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Build a Professional Template

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Effective Leadership Communications for HR Professionals

  • Format: Self-paced
  • Course Duration: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • SHRM Professional Development Credits: 2.50
  • HRCI General Recertification Credits: 2.50
  • Certificate of Completion (after passing quiz)

As an HR Manager, you will be asked to present to a senior leadership team many times in your career if you haven’t already. Defining a problem and identifying the appropriate call to action is difficult. The overall objective of this course is to help you develop a clear, concise communication when handling three different HR related scenarios including:

  • Employee attrition
  • Updates to an interview process
  • Employee survey scores

During this course, I’ll demonstrate how to set up a professional presentation, review the best method for telling your story and ways to prepare for your meeting. We’ll develop a succinct, straightforward set of communications to address common HR scenarios. The lessons will prepare you for that moment in front of your senior leaders; a moment to build credibility, improve your brand and bring visibility to an important HR issue.

HR Jetpack is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. This program is valid for 2.50 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit

This activity, has been approved for 2.50 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®). For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at
The use of the HRCI seal confirms that this activity has met HR Certification Institute's® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

Title: Build a Professional Template
Module: Setting The Foundation
Duration: 15:31

We’ve gone over the basics of PPT and how the program is set up. Let’s build a professional template. And we’ll use this throughout the course to develop each of our presentations. We’re going to start fresh and open up a new document. Now I want to be able to view the Notes section, so I’m going to go right down here to the bottom and I’m going to click “Notes” so that space is available. And we should be in Normal view so let’s go up to the “View” tab and just double check real- quick. So we’re in Normal view and we can see our Notes pages. Now again I’d like to ensure that all of my information that we place on the slides is neat and aligned properly so it will be very helpful for you to have your Ruler, Gridlines and Guides selected while you’re building the presentation. Your audience is not going to see this when you’re in slide mode.  But you need to be able to see this so you can ensure that your information is well formatted on the slide.

So we’re on the View tab. Let’s go into our Master views specifically the Slide Master. The Master layouts allow you to set the format for your main slides. So let’s tap into the large box right here and we are going to get rid of this text and instead we’re going to type, Professional Template. Throughout the presentation, you’re going to notice, here and there, that the default font is Calebri Light and this is something that we want to change. In the professional presentations that I’ve used, I always go to Arial. So we’re going to go Home. We’re going to go to the Font. And we are going to get rid of what’s selected there and we’re going to go down and we’re going to select Arial. And we don’t need it to be 60 so I’m going to bring this down to 54, just something a little smaller. And then I’m going to go down into the next section here and get rid of this text for our sub heading. Now I don’t always use a subtitle. Most of the time I don’t. I actually find it to be rather distracting. However, I do put in the date of the presentation. So let’s type that. Today’s Date. So then that way you always know when you’re going to pull up your professional template, you’re putting that information in there and you’re going to use whatever the date is for your presentation. So let me highlight this too and again we’re going to update our font and you’ll notice that Arial is selected as the most recently used font. So great. Let’s select that. And then let’s go over into our font size and for this, we really don’t need it to be 24. We’d like it to be a little bigger. We’ll make that 32. Now at this point, what I’d like to is add another text box underneath what you see here. So I’m to take this little square down at the bottom and you’re going to notice that my cursor turns into two arrows. So I’m going to drag this up so I’m actually reducing the size of the textbox so that way I can add another one down here. I’m going to go to Insert, select the text box and you’ll notice that your cursor turns into an upside down “T”. So let’s put that right underneath this one again keeping everything aligned, make it the same size. And then I want to go back up to paragraph and I want to center this. Now in my experience, it’s important to note that the presentation is company private. This is where I like to add “company private”. I’m going to type that in here. We want to keep the font consistent so let’s highlight it, type in Arial, and the font size can remain 18, that’s fine. As long as it’s just a little bit smaller, it doesn’t need to grab everybody’s attention right when you see it. And then we’re going to hit Italics. So it’s something it’s noticeable but it’s just not as big as everything else.

