Colour matters! The guide to which colours you should use in a presentation and why it’s important

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Sometimes the applications of certain colour combinations work well during PowerPoint presentations and can draw attention to important content aspects. Then there are colour combinations which make your presentation difficult to process.

Colour correct your presentation now-

  1. Identify the categories. Know that there are 2 categories of colour that exist; warm and cool tones

– Warm tones i.e. red, orange, pink etc. are designed to pop out and attract attention, especially bright red.

– Cool tones i.e. green, blue, purple etc. recede in the background and do not draw as much attention, especially darker shades..

  1. White and light colours are bright and eye-catching. Black and other dark colours are less noticeable.

– However even dark colours like black can stand out on a stark white background.

  1. Unless there is a particularly good reason for using brightly coloured texts … don’t. Stick with white or light beige on a dark background or black (or otherwise very dark colour) on a light background. Your slides will have a more professional appearance as a result.
  2. When adding colour to slides, take into consideration the colour groups, the contrast, the usage of complementary colours etc.
  3. Never combine colours from the separate categories. For instance, red text over a blue background. The audience will have trouble distinguishing interactions between the colour wavelengths, resulting in discomfort. Mixing bright blues and reds is a terrible practice to inflict upon audiences, and unfortunately it happens all too often. The same goes with mixing reds and greens.
  4. There is also the issue of colour blindness, which affects approximately 7 percent of men and 1 percent of women. Inability to notice the difference between red and green colours is the most common form of colour blindness.  Some viewers may not be able to read the text which comprises of red and green colour.
  5. Using red text is almost never a good idea. That particular colour, of all colours, tends to washout when projected on a screen and if any kind of unwanted ambient light also hits the screen—perhaps from sunlight streaking through a window or glare from a poorly aimed stage light.
  6. Stay away from gradients in text unless the words are large and intended to be primarily decorative in nature.
  7. When using gradients, simplicity is your friend. Limit the number of colours, and, whenever possible, try using combinations that are readily found in nature for maximum appeal.