The background of your presentation sets the stage for the rest of the look and feel, so it’s important to choose wisely. For example, a simple design can elevate the look of your content, but too simple and it can appear unpolished. Meanwhile, a colorful background can provide the foundation for a balanced palette, but one color too many and you’ve got a chaotic mess. A strong contrast can help make a bold statement, but text can easily get lost if the contrast is too high.
The process is certainly delicate, but not impossible. It simply requires thinking a bit deeper about your choice, and keeping a couple of tricks in mind. Below, we’ve put together a collection of some of our favorite backgrounds to use in Prezi presentations and a description of why they work. You can find all of the examples below within the Prezi platform.
Using lines and curves in backgrounds to structure your presentation
If you have a hidden line in a photo, you can structure your content so that it follows a particular flow. Keeping your text or topics along the line can also help prevent you from placing content over subjects within a background image (a common mistake that can make your visuals difficult to digest).
1. Iceland in presentation backgrounds
We like this photo of a lone figure in nature because the ice creates a natural direction for content and there’s plenty of room for placement.
2. Coffee mug presentation background
This coffee mug is a nice choice for presenters who don’t want to deliver their content in a specific order. Text or topics can be placed anywhere around the central image, and presenters have the option to use techniques like conversational presenting to share their message.
3. The road forward in presentation backgrounds
If your presentation is about a type of journey (whether that’s actual travel, the process of achieving something in your professional life, or something in between), this road forward image is a great option. The metaphor can be communicated fairly quickly, and the road provides an actual line for your content.
Using negative space in presentation backgrounds
It’s easy to discount empty areas in photos, but when it comes to your background, negative space can be incredibly useful. Consider spicing up a sparse area with text, shapes, icons, logos, etc. when you want to make them pop.
If slides aren’t your cup of tea, or you’re simply in the mood to try something new, Prezi’s layered canvas might be the right change of pace. Prezi users can easily design their presentation within negative spaces by placing topics or stacks of content in them, and navigate to each area as needed. Here's an example from one of our Prezi Awards winners this year:
Negative space surrounding your subject or content can also provide a “safe area” in the event that your presentation is printed. Create physical takeaways for your presentation with the exact same content and you can be sure none of your important information will get lost in the margins.
4. Black and white turtle in presentation backgrounds
We like the recoloring of this image because the dark water provides a space that can make your message really stand out. Pair this image with a memorable statistic in
5. Swimmers in presentation backgrounds
This photo makes a great background because it’s an even balance of subjects and empty space. The mid-action shot lends a sense of motion and excitement and would pair well with text or content of a similar sentiment placed on the right-hand side, or around the pier.
6. Snowy paddler in presentation backgrounds
The negative space in this snowy paddler image is balanced around the subject, making it a great option if you want to include a few pieces of information in this section of the presentation, but convey a sense of equal importance between them.
Using action and flow in presentation backgrounds
While background images are, obviously, in the background, they can actually help drive the presentation if used within platforms like Prezi. See how we take the same backgrounds from the negative space section and turn them into an essential part of the story.
In the swimmers photo, for example, our main subject is jumping from the pier. We can, therefore, create a content flow that starts at the pier and finishes in the water, roughly in the spot he will land. Adding slightly opaque topics like the ones pictured here can help give context to your presentation flow, and retain the full image.
Meanwhile, our black and white turtle is swimming towards the surface of the ocean. We can indicate growth, a journey, or problem-solving by placing topics along the same trajectory.
Lastly, our lone paddler is all about choices. She can either go straight, veer to the left, or head to the shore on the right side. If the story you’re presenting is about a crossroads, or the intention is to present content in a different order each time, a structure that leaves your options open to fit the situation at hand is ideal (think a sales pitch or a project proposal).
Patterns and textures in presentation backgrounds
Sometimes a background with subjects or a metaphor isn’t the right approach to a presentation. In that case, patterns or textures are great for adding visual oomph to your message without getting too detailed. But not every pattern or texture is made equally. Some can be too distracting, or too bold to support your content. Make sure you’re thinking twice before you make your selection.
A monochrome background can enhance the colors of your content-- no matter what those colors are. The examples below also allow for a strong headline and multiple content flows, since they’re simple and straightforward.
7. Woven wave presentation background
This woven wave is a great option if you want to give direction to your content but don’t want to include a metaphor of any kind. You can also choose from a wide variety of color palettes since just about everything stands out against black and white.
8. Painted wall in presentation backgrounds
This painted wall gives you options. You can place your content in a line on the top or the bottom half; either would look natural for the eye. The two halves also suggest categories, should you decide to place your content on the top and the bottom.
