How to Choose the Right Colours For Your Next Presentation

How to Choose the Right Colours for your Next Presentation

The colour theme of your presentation plays a greater role in how your content is received by your audience. This is why it is important to understand what each colour is communicating to your audience. A good colour palette improves the quality of a presentation, generates positive feedback, and promotes audience acceptance of your content. So let’s get started with some colour theory basics.

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Colours


Primary colours are Red, Yellow and Blue. The combination of any two primary colours results in Secondary colours. A mixture of one primary colour and one secondary colour gives Tertiary colour. The RYB model of colour wheel is commonly used and there exists 3 secondary colour combinations and 6 tertiary colour combinations.

Primary, Secondary & Tertiary Colours

Hue, Tint, Tone & Shade


Colour is an umbrella term, which means an unlimited number of colours with different mixes and matches. Hue refers to the primary, secondary and tertiary colours. It can be any colour mixture except grey, white and black. Adding white colour to any hue gives Tint. And mixing grey with any hue gives Tone. Thus when adding black colour to any hue will give Shade.

Hue, Tint, Tone & Shade

Warm Colours and Cool Colours

Red, orange and yellow hues, tints, tones, and shades all fall under the WARM category. Purple, blue and green and all their corresponding tints, tones, and shades are all COOL colours. Warm colours frequently evoke feelings of happiness, optimism and can also draw  attention. Cool colours are often relaxing and comforting, yet they may also convey sadness. Purple is often used to stimulate creativity since it is a combination of blue (calm) and red (intense).

Warm Colours and Cool Colours

Colour Schemes Commonly Used in the Presentations

  • Monochromatic Colour Scheme: It uses hue, tints, tones and shades of a single colour. It is the preferred scheme for beginners in presentations.
  • Complementary Colour Scheme: Complementary colours are those that are on opposing sides of the colour wheel. Because they provide a good contrast to each other, these colours are best utilised when you want to draw attention to anything.
  • Analogous Colour Scheme: Analogous colours lie adjacent on the colour wheel. They look harmonious side by side and are really easy on the eyes. Colour calculators can be used to find colour combinations.
  • Triadic and Tetradic Colour Schemes: If you draw an equilateral triangle on the colour wheel, you’d come up with a triadic colour scheme. The most common and most basic example of a triadic colour scheme are the three primary colours. If you want a colourful slide, then a tetradic scheme  can be better.
Colour Schemes Commonly Used in the Presentations

Tips to Remember While Choosing Colours For Your Presentation

  • Know your audience and company: If you want to attract an audience, you want to use colours that will resonate with their beliefs and values. Know your company’s vision and mission, then use colours that are in line with them. It is important for your colour branding.
  • Make it Simple: For beginners a Monochromatic colour scheme will be better than using a million colours.
  • High Contrast: Slides are visual aids and high contrast colour schemes will provide high impact. The content should be easily readable. Mostly used themes are; dark background with light foreground & light background with dark foreground

Complimentary colours do provide good contrast but make sure your texts are clearly visible.

dark background with light foreground How to Choose the Right Colours For Your Next Presentation
  • 60-30-10 Rule: For a balanced presentation keep this colour ration; 60 % Primary colour, 30% Secondary colour and 10% Accent colour.
  • Colour scheme generator: If you are still confused, there are many online colour palettes and colour scheme generators available. You can check these sites and save suitable schemes in your computer, then later can insert them in your PowerPoint presentation.
        2. Adobe Color
        3. Canva Color Palette Generator

Hope you got some idea about the importance of colours in the presentation. Now let’s make our next presentation more attractive with appropriate colours.

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