Is SmartArt working against you?
SmartArt has been around for awhile now. While SmartArt saves time and provides easy insertion points in conceptual layouts, it is sometimes difficult to format consistently and precisely. Ungrouping the SmartArt does help with easier formatting capabilities and precision alignments, but future editing then needs to be accomplished without the push-button SmartArt capabilities.
Formatting and layout issues aside, SmartArt is too recognizable in presentations. SmartArt is never found in top-tier presentations – NEVER. Because it has become so recognizable, presentations that contain SmartArt appear "canned" – something to be avoided at all costs. Fresh, unique, and consistently styled graphics create a tone of quality and underscore a well-crafted message.
Bottom line, try to steer clear of it when producing presentations.