9. Water ripple presentation background
Varying shades of the same blue make this watery monochrome background a great option for those looking to add movement or fluidity to their message in an elegant way.
Architectural backgrounds in presentations are great for modern content. Their edginess or open airiness is visually attractive, and they often consist of a flat pattern which can support many different content layouts.
10. Cityscape presentation background
This cityscape gives you the feeling of looking up. Try this background if the message you’re trying to communicate is forward-looking, or about the promise of a brighter future.
11. Quilted metal presentation background
This quilted pattern is great for when you want to share the information in your presentation in a non-linear order. Because it’s textured and yet flat, your content can live anywhere and be placed in whichever order you choose without being visually confusing.
12. High rise presentation background
This tall building naturally causes the eye to gravitate to the top of the image. Use this presentation background when you want to direct your audience’s eyes to a single area.
13. Shifted city presentation background
Everyone likes a good cityscape, but they can sometimes be so mesmerizing that they detract from the content. By using black and white and a trick of the lens, this photograph is perfect for those who want the scenery to make a subtle urban statement.
Sometimes you want a background that gives your presentation visual appeal without being too visually appealing. Subtle textures like the options below can, while full of color, easily add depth to content and keep context intact when you’re zooming in and out. And, because they’re flat, you can build almost any kind of presentation on top of them.
14. Moody blue presentation background
We like this moody blue option because it’s simple, calming, and has enough variation in the hue to remain visually interesting. Try this type of background if your message is meant to be soothing.
15. Greenscape presentation background
This green option screams action, and much like a player’s handbook, or a score sheet, insinuates planning. Try this background if your presentation is about achieving a goal or strategizing a project. Think QBR, a sales kickoff, or even an all-hands company meeting.
16. Blue wave paint presentation background
If your presentation is about creativity, the blue painted waves in this presentation could be a great option. There’s enough variety in the palette to make it exciting, but not so much that it would detract from your overall message. Content can also be placed in any order and look natural.
17. Bordered bricks presentation background
The natural border this painted brick background provides can lend your presentation structure, especially if the content itself is meant to be unsystematic. Take this background for a spin if you’re going to try the conversational presenting method.
18. Red wave presentation background
This closeup of a structure in Milan, Italy, is striking for obvious reasons. In a presentation background, its bold color palette can easily be used in combination with neutral content (think black and white) to make a chic statement.
19. Wooden geometry presentation background
The warmth of the wood and the various angles in this photo from Shanghai, China, make it a perfect background for a welcoming message. Try this option if you’re presenting something educational.
20. Blurry confetti presentation background
Blurred backgrounds are great for presentations because they allow the presenter to build content on top of an image that subliminally tells the eye not to focus on it. This blurred confetti background has color, texture, and emotion all wrapped up in one. Try it out if you’re presenting about something cheerful, or really want to get your audience pumped.
How to find your perfect background image in Prezi
Adding a background image is a great way to set the look and feel of your presentation -- and it’s super easy to do if you’re a Prezi user. You can select a background by using the “Background” sidebar from within the platform itself. From here, you can also change your background color. All of the images we shared in this post were found through this feature. Check out the process in the video below.
Adding a couple of keywords to your searches can help source images that are best suited to backgrounds. Our own designers often add “sparse” or “plain” to their query in order to pull up options that have plenty of space for topics. You can also search for “texture” or “pattern” if you’d prefer something without a subject at all.
In addition to making background design easy, the search tool within Prezi will also source high-quality images and icons for you to use, so you can design your entire presentation from start to finish without ever leaving the platform.
Easily convert your PowerPoint to a Prezi
If you already have a presentation designed in PowerPoint, we make it easy to take Prezi for a test drive with PowerPoint Converter. With Prezi, you can animate your existing set of PowerPoint slides. After importing and selecting which slides you want to keep, simply select your new background, layout, shapes, and colors. If you regularly use a particular set of colors, you can save your color palette and reuse your personalized theme as many times as you want.
If you’re new to the Prezi-verse, check out some of our favorite presentations on our gallery page. Prezi is a great platform for marketing, sales, education and more! Its one-of-a-kind open canvas lets you organize and view your presentation as a whole. You can then design and present with some of our leading features:
- “Smart structures” make it easy to arrange content with a simple drag and drop, without disrupting your layout.
- Use the "zoom reveal" function to focus in and unveil critical details as your story unfolds.
- Free movement means no more searching through slides to find the topic you want. Now you can navigate freely through your conversational presentation.