The true worth of a man is not to be found in man himself, but in the colours and textures that come alive in others.

Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
German-French philosopher and medical missionary

The use of colors helps to orientate your audience. Be consistent! It might be very confusing if in one place you use blue for comments and green for facts, and the next time they are used the other way round.

Colors and their Coding of your content helps readers and gives orientation.
Color Coding of your content helps readers and gives orientation.

Colors are important

With colors you have to be sensitive. Depending on the cultural or group context, colors have different meaning — a message that you might inadvertently convey.

Furthermore, be aware that colors look different on each output device. In other words, the same exactly defined green looks different on your computer screen, your laptop, a data projector or a printout. Only if the whole system is ‘calibrated’ will it be the same. Therefore, you need standardised light of 5.500 K (Kelvin, measurement for color temperature) and color cards to adopt the settings in order to match the cards.

Pay attention to

Many people in the world have different forms of color blindness (and are not aware of it). So, avoid the use of green and red in important cases.

Additionally, think of the color contrast! The higher the contrast, the better the readability. Guess, why books are printed on white paper with black letters — the highest contrast possible and much less tiring for the reader than any other combination.

Color coding

When it comes to colors, the old saying often applies: less is more! All in all, we suggest the following color system for use on boards and flip charts:

  • Black: Main Text — good visibility, high contrast
  • Blue: Sub-text — still good visibility
  • Red: Underlining, highlighting, special signs — an alert color
  • Green: all kind of structures you want to highlight

For presentations on PowerPoint and handouts this color scheme may differ, as it should then conform to your organisation’s corporate design. For example, as you can see on the previous page, TWL uses a dark blue for text and lines on a light beige as background. Special highlights are nonetheless done in bordeaux.


Visualization

There is no objectively good visualization or image. It always depends on your target audience and your message. ‘What do I want to tell to whom?’

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Layout

Layout helps the reader to understand and navigate through the structure. Layout is orientation. If the structure is unclear, you yourself are unclear.

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Test your presentations

Test your presentation! First of all check to see if all the slides are in the right order, second test it for the timings,Third, the technical equipment.

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Presenter

You are the Presenter! You are not presenting the presentation, but an idea (or whatever your content is) with the support of the presentation.

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Presentations

First of all nobody says that a presentation has to be by data projector. But if so, nobody says it has to be with PowerPoint; there can be better options.

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Typography

The style and form of printed writing is named typography. It includes typeface, point size, line length, leading, tracking and kerning.

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Presentation Software

First of all nobody says that a presentation has to be by data projector. But if so, nobody says it has to be with PowerPoint, there are alternatives.

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