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Joe Pops

Thanks Phil (philpresents.com) for the great advise/insights
I did check out SOLDLABS.COM - some very good information here.



By the way, in response to Nancy's point about typical corporate meetings in bright meeting rooms, I would contend that if you use a black background to project, then what people see is in fact a white background - because they are seeing a white projector screen (or wall or whiteboard) with mostly nothing projected onto it. What looks black on your screen is projected as simply an absence of light. It doesn't matter what it looks like on your notebook: it matters what the audience sees.

In a bright meeting room, therefore, the distinction is between a comfortable white with some elements projected onto it, or a big rectangle of uncomfortable bright white light around a few useful elements. Either way, your stock image, graph or text appears on white, not black, as far as the audience is concerned.

LCD screens are an exception because the background does look black if it's black on your notebook. But because of their extreme brightness, you should absolutely avoid a bright background - unless you're planning on distributing sunglasses to your audience...


I have seen black and white backgrounds mixed. In a bright conference room, it's not a problem - I even do it myself. In a darkened theatre, switching from black to white will dazzle your audience painfully. So Nancy is right: it does depend on the place, although a black/dark background does work anywhere.

It is true that many stock images are isolated on white. It is usually not hard with the latest versions of PowerPoint or Keynote to remove the background so it works just as well on a dark background. It never caused Apple a problem. I hardly ever use Photoshop or the like - Instant Alpha is usually good enough, and it's child's play to use.

But yes, there are times when stock images just look better on white. And if I must use those images, then I'll use a white background. I just do so consciously, and never in a darkened room. White can sometimes be the right choice for a slide, but it should never be the default choice.

Joe, it sounds like you would like SOLD Magazine (http://www.soldlabs.com) - it is an excellent free online magazine for sales professionals with a great section on sales presentations. It's so good, I'm going to start contributing to it regularly. Check it out.

Joe Pops

Thanks for the comments

Joe Pops

Thanks for the comment - on websites I always find it hard to read white letters on a black (dark) background. For slides I find the dark backgrounds seem to give a sense of drama or importance... I don't know if that's really true or not.

Account Deleted

Its interesting to note that the study says that black background wont fatigue audiences. I found this interesting forum thread discussing this same issue for website use - http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum116/48.htm

Regarding your list question - we have used slides in a presentation with both white and black ( or different colored) background. The dark background indicated a KEY point or conclusion. Background Color helped differentiate and highlight.

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