Use color to make your presentations pop
To make your message stand out, focus on high contrast, use color to highlight what you want to say, and minimize the background for clarity. For example, in my proposal presentation, I chose a clean, white background, with black font. Because my committee wanted to see that I had changed a few things, based on their suggestions, I used red to illustrate where I had made changes:
Although it does not show in the picture above, as I was doing my presentation, the bullets appeared in a subtle animation as I spoke about them, thus bringing my audience’s attention to the actual concepts that I wanted to talk about.
Now, the green you see, represents a “leaf” theme that I used throughout my presentation, which goes with this slide, below, to explain my use of constructivist grounded theory:
As you can see, I use color and visual graphics to convey my argument.
When you are considering the construction of your presentation, some pointers to keep in mind:
- Choose a color scheme that is consistent throughout your slides. As you can see in my example, my color theme makes my story uniform from slide to slide. I use contrast and white space to make the message simple and clear.
- Avoid elaborate backgrounds, excessive words, or unnecessary animations, sounds, or graphics. Every slide should have a focus on the message you want it to convey. Use graphics to focus on that message.
- Keep in mind that you may have color blind people in your audience. Things like red, green, and blue may be difficult to see, especially if they are the same shade (and may look grey to someone).
I’m not a fan of the black background in presentations. This is probably biased on my part, but to me, black is rather dark and ominous. Plus, for some people, colors are more difficult to see against the dark.
Don’t be afraid to experiment. The advantage to using a presentation program (I will talk about a few of them in tomorrow’s post) is that you can switch colors and themes rather easily to take advantage of the effect you want.