Does it just seem easier to use one of the standard templates available with the program?
Don’t do it. Chances are, your customers have already seen that template gobs of times before. If you don’t feel all that creative, at least change the color of the background or add a subtle gradient.
I’ve attended too many presentations but competent professionals and been distracted by boring, overworked PowerPoint presentations. Sometimes the poor presenter ventured off the template path and used colors that clashed horribly. Red text on black or blue backgrounds is extremely difficult to read. Please don’t do that to your audience.
If you are sure about the color choices, have a trusted colleague for feedback (preferably not a subordinate who may feel threatened to give you honest input).
Find some presentations that you like and use the appealing elements in your design. Add your logo and branded colors. Avoid tried and worn clip art. Incorporate photos of your products, employees or other identifying images.
What do you do to make your presentations sizzle?