Free PowerPoint Backgrounds: Improve Your Presentation With a Single Tweak

by Kasia Perzynska Last Updated: 2018.08.20

I know, you don’t want to admit it openly, but let’s just say it. PowerPoint presentations are a pain in the neck.

However, they are necessary for your bosses. Since your management needs to know what’s going on in the organization, including:

  • what strategies are going to be executed
  • how the company is performing

It’s understandable the information needs to be presented in a convenient format. All incoming ideas need to be properly presented before they can get approved.

For this reason, you create presentations again and again. And secretly you despise them.

PowerPoint Presentations are Boring

Often, corporations demand consistency in all marketing materials.

Even selecting a background is an important decision to make at the start of developing your presentations. As a result, your templates need to include your company’s corporate colors, at least, for slide shows presented outside the organization. It’s a part of building brand image, and you probably don’t have much choice in this area.

However, there are still internal presentations to make, and that’s the place where you can show off your creativity and go for extravagant solutions.

Think back to the last visually great presentation you saw. While I’m pretty sure you see plenty of presentations daily, I bet you don’t see visually great ones too often.

Most of the time presentations are stale, irrelevant, lame and antiquated and they look so 90’s. I can see why you’re sick of them.

But your presentation doesn’t need to look like that. You can change it. Even if you have to stick to Microsoft PowerPoint, you can still play with presentations. Approach them differently, start expressing your projects visually and create something beautiful.

Today, I’ll help you get inspired.

One of the primary struggles people face, while creating presentations, is matching their content with the right PowerPoint backgrounds.

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Background vs. Template

First of all, let’s explain the difference between a PowerPoint background and a template.

In practice, a template is a collection of slides.

It contains:

  • different layouts
  • theme colors
  • theme fonts
  • animations and transitions
  • placeholders and some example content
  • background styles

A background is just one essential ingredient of such a collection, so it is a part of the template. It can be plain white or solid. It can have a gradient color fill, a texture, pattern fill, or it can even be a picture.

Have you ever attended a presentation where you could hardly make out what was on the slides? Apparently, presentation backgrounds can also cause some troubles

In an ideal reality, PowerPoint backgrounds would be clean, draw attention towards the message you convey, and be visually appealing so that they can actually blow people’s minds.

While the default backgrounds usually fail to meet both of these two requirements, there’s no need to use them anymore.

The Ultimate List of Free Backgrounds

Free backgrounds that meet the highest expectations are available online and all you need to do is to discover where to find them and grab some for yourself.

My team has designed several custom options that will help you create an outstanding presentation.

So go ahead and explore the collection, find something that suits your taste and download it for free.

1. Agency Template Background

This free template was designed with the idea to stimulate your readers towards thinking creatively.

After all, psychologists describe orange as an energetic color that calls to mind feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and warmth. For this reason, orange is often used to draw attention in advertising.

It’s a perfect choice for an agency presentation because in this industry you have to stand out with your projects to win contracts. Agencies should continually provide an intellectual challenge and excite their prospects with inspiring solutions.

Take a look and discover how to use it in a presentation:

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Agency Template

The Agency Presentation Template helps you persuasively communicate information to your client or team.

Free Download

Agency Template Slide Examples

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2. Marketing Template Background

This gradient free background is ideal for marketing presentations. Your content will shine because its deep purple 3D tone provides a sense of space.

Deep purple in psychology is considered to be a mysterious color, and it’s said to be connected to the unknown, supernatural, and divine. Use it when you want to make a special impression and amaze your audience.

Just see how it was used in the example presentation below.

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Marketing Template

Communicate your marketing plan or business proposal with the Marketing Template. Slide layouts are designed to cover the 4 P’s (product, price, place, and promotion), market analysis, metrics, milestones, and other key components.

Free Download

Marketing Template Slide Examples

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3. Introduction Template Background

This background is image based. It’s especially useful when you’re about to introduce an architectural project, and you need to find a match for visual content.

Introduction Template is as dynamic and bold as your creative team, so deploy it whenever you need something fresh and elegant.

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Introduction Template

Confidently introduce your team, clients, and company to others with the customizable Introduction Template.

Free Download

Introduction Template Slide Examples

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4. Ultimate