left side of the screen, click on the Slides tab. Scroll through the list and click on the slide whose template you will change. Right click and scroll over Layout. Select the template.

2. The Sorter

Once all of the slides have a template applied, I go into the slide sorter and organize my slides. Go to the “View” tab and select “Slide Sorter.” The reason for having the large fonts and bright colored objects readily becomes apparent. You can tell your level heading 1 slides easily apart from level 2 slides and content page. The bigger and more recognizable the slide masters are, the easier it is to sort the slides. Click on the Zoom icon in the view tab and set the zoom level so that all your slides fit on one screen.

Re-arrange the slides until they are in the proper order.

3. The Final Step

When you’re done writing your presentation and your slides are organized it’s time to remove the obnoxious colored boxes and level numbers. Go into the View tab and select “Slide Master.” Edit each of the master slides until they resemble your desired final product.

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