Don’t Use Your Logo on Every Slide

Today, I was reviewing a colleague’s PowerPoint presentation. The first thing I noticed was his company’s logo was on every single slide. After a few slides, I found myself getting annoyed.

thomas nelson logo with a do not symbol overlayed on top

I know it is standard practice to put a logo on every page, especially in the corporate world. However, I would suggest that you avoid this practice. Here’s why:

  1. People know who you are. They are not going to forget the company you represent—especially if you have something meaningful to say. They don’t need to be reminded on every slide. This is especially true for internal presentations.
  2. People resist repetitive advertising. With a logo on every slide, your presentation feels like an infomercial for your brand. This builds in a subtle resistance to your presentation and, ultimately, to you. Is this the outcome you want?
  3. Logos take up valuable real estate. Everything that is not directly related to the one point you are trying to make on your slide competes for the audience’s attention. According to French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, “A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Instead of placing your logo on every page, you should use “bumper slides” with your logo on the first and last slide only. Other than that, it should almost never appear.

Case in point? Steve Jobs. He is arguably one of the best presenters on the planet. He does not put the Apple logo on every slide. Instead, he uses bumper slides. He is a true minimalist. As a result, he maximizes the impact of every slide.

Question: What else annoys you in presentations?
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  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com/ Michael S. Hyatt

    @Scoti: Fantastic suggestions. The only thing I would add is ditch PowerPoint altogether and use Apple Keynote. The right tool won’t make a bad speech good, but I have found it easier to use with more impactful results.

  • http://www.michaelhyatt.com Michael S. Hyatt

    @Scoti: Fantastic suggestions. The only thing I would add is ditch PowerPoint altogether and use Apple Keynote. The right tool won’t make a bad speech good, but I have found it easier to use with more impactful results.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/abftddave/ Dave Anthold

    Here are a few things that bother me or hamper my assimilation with getting the “message”:

    - Too much content on the slide

    - When the presenter reads the slide to me – I can see the slide & read it – I’m looking for the other “nuggets” that aren’t there.

    - Bad design (trying to do too much)

    - Some corporate templates

    That’s about it – others have covered some of the other main things. Good design + good content = I’m going to remember what you were presenting.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/abftddave/ Dave Anthold

    Here are a few things that bother me or hamper my assimilation with getting the "message":

    - Too much content on the slide

    - When the presenter reads the slide to me – I can see the slide & read it – I'm looking for the other "nuggets" that aren't there.

    - Bad design (trying to do too much)

    - Some corporate templates

    That's about it – others have covered some of the other main things. Good design + good content = I'm going to remember what you were presenting.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/abftddave/ Dave Anthold

    Here are a few things that bother me or hamper my assimilation with getting the “message”:

    - Too much content on the slide

    - When the presenter reads the slide to me – I can see the slide & read it – I’m looking for the other “nuggets” that aren’t there.

    - Bad design (trying to do too much)

    - Some corporate templates

    That’s about it – others have covered some of the other main things. Good design + good content = I’m going to remember what you were presenting.

  • Jenifer Olson

    This feels like an in-house kind of question, but I can’t resist putting in my two cents. If I were excited, energized and engaged by the content of a presentation, I probably wouldn’t even notice the logo, except perhaps subliminally. Put another way, if “the emperor” (the presentation) “has no clothes” (compelling content), the wagon he rides around in (the template) may be more conspicuous than it should be.

  • Jenifer Olson

    This feels like an in-house kind of question, but I can’t resist putting in my two cents. If I were excited, energized and engaged by the content of a presentation, I probably wouldn’t even notice the logo, except perhaps subliminally. Put another way, if “the emperor” (the presentation) “has no clothes” (compelling content), the wagon he rides around in (the template) may be more conspicuous than it should be.

  • Jenifer Olson

    This feels like an in-house kind of question, but I can’t resist putting in my two cents. If I were excited, energized and engaged by the content of a presentation, I probably wouldn’t even notice the logo, except perhaps subliminally. Put another way, if “the emperor” (the presentation) “has no clothes” (compelling content), the wagon he rides around in (the template) may be more conspicuous than it should be.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    I got my degree from the University of Phoenix, where there is a heavy emphasis on giving presentations as a team. As a result, I got to be a pretty decent presenter and gained a serious annoyance for amateurs.

    Shortly after finishing my degree, the company I worked for at the time brought in an HR representative to give us a presentation on some new benefit or policy change. All I remember from that presentation is that she broke every possible rule of presenting and giving a presentation. Her slides were black text on a dark blue background. Each slide could have been an independent Word document in itself. She read word for word, but hadn’t even taken the time to familiarize herself with the material so her reading was stilted and horrible.

