Making presentations with PowerPoint or Google Slides is a common homework task for individual assignments and group projects in college. Most students learn how to use the basics of these programs while in high school, and there are hundreds of articles on the web about how to use them. Even when you know how to make a slideshow, it can still be difficult to figure out what you want your final project to look like.

There are so many options, how do you choose?

Why Should Presentations Have a Theme?

Having a theme for your project is important to keep things organized, both on the slide and in the way you present the information you are putting on each slide. Themes help connect everything within a slideshow by having matching colors and fonts. This can make understanding the overall meaning of a slideshow easier for both other students and your instructor if you make sure to use a theme with easy-to-read fonts and font sizes.

How to Pick a Great Topic Theme?

Picking the right theme can be of great importance for both your presentation in general and possibly for the grade you will receive for it. Most presentation homework assignments come with some sort of prompt on the rubric that will give a good idea of what sort of topic you should pick, but they rarely, if ever, mention what kind of theme you should pick.

Choose Something Catchy

It is best to pick a theme that looks professional but doesn’t seem boring. You want to look like you put a little of efforts into your project, after all. It’s not wise to go with the default theme that is on PowerPoint, Google Slides, or any other kind of presentation program you might be using. Default themes are usually all in black in white and are as bland as can be.

Relate the Theme to the Presentation Topic

Scroll through the options provided to pick a theme that speaks to you and seems like it will relate to the project that you are working on. If you are working on a presentation about modern art, try to pick something colorful and fun. If you are doing a business project, pick something that looks a little more professional with muted tones.

Choose the Right Color

With the pre-set ideas, there are often colors already chosen to match the themes. You can change these colors if you want, but it is not necessary. You want your theme to look professional, and you don’t need a whole lot of bright colors to do that. Pick simple tones. Also, make sure that you are able to read the text on your background. Don’t use yellow text or bright neon colors. If you are going to use white text, give it a dark background so that it is easy to read.

How to Use Your Theme within the Presentation

Once you have completed your research and taken notes on your subjects, it’s time to begin putting everything together. It is important to find the fine line between making your slides look professional without making them look boring. It is not necessary to add sound effects or crazy transitions between slides, but you have to keep things lively enough that your classmates aren’t snoozing through your presentation. There are a few great ways to hit the target.

Make Sure the Text is Big Enough to Read

Sometimes, it can be hard to fit all of your information about a topic on one slide, but don’t feel like you have to. At times, students make their font size smaller to make everything fit on the slide, but that can make it harder to read. Instead, try dividing the information into two slides. Simply have the same title on each slide to make sure there is no confusion.

Match the Topic Slides to Your Overall Theme

When you decide on a theme, make sure to use it for your entire presentation. Using more than one theme will look bad. Even though you may be using several different topics throughout your presentation, it doesn’t mean that each topic needs its own theme layout. If you want to change things about your theme for individual slides, do this with the use of color. Oftentimes, themes are set up with a list of colors that match. You can use these suggested colors to both make your topics stand out, while still having them match your theme.

Use Pictures

There’s nothing more boring than a slide without pictures. When using pictures, there is a balance that needs to be kept in mind. Don’t fill your slides with pictures. Instead, try to use about one picture per slide. This will keep your work interesting, while still making room for bullet points and paragraphs. Plus, it gives your classmates something to look at while you read off the information presented on the slides. Like all of the other components to your presentation, make sure the pictures on your slides are related to the topic of the slide or the theme of the presentation. Having random pictures will only distract from the subject of your presentation. Also, if you can, try to make the color scheme of the pictures match your theme’s color scheme to make your slides look more aesthetically pleasing. If you cannot find pictures that match, try to put borders around the photos in colors that match your theme.

In conclusion, a theme helps to tie everything in your presentation together. Does having a good theme play an important role in your presentation? Of course, it does! It makes everything in your custom made presentation match in both color and style. Plus, when you pick a theme instead of going with the boring black and white default, your project will look less boring to yourself, your classmates, and your instructor, as well.