Now what I want to point your attention to is the fact that each of the textboxes in front of you has a dotted line as a border. This means that they literally are content placeholders. They’re not going to be visible to your audience when you’re in slide show mode. This is really something for you to be able to build the presentation.
Now the main type of slide that we’ll be using for our presentation, the layout, is the Title and Content layout. So let’s go to this next slide and make some changes to it so that we are consistent in our professional template.

So let’s click in this top box here and we’re going to delete the words. And we’re going to put the Caps lock on and we’re going to type “Professional Template”. Once again remember this is our placeholder. So you see that the font has defaulted so we’re going to update this to Arial and it doesn’t need to be 44. That’s a little bit big. So we’re going to make this size 30 and hit Enter.

Now we want to take this box, we want to condense it a bit. It’s taking up a lot of room for a title and we don’t need it to take up so much space. So let’s go to the Format tab and we’re going to go to the size here, right over on the right hand side. And we’re going to type in .65 and we’ll type in 12 for the width. Now we’re looking a little bit cleaner. We’re going to select the box again and we’re going to move it just up so that the bottom of the box hits that first gridline. It’s pretty close right now. You’re going to use the arrows on your keyboard just to nudge it up so see how it lies right on that gridline. And this helps to give you a lot more space underneath the heading so that you can add content. So this is our placeholder for the title of each of our presentations that we’re going to build in the course.

Now I want to insert a black line underneath my heading so it shows that there’s a separation between our heading and then eventually when we add in our subtitles. So let me go up to Insert, we’re going to go to Shape, select the line. Now notice that our cursor turns into a plus symbol. So we’re going to drop it right here, underneath our box and we’re going to try to line it up so it goes all the way across. Now we want to make sure that it is the same width. So we’re going to put in 12 but we don’t want it to have any sort of a height at this point. So we’re going to type in 0. Alright. Now we see that it is nice and even. Although it is a little difficult to see. I nudged it down just a little bit with my down arrow so it’s underneath my title. I’m going to go to Shape outline. You see that blue is selected and we are going to select black. We’re going to go back up to Shape outline. We’re going to go down to weight. And we’re going to select 2 and a quarter. So now it’s a little bit thicker. So you see that difference between what your top looks like, your heading will look like and now we’re going to add, well eventually, we’re going to add our subtitles.

Now, we want to update the default text boxes. So I want you to tap into the large box here and select all of this text. And we’re just going to delete it including the bullet. And I’ll have comments about bullets in just a little while. So we’re going to go back to Home. We’re going to get rid of this default font and we’re going to type in Arial. Or again, you can choose it from the drop down menu. Then we’re going to go into the size and we’re going to type in 20. Typically for any sort of content on the slide underneath your headings, I like to use size 18 or size 20. So now we have a couple of our template slides. Now you’re going to notice that the text box is in the center. What I like to do is have it over off to the left hand side and just nudge it up a little bit here so that it aligns with the 6 in the top ruler and the 2 on the left hand side. And then I also like to extend it just a little bit in case we need a little more room so it matches up with the same length as the heading. I’m going to go up to format and I’m just going to double check real quick that it is 12”. We want to be exact and concise when we’re building these templates.

Alright, let’s go back to View and we’ll go back to Slide Master. And we’re going to click Close Master View. Now you may be wondering what happened to the slide that we just created? I’m going to go back up to the new slide and I’m going to click Title and Content. And there it is! So we’ve got the beginnings of our professional template. Now we need to build an agenda. It’s going to become a part of our template.

