Perfect Presentations 101: Slides Consistency Hack #1

Long story short – the hack is about smart use of a Color Picker tool. But the introduction makes this a bit more meaningful.

One night I was in the movie theater, watching a selection of short animated cartoons, mostly black-and-white. At the end, the author himself answered the questions in front of the audience, and one of the questions was about the color. Why black-and-white? He explained simply: “We need to link all the components together: shape, composition, movement, saturation, voiceover... If I add more colors, it will just crush me!”.

What does the presentation have to do with it? Sometimes I notice: you choose a wonderful color scheme, find a bunch of cool illustrations, adjust them to the chosen color scheme, and... fail. New colors don’t work out, pictures seem absolutely inconsistent. Because you can’t just take the color scheme and reuse it. The color doesn't only need to fit other colors in the color scheme. It should also fit the geometry and composition being used. So what’s the solution for building bold and consistent presentation out of the ready-made illustrations?

Here’s a simple and quick, yet powerful one.

At first, we select photos or vectors for the title slide (the face of the presentation, that will form the first audience impression). After that we follow these easy steps:

1. Build a color scheme, based on the title slide.

2. Select other illustrations with the similar style and color schemes.

3. Select the Dropper Tool in MS PowerPoint (it’s there since 2013 version in PowerPoint for Windows, but the same tool is built-in by default in most presentation software).

Step 1 - Perfect Presentations 101: Slides Consistency Hack #1


4. Select Eyedropper.

Step 2 - Perfect Presentations 101: Slides Consistency Hack #1

5. Point at the desired area and you’ll see the color code in RGB. (The eyedropper can be found wherever the color is set - for example, in the “Background Format” menu for the slide).

Step 1 - Perfect Presentations 101: Slides Consistency Hack #1

6. Click on the color picker — then Ctrl+Z for the cancellation if you need to repaint some form in PowerPoint itself. After that, the desired color will appear in “Recent Colors” list, and you can go to any place in the presentation and apply it.

If you are sure that the color scheme is correct, set it in the master slides. The color of the text is adjusted to the image the same way. For example, if the text is put over the portrait on the slide, the text can be made not just in black, but in the color of the eyes (or hair, or costume, etc.) of the person in the photo.

Cover photo by David Clode on Unsplash