Using Gantt Charts
This series is used to lay out the timing for established goals and activities. Use star, circle, triangle, other AutoShapes to signify a noteworthy event or activity. Use lines for spans of activity. It is usually better to use a wider line for this type of chart: a 4-point line usually works out well, whether projecting the presentation or printing it out. Each of the "time" segments is exactly the same size. They are actually rectangles, not lines, so that a section may be colored for an added layer of information.
Customizing the Gantts
If you want to change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.
Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Since you are going to be placing text and other important elements on top of the lines and colors of these frameworks, it's best to use subdued colors. Never sacrifice clarity for design.
3D should not be used with these frameworks.
Shadows should not be used with these frameworks.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
Gradients can be used to create a distinction between the pieces. The lines can then be eliminated. Be sure that the gradients are subtle so that your overlaying text "pops."
Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Simple reveals are best with this type of framework. Perhaps animating the text as reveals instead of the framework is a good scheme to consider.