Colors are important. They are important because they are the “face” of your presentation, the first thing people see, long before they take a look at other visual elements, let alone the content.

That’s why you should pick your colours carefully. First of all, select a “lead” color. The lead color is the predominant color and runs like a golden thread through your whole presentation. It should be reflected in your header and footer and should be the primary color in your (text)boxes and visuals. The lead color should not, by any means, be a flashy, loud color like pink or bright yellow. Most of you probably think that this goes without saying, but I guarantee you, it doesn’t (unfortunately). So pick a muted, calm, serious lead color and build the rest of your presentation around it.

Find one or two other colors that go well with the lead color and maybe one more that makes a nice contrast and that’s it. Three to four colors, that’s all you need for a decent presentation. Personally, I prefer a dark-blue as my lead color and some kind of light-grey as a complementary color. All additional colors that I might need (and I won’t need many…) are just variations or different shades of those first two. Once you have selected a color scheme, stick to it. I cannot say it often enough: Consistency is key, and this is also – and especially – true when it comes to colors. I have seen too many bad presentations in which the colors were used just arbitrarily…white text boxes with green headings on one page, violet text boxes on the next…please don’t, it’s just bad Powerpoint style!

Please note that there is no special example for this chapter – just take a look at any other example and see how I used colors on those slides.