At the end of October I was in San Antonio speaking at a conference of business communication professors. The topic we were talking about was how to teach students to create an attractive template for their slides. The professors agreed that too many students (and in my experience presenters of all ages) spend too much time formatting every slide individually instead of using the slide master to set the common look. They also agreed that many of the designs that the students come up with or find in the program or on the Internet are at best distracting and usually closer to annoying. So we shared how to set colors and fonts so that the text color and background color have enough contrast and the text is easy to read when displayed. One key to remember is that whether you use a dark background and light text or light background and dark text, make sure that the colors have enough contrast. Another presenter at the conference explained that there are two types of contrast that you can have. The first is color brightness contrast and the other is color contrast. Remember this the next time you are creating a look for your slides.
If you want more detailed instructions on creating your own custom template, check out the web tutorial I did that shows you what colors, fonts and other elements work well for presentations and then I showed you exactly how to do it in PowerPoint. You can get your copy at:http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/wtcustomtemplate.htm