Colors are not only a matter of personal taste. They convey feelings, influence people’s mood, and even carry specific meanings. That is why you should leave nothing to chance when choosing the colors of your PowerPoint presentation. However, you don’t need to be an expert in graphic design or color psychology to select accurately the shades of your backgrounds and fonts. In this article, you will find a series of tips to help you pick the right color scheme. Get ready to come through your presentation with flying colors!

1. Choose the right color to convey the right feeling

Psychologists have taught us that colors can influence people’s perceptions and even trigger emotions. That is the reason why they have become such important elements in branding and marketing. The same goes for your visual aids: your audience will not have the same emotional response if you use a bright red background or a light blue one. Once you have identified the feelings at the core of your message, you will be able to choose the colors that can transmit them. Let’s have a look at the most common colors and discover the feelings and connotations they communicate.

RED – A powerful color to use with moderation

In the Western world, red is associated with love, passion, strength, and energy. It is a great color to put emphasis on a specific feature but can be tiring throughout a whole presentation since it raises the heart and respiration rates. Remember red is also the color of anger and danger. In conclusion, use red with care, only if you have a specific goal, for example, if your topic is food and you want to increase your audience’s appetite!

Red Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
An example of a modern template with red side shapes for your business presentation
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BLUE – The safe choice

More than one-third of people consider blue their favorite color, so grab this opportunity!  The most popular color has a calming effect and suggests peace, sincerity, confidence, and security. It is therefore a great option as a background, especially used in the finance, business, computing, communication, and healthcare areas.

Blue Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
A soothing theme featuring a geometric background with blue triangle shapes
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GREEN – A color with harmonizing effect, perfect for nature-related presentations

The third and last of the primary colors can have a positive impact on your public since it represents life, nature, and peace. Moreover, it conveys feelings of balance and growth. Green is also believed to increase interaction, so if you want to set a mood that leads to dialogue, go green!

Green Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
A framed presentation background with green rounded-corner shapes
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YELLOW – Feed your presentation with positive vibes

Let there be light! If you want to be sure to capture everybody’s attention, yellow is the stimulating color you need. It inspires happiness, optimism, and creativity. Nevertheless, try to use a soft shade of yellow in your background, since a bright yellow can be perceived as unsettling.

Yellow Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
A modern and dynamic theme using a beautiful combination of yellow and dark blue
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ORANGE – Show your creative side

Why not try the color of innovation and creativity? If you want to convince your audience to try something new, orange will do the trick: it is the hue of extroversion and confidence.

Orange Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
Different hues of orange strengthen the 3D effect of this presentation theme
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PURPLE – Great for luxury topics

Even though purple is an intense color that can surprise your audience, the right shade of purple can transmit creativity, wisdom or even mystery. This color can also give a sense wealth and luxury. It is a good choice if you want your background to be original.

Purple Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
A fresh presentation template with purple, pink, and light green
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BROWN – A warm and earthy color

This color is generally associated with the Earth and more specifically wood. A light brown color with a discreet wood texture could be a great option if your presentation includes environmental elements. Besides, it suggests the idea of durability.

Brown Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
Subtle combination of brown with yellow and gray for a contrasting effect
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GRAY – A formal yet modern color option

Forget about the negative connotations of gray! It might be considered as a conservative color, but it is definitely a popular one. It offers a softer alternative to the white backgrounds.

Gray Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
An example of a well-balanced presentation theme using various shades of gray
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BLACK – A powerful color to be used sparingly

It is well-known that black never goes out of fashion. Even though it is not the most popular color for backgrounds, it can be used to suggest elegance, luxury, and seriousness. It may not be ideal for a whole presentation, but black slides can easily be used to indicate a transition or make a powerful statement.

Black Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
A powerful and strong presentation theme, perfect for topics like sport
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WHITE – The simple color option, when your message is King (as it always should)

The classic white background works ideally to evoke purity or simplicity. However, some people deem it as unoriginal. It is also tiring for the eyes when projected on a screen, therefore a light grey background is often considered a better option. Nonetheless, it helps get your message across clearly and simply.

White Template for your PowerPoint Presentation
Keep your presentation clean and light with a white background
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2. Combine your colors attractively to please the eye

Some colors simply don’t match! Be careful when you associate the font color and the background one! For instance, blue and green are red’s worst friends. Two colors too close together on the spectrum, such as black and brown or red and orange, will make your presentation unattractive and hard to read. On the other hand, the right combination could convey the perfect message: dark blue and golden symbolize refinement while dark blue and white refer to the ocean and suggest tranquility.

You can obviously choose a basic color scheme: one hue for your background and another for your font. You can nonetheless try more complex combinations with 3 or more colors. In this case, check that the palette you use is pleasant to the eye and that it evokes the emotions you want to transmit.

A great example of color matching can be the 2021 Pantone colors the year: Illuminating yellow and Ultimate gray. The first is bright and vivid, the second firm and reliable; together, they represent strength and optimism.

3. Improve your readability with the right contrast

Establishing the right contrast between your background shade and your font color is essential. The basic rule is a light font over a dark background or a dark font over a light background. A high contrast means an optimal readability, and thus a high level of impact on your audience. To avoid having the same level of saturation in both colors, try to choose different hues and tones. For example, the pastel shade of a color will create a better visual impression when combined with the pure hue of another color.

One last piece of advice: if possible, always try to visualize your presentation on the screen where it will be projected, in order to check the final visual impression. Now you have another string to your bow: you are ready to consciously choose the right colors for your PowerPoint presentation!

We hope you like these tips. Your feedback is very important to us. Tell us what is (are) the color(s) you love to use in your presentations.