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Psychiatry Resident research guide


Developing Presentations

Choosing Colors for Presentations

Color Basics

  • Primary Colors - red, blue, and yellow
  • Secondary Colors - green , violet, and orange
  • Tertiary Colors - created by making combinations of the above six colors
  • Complementary Colors - pairs opposite each other on the color wheel (i.e. blue and orange, red and green). The colors contrast with each other for dynamic effect.
  • Analogous Colors - Colors next to each other on the color wheel. Analogous colors create a harmonious, unified feeling.

Color Combinations

  • Color combinations may look different when projected. If possible, test your presentation on the projector to verify that the colors work well together.
  • Certain color combinations provide high contrast for ease of reading. For example, the following combinations of text color on background color work well: green on purple, white on black, violet on yellow.
  • When using graphics in your presentation, try to choose one or more colors from the graphic to use as text colors. The color combinations will tie the elements of your slides together for a uniform look.
  • Limit the use of red and green to high contrast color combinations. According to various sources, 5 percent to 8 percent of men have some form of color blindness, red-green being the most common.
  • As a guideline, pick a background color and use three additional colors of text for maximum impact.  
  • Consider both color and texture for backgrounds. Sometimes a neutral background with a pleasing texture will work better than a solid color.
  • When using multiple background colors, consider using analogous colors; the colors will blend together without detracting from the foreground text. You can further contrast the foreground text by using a complementary text color.

Slide Presentation Tips

  • Contrast colors for the background and text. Use dark backgrounds with light text or light backgrounds with dark text.
  • For titles, use 44 pt. font. Do not use font size smaller than 28 pt. for text. The presentation must be seen from the back of the room.
  • Arial and Verdana are two of the most readable fonts. Do not use more than three different types of fonts on one slide.
  • Use no more than six bullet points and make phrases short for clarity. Too much text or use of graphics makes the slide too busy.
  • Keep the slide transitions simple to avoid distraction.
  • The use of graphics, clip art and charts make the presentation more interesting if presented in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Remember the audience wants to hear the content. Visual designs will enhance the presentation.
  • Preview the slide show using a projector. Words or graphics may not appear completely because they are too close to the edge and do not project. To correct this, resize the fonts and graphics to a smaller size.

Slide Presentations for Videoconferencing


  • Look into the camera. Don't forget to smile.
  • Avoid wearing stripes, bright red, or busy patterns
  • Don't let jewelry or clothing rub against the microphone
  • Use large fonts (28 point and higher)
  • San serif fonts such as Ariel or Verdana are easier to read
  • Funny fonts are hard to read. Use these sparingly.
  • Prepare documents in horizontal or landscape layout to better fit the television image.
  • Use high contrast colors for presentations, but use red sparingly, because it tends to smear on video.
  • Use no more than 7 lines of text per slide.
  • Designing for Interactive Television

Working with media

How to insert video into PowerPoint 2007

For a successful presentation of a youtube video, a good internet connection is necessary at the site of the presentation. Here are the steps

PowerPoint 2007

  • Click on the Office button and go to the Edit Options
  • Enable the Developer button on the ribbon
  • Choose Shockwave flash object
  • Find the youtube video and click on the URL and copy
  • Return to PowerPoint
  • Right click Properties
  • In movie, paste the URL
  • Delete watch? and replace = with /
  • Change loop to False and playing to False

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