How to Customize your PowerPoint Backgrounds for Maximum Impact

The slide backgrounds you choose to use for your presentations have a huge impact on the perceived quality of your PowerPoint presentations.

That’s because adding colors, textures and styles to your PowerPoint backgrounds helps create a more interesting and visually appealing presentation that attracts your audience’s attention and allows you to drive home your message more effectively and efficiently. 

While a good background can make your text and other images pop, a bad or bland background can be distracting and ruin a perfectly good presentation.

Below are a variety of background examples you can use to create new and interesting backgrounds for your PowerPoint presentations.
Image backgrounds

Images can make your slides really stand out and can be extremely powerful in PowerPoint presentations...when used correctly. 

Customize PowerPoint Background

Don’t use a photo or image just because it’s cool, funny or cute. Every element of your PowerPoint should bring meaning or add value to your message and that goes for the images your select, even those used in the PowerPoint background.

A good background image will allow your text to be readable and won’t distract from the other elements on your slides. Here are a few tips on choosing the right image for your PowerPoint background:

  • Look for ‘whitespace’ which allows you to add your text or graphics
  • Blurred areas help focus attention on whatever else you add to the slide without distracting your audience
  • Images with gradients make good backgrounds for the reasons we mentioned above
  • Textured images keep things interesting
Gradient color backgrounds
Block colors can look flat and boring. Make your PowerPoint backgrounds more visually pleasing by playing with shading and light. 


Right-click your slide, select Format Background and select Gradient Fill. There, you play about with one or two color gradients, the direction of the fades, and the transparency to create more interesting PowerPoint backgrounds.

 Customize PowerPoint Background

Pattern and texture backgrounds 
Word of warning: when you go to Format Background, you’ll see Pattern Fill...avoid this. These patterns are very basic and look like a magic eye picture and no one wants to stare at that for any length of time!

The option above this is Picture or Texture Fill which will give you much better options.


Customize PowerPoint Background


Again, you can play with the transparency of the patterns to make sure it doesn’t distract from text or other presentation elements. Remember, PowerPoint backgrounds shouldn’t be the dominant feature of your presentation! 

Geometric textured backgrounds

Geometric polygon backgrounds with the right font and graphics look cool, add texture and color  and look interesting without being too overpowering.


You can either download from royalty-free photo sites, or create your own via such sites as Trianglify Background Generator


Customize PowerPoint Background

Download your own patterns and textures


You don’t have to limit yourself to the default patterns inside of PowerPoint. You can find your own pattern backgrounds and insert them into your presentation slides.

To learn more about downloading, creating and inserting PowerPoint backgrounds like this, see this article here.

As you can see, creating your own PowerPoint backgrounds that grab your audiences’ attention isn’t rocket science and anyone can do it.


Here are some additional tips when working with your background colors.

Color tips for powerful PowerPoint backgrounds

Keep it simple 


Stick to just two or three-colors for your whole presentation for a clean look. Black and white might seem boring but remember you can always add color later with logos, graphs, and images.

Brand colors


Using company colors in your PowerPoint backgrounds is a great opportunity to build and reinforce your brand in a subtle way. It’s much less distracting than placing your logo on every slide which would also take up valuable space on your presentation.

Color and emotions   

Consider the meaning of colors and the emotional responses you wish your audience to have. 


For example, if you wish to deliver a serious message, then an optimistic yellow background won’t get the right attention or reaction. Instead, go for a dark background, gray or black. 


Be careful with contrast when you use color backgrounds-- make sure your other presentation elements are easy to read.
How to Customize your PowerPoint Backgrounds for Maximum Impact Arnel G. Cartoneros 5 of 5
The slide backgrounds you choose to use for your presentations have a huge impact on the perceived quality of your PowerPoint presentati...
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About Arnel G. Cartoneros

I'm a husband, a blogger and Biomedical Machines Specialist, also a computer instructor and technician and a crazy writer, I like to write and build blogs and avid fan of social media. I have built this blog just to help others through information. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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