Get (Spookily) Creative with Your Department Meeting Presentation (PowerPoint 2013)

Let’s face it, meetings are (usually) boring. You either play with your phone, yawn excessively or count imaginary sheep right above your head. I guess the biggest challenge in every meeting is how to engage the audience with your content. So, when I received our department meeting invite that was coincidentally scheduled on Halloween’s Day, I got super excited and pitched the idea of using a Halloween theme presentation to my department head…and she agreed!

In this haunting post, I’ll share with you a few tips on how I worked on creating a Halloween theme with the use of disturbing interesting graphics and animation to create a more engaging presentation (in hopes that it will spook them enough to get their full attention and keep them awake).

Tip #1 – Look for free templates with Halloween theme

I’ve always tried to use shortcuts when it comes to creating presentations, mainly because 1) I have limited time, and 2) I have very limited time. When Google-ing, use keywords like “free Halloween templates” or “free Halloween style PowerPoint”. Some of these freebies even have animated ghouls or spideys that you can use. Definitely saves you a lot of time from creating your own!


Tip #2 – Look for more spooky ideas

Downloadable freebies are usually limited. To get more ideas, look at samples of paid presentation templates. I certainly can’t use my department’s budget to download these paid stuff, so I just look at their previews and get screenshots of the ones I think I will base my idea on (normally, paid slides have previews you can browse through).


Tip #3 – Sketch your scary ideas

After intensively going through lots of samples for inspiration, it’s time to get sketchy! Ah please, you don’t have to be a Picasso to draw a masterpiece. Roughly plan out what sort of monsters or bloodied eyeballs you want to use for a particular topic or section. Then transform your sketch into an actual masterpiece. For example, in all the agenda slides, I wanted to use something bloody and with pumpkin, so it looks like this:


Tip #4 – Heeeeeere’s Freddy! Use images that are frightening (or frighteningly cute)

Once you are pretty much firm with your ideas, look for creepy images that you want to use for the header, content and even background. Be careful though, not to use images that may offend certain cultures/religions. For background images, look for high resolution ones. The best way to do this is to use Google’s search Tools where you can filter your search result by specifying the image size.


Tip #5 – Pump up the Scare-O-Meter for topics that are super boring

There is always that darn one slide (or two) where the audience’s interest is at the lowest. For example, application architecture diagram…the only ghost person who could truly understand it, is probably the person who architects it. So, to amp up the chilly experience, throw in some scary (and funny) surprises. Like, bouncing pumpkins in and out! And when they least expect it, cast a witch on a broomstick, flying from one end corner of the slide to the other!


Tip #6 – Stay true to the company’s guideline on templates

Do not omit mandatory stuff like the company’s logo, slide numbering and footer section. These are normally the must-haves in any presentation.


The feedback at the end of the meeting? Well, let’s just say… I WAS ON CLOUD 9!!! Hope these eerie ideas will inspire you to do something as interesting as this in your next department meeting!

PS: Please do not play with your phone when you’re in a meeting. It’s just plain rude and disrespectful to the presenter.

PPS: Yes, again I’ve shamelessly used all the company logos in this post.

PPPS: I had nightmare after creating the deck. I was a vampire with sharp, decayed fangs…


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