It’s important for your audience to understand what major topics you’re going to be focusing on during your meeting. So now we need a subtitle box. So let’s go back up to Insert. Let’s go to Text box. See that our cursor turns into an upside down t. And we are going to place it right underneath our title. And we’re going to extend it so it’s the same width. Once again our default font here, we want to change that to Arial. And this time, we don’t want our subtitle font size to be too much smaller than the heading. So let’s type in 28. Always want to be consistent. Let’s go over to the Format tab. Let’s make sure that our width is 12” and we are. And let’s type in agenda with a capital A. Now for the agenda titles, I always use a table to keep it neat and clean.

So let’s select the Table icon in the center of our box here. We’re going to click it. And, of course, the program is going to ask you how many columns and how many rows. Well, for our purposes, we only need one column but let’s insert 5 rows and most likely in these types of staff meetings you’re probably not going to cover any more than 4 or 5 topics and, of course, they’re all going to be related to the same subject matter.

So let’s click OK. Alright and now we have our table. To keep it clean, we don’t need any fancy colors. So let’s go up to the Design tab. Let’s go to Shading and we’re going to select, No Fill. You’ll notice that the first row doesn’t have any color in it. So let’s do the same for the rest of the rows. Let’s select the entire table and you can tell that it’s selected because it has these little boxes or little dots all around the table. So let’s go back up to Shading and let’s select, No Fill. Of course now it looks like you don’t have a box. However, once we go to Borders, right underneath it and select all borders, there we go. Now you’ll notice that the table here is actually placed right where we want it. It lines up with the 6 in the top ruler and the 2 on the left hand side. So we’re good to go from that perspective, right, in terms of placement.

Now let’s keep it selected and you can always tell when it’s selected by these little boxes or little dots that appear around the table. We’re going to go over to the Home tab and we’re going to update the font to be Arial. We’re also going to change this font size to 24. So we’re going to make it a little bit bigger than we would an ordinary content slide. And then let’s just double check the font color. Let’s make sure that that’s black. Now back to our table. I want to select this middle box right here, see how it turns into that double arrow and then I want to drag it all the way down to where the 3 is on the left hand side ruler. So that expands our box. Keep it nice and even. We already have it expanded the full length so it’s the 12” in width and then let’s click into the first row.

Now you’ll notice that the default selection here is bold. And again, you can tell, because it’s highlighted. So let’s unselect that so we’re not bolding each of these topics. And again, what we’re going to do for a placeholder is type in Topic 1, Topic 2, Topic 3, Topic 4 and Topic 5. Now you’ll notice that each of these headings is left justified. So we go up to paragraph we can tell. But what I also like to do is put my topics in the middle. So let’s select and we’re going to go up to Align Text and we’re going to select Middle. Alright so now all of our topics will be arranged in the middle of each of these rows and our agenda is now ready.

Let’s add our next content slide by going up to the New Slide and selecting “Title and Content”. Now before moving on, I’d like to add page numbers in the lower right hand corner. So go up to Insert, go to Text and select this little icon right here. Looks like a numerical sign, and of course, it says right next to it, Page Number. You’re going to see this menu pop up here and you can even add the date and time if you wanted to, slide number and if you wanted to customize anything, if you wanted anything to show up in the middle in the footer, you could put that right here as well. I don’t use any of those. Again, I find it distracting. Keep it simple. So let’s add the slide number. We also don’t want the slide number to show on the title page. Everybody knows that the title page is the first page. So let’s select that as well. And we want to apply this to all the slides that we have. So now you see in the lower right hand corner, that there is a 3 appearing. And if we go back up to the title page, you’ll notice that there is no number.

Instructor: Christina A. Danforth

Christina A. Danforth, SHRM-SCP & SPHR, launched HR Jetpack in 2016 to support the development and professional growth of her fellow HR colleagues. She started her HR career in 2002. After obtaining her Master’s in Business Administration degree, Christina joined United Technologies Corporation. She moved across the United States...

Christina's Full Bio

SHRM Recertification

HR Jetpack® is an official SHRM Education Partner recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP.

HRCI Recertification

HR Jetpack® is recognized by HRCI as an approved provider to offer credit hours towards aPHR™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification.

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