    Even if your slides are terrible, at least practice the presentation. I’m no artist when it comes to making slides, but one rule I always follow is to practice my presentations. If I have time, I’ll record myself and listen back to take notes on how I sounded, how I can better emphasize words, etc.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com Eric S. Mueller

    I got my degree from the University of Phoenix, where there is a heavy emphasis on giving presentations as a team. As a result, I got to be a pretty decent presenter and gained a serious annoyance for amateurs.

    Shortly after finishing my degree, the company I worked for at the time brought in an HR representative to give us a presentation on some new benefit or policy change. All I remember from that presentation is that she broke every possible rule of presenting and giving a presentation. Her slides were black text on a dark blue background. Each slide could have been an independent Word document in itself. She read word for word, but hadn’t even taken the time to familiarize herself with the material so her reading was stilted and horrible.

    Even if your slides are terrible, at least practice the presentation. I’m no artist when it comes to making slides, but one rule I always follow is to practice my presentations. If I have time, I’ll record myself and listen back to take notes on how I sounded, how I can better emphasize words, etc.

  • http://emuelle1.typepad.com/ Eric S. Mueller

    I got my degree from the University of Phoenix, where there is a heavy emphasis on giving presentations as a team. As a result, I got to be a pretty decent presenter and gained a serious annoyance for amateurs.

    Shortly after finishing my degree, the company I worked for at the time brought in an HR representative to give us a presentation on some new benefit or policy change. All I remember from that presentation is that she broke every possible rule of presenting and giving a presentation. Her slides were black text on a dark blue background. Each slide could have been an independent Word document in itself. She read word for word, but hadn't even taken the time to familiarize herself with the material so her reading was stilted and horrible.

    Even if your slides are terrible, at least practice the presentation. I'm no artist when it comes to making slides, but one rule I always follow is to practice my presentations. If I have time, I'll record myself and listen back to take notes on how I sounded, how I can better emphasize words, etc.

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com/ John Gallagher

    Specifically, annoyed by the animation:
    1) Mutliple ways to bring your information in
    2) Too many words on your slides.

    I will read slide:ology. I am always looking to improve the presentation skills.

    I like photos, but I prefer them to be actual photos rather than clipart, if feasible.

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com John Gallagher

    Specifically, annoyed by the animation:
    1) Mutliple ways to bring your information in
    2) Too many words on your slides.

    I will read slide:ology. I am always looking to improve the presentation skills.

    I like photos, but I prefer them to be actual photos rather than clipart, if feasible.

  • http://www.john-gallagher.blogspot.com/ John Gallagher

    Specifically, annoyed by the animation:
    1) Mutliple ways to bring your information in
    2) Too many words on your slides.

    I will read slide:ology. I am always looking to improve the presentation skills.

    I like photos, but I prefer them to be actual photos rather than clipart, if feasible.

  • Susan E

    I don’t appreciate seeing the presenter’s desktop on the screen before beginning the presentation. I don’t need to watch you navigate your mouse or see what silly shortcuts are on your screen.

    Great post, Mike. I created several hundred PP shows for lawyers at my old job; they insisted putting page after page of testimony on each slide.

    Of course, these were the same people who told me my own presentation was “too entertaining.” Because, you see, if it’s interesting “they won’t think it’s important.” I rest my case.

  • Susan E

    I don’t appreciate seeing the presenter’s desktop on the screen before beginning the presentation. I don’t need to watch you navigate your mouse or see what silly shortcuts are on your screen.

    Great post, Mike. I created several hundred PP shows for lawyers at my old job; they insisted putting page after page of testimony on each slide.

    Of course, these were the same people who told me my own presentation was “too entertaining.” Because, you see, if it’s interesting “they won’t think it’s important.” I rest my case.

  • Susan E

    I don't appreciate seeing the presenter's desktop on the screen before beginning the presentation. I don't need to watch you navigate your mouse or see what silly shortcuts are on your screen.

    Great post, Mike. I created several hundred PP shows for lawyers at my old job; they insisted putting page after page of testimony on each slide.

    Of course, these were the same people who told me my own presentation was "too entertaining." Because, you see, if it's interesting "they won't think it's important." I rest my case.

    • Qqq

       stfu

  • Bryan Catherman

    Steve Jobs might not put his logo on every slide, but Apple doesn’t forget to put that little white Apple on everything else!

  • Bryan Catherman

    Steve Jobs might not put his logo on every slide, but Apple doesn’t forget to put that little white Apple on everything else!

  • Bryan Catherman

    Steve Jobs might not put his logo on every slide, but Apple doesn't forget to put that little white Apple on everything else!

  • http://www.maniactive.com/states/2006/05/corporate-powerpoint-template.html Laura Bergells

    Now, if only TV stations would stop putting their logos in the lower right corner of the screen.

  • http://www.maniactive.com/states/2006/05/corporate-powerpoint-template.html Laura Bergells

    Now, if only TV stations would stop putting their logos in the lower right corner of the screen.

