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Make It Pop: Utilizing Color Theory in Your Presentations

January 9, 2019 / Articles, Blog


More than making the world look stylish, colors impact the way we understand visual information all around us. We know that a green light means go, a blue sky means a pleasant day and a brown banana means it’s probably time to throw that out. Because colors can say so much at just a glance, choosing the right ones is always a crucial decision a PowerPoint specialist must make.

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When delivering a presentation, you’ll want to keep your audience engaged with captivating visuals. People are more likely to remember distinct visual stimulants than blocks of text or rambling speeches. Color theory is one of the foundations of graphic design. Knowing how to utilize colors effectively is key to making your presentations more impactful. It’s the first step to becoming a more refined presentation specialist.

Set the mood

You may not realize it every time, but colors have the power to evoke a wide range of emotions. Warm colors can have you feeling excited and optimistic while cool colors give an impression professionalism and elegance. This subliminal effect on our minds is something not all visual mediums are capable of. Whether you’re designing a PowerPoint presentation, brochures/handouts or infographics, applying colors that match the mood and tone of your content can add more depth to the story you wish to tell.

Make information pop

Most of the fun in understanding color theory comes from experimenting with different color combinations to achieve the most effective design. By playing with contrasting or complementary colors, you can easily draw your audience’s attention to any slide’s most important piece of information. This way you can ensure the information flows out naturally to the eyes of your audience.

Build structure

Apart from simply coloring your fonts and backgrounds, color theory can help develop a clear structure to your slides. Using shapes, lines or negative space, you can further take control of the flow of information by distinguishing sections your audience can easily understand. As a presenter, structuring your slides will aid your mental flow as well.

Contrast and complement

As mentioned earlier, playing with contrasts and compliments can greatly impact the flow of information in your presentations. It’s important to know which colors pair well with one another to effectively bring out the information most relevant to your audience. Developing this skill will ultimately make your presentations feel much easier on the eyes.

Keep things simple

When it comes to design, it’s best to keep it simple and balanced. Having less can mean much more. Choose a palette of three to four distinct colors and you should be all set. Maintaining that palette helps build color association for your audience the further you get through your presentation. Color coding elements like headers or data makes filtering through information quicker and easier.

The 60-30-10 rule

This rule has its roots in interior design but its basic philosophy can be applied to various other fields of design. It’s a matter of knowing how to portion your colors in a certain space: 60% for primary colors, 30% for secondary and 10% for accents. By assigning colors according to importance, it makes distinguishing sections of each slide easier for you to design.

One more thing. Any presentation expert will tell you, don’t forget to dress accordingly! Try color coordinating your outfit with the palette of your slides. This detail will add a nice touch in making your overall presentation be more memorable.

Still need some help? Colors can be tricky. There is always more than meets the eye. If you feel like you’re at an impasse in your presentation design, just give us a call. We can help you give your slides an extra bit of “oomph!”

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