  • http://www.maniactive.com/states/2006/05/corporate-powerpoint-template.html Laura Bergells

    Now, if only TV stations would stop putting their logos in the lower right corner of the screen.

  • http://www.tommartin.typepad.com/ tom martin

    Couldn’t agree more. Always been fascinated by this practice. You never see people put their logo on every page of a sales kit or brochure, yet they do so on their powerpoint.

    But then, that is the problem with PowerPoints. In essence they are a digital brochure that you get to walk an audience through but while companies will spend thousands of dollars on professionally crafted sales materials they leave designing a PowerPoint up to anyone with a laptop.

    Thanks for the excellent reminder.

  • http://www.tommartin.typepad.com tom martin

    Couldn’t agree more. Always been fascinated by this practice. You never see people put their logo on every page of a sales kit or brochure, yet they do so on their powerpoint.

    But then, that is the problem with PowerPoints. In essence they are a digital brochure that you get to walk an audience through but while companies will spend thousands of dollars on professionally crafted sales materials they leave designing a PowerPoint up to anyone with a laptop.

    Thanks for the excellent reminder.

  • http://www.tommartin.typepad.com/ tom martin

    Couldn't agree more. Always been fascinated by this practice. You never see people put their logo on every page of a sales kit or brochure, yet they do so on their powerpoint.

    But then, that is the problem with PowerPoints. In essence they are a digital brochure that you get to walk an audience through but while companies will spend thousands of dollars on professionally crafted sales materials they leave designing a PowerPoint up to anyone with a laptop.

    Thanks for the excellent reminder.

  • Amanda Howard

    What surprises me the most is the amount of business professionals that still fail to understand the first law of PowerPoint: never, ever put your entire presentation on every slide. Bullet points exist for a reason, and that is to summarize, not to give a thorough explanation. They are visual cues for both the audience and the presenter. Yet some professionals continue to treat PowerPoint as their own personal narrative on their topic of choice. Nothing is more disappointing than paying hundreds of dollars for a conference and finding that the presenter just reads from a predescribed PowerPoint.

  • Amanda Howard

    What surprises me the most is the amount of business professionals that still fail to understand the first law of PowerPoint: never, ever put your entire presentation on every slide. Bullet points exist for a reason, and that is to summarize, not to give a thorough explanation. They are visual cues for both the audience and the presenter. Yet some professionals continue to treat PowerPoint as their own personal narrative on their topic of choice. Nothing is more disappointing than paying hundreds of dollars for a conference and finding that the presenter just reads from a predescribed PowerPoint.

  • Amanda Howard

    What surprises me the most is the amount of business professionals that still fail to understand the first law of PowerPoint: never, ever put your entire presentation on every slide. Bullet points exist for a reason, and that is to summarize, not to give a thorough explanation. They are visual cues for both the audience and the presenter. Yet some professionals continue to treat PowerPoint as their own personal narrative on their topic of choice. Nothing is more disappointing than paying hundreds of dollars for a conference and finding that the presenter just reads from a predescribed PowerPoint.

  • http://www.allaboutpresentations.com/ AAP

    Hi

    I would like consultancy companies to make a note of this point. Many consultancies have a template which forces the presenter to put client and company logo on each slide. They should as you rightly said 'free some real estate' and let the audience breathe.

  • http://www.allaboutpresentations.com AAP

    Hi

    I would like consultancy companies to make a note of this point. Many consultancies have a template which forces the presenter to put client and company logo on each slide. They should as you rightly said 'free some real estate' and let the audience breathe.

  • http://www.allaboutpresentations.com/ AAP

    Hi

    I would like consultancy companies to make a note of this point. Many consultancies have a template which forces the presenter to put client and company logo on each slide. They should as you rightly said 'free some real estate' and let the audience breathe.

  • Angie Sallese

    Too many presenters have never taken a course on presentation skills, so they talk to the screen, read the slides directly, jiggle their change, etc. Sometimes their content is fine–it's knowing what to do with it that irks me. I'm in the sciences, so oftentimes slides show data in a visual form. The data can speak for itself if you let it. Show the data, but explain how you derived it, what it means, and what you'll do with it.

  • Angie Sallese

    Too many presenters have never taken a course on presentation skills, so they talk to the screen, read the slides directly, jiggle their change, etc. Sometimes their content is fine–it's knowing what to do with it that irks me. I'm in the sciences, so oftentimes slides show data in a visual form. The data can speak for itself if you let it. Show the data, but explain how you derived it, what it means, and what you'll do with it.

  • Angie Sallese

    Too many presenters have never taken a course on presentation skills, so they talk to the screen, read the slides directly, jiggle their change, etc. Sometimes their content is fine–it's knowing what to do with it that irks me. I'm in the sciences, so oftentimes slides show data in a visual form. The data can speak for itself if you let it. Show the data, but explain how you derived it, what it means, and what you'll do with it.

  • Rfrench

    What is a bumper slide?  How can i do this on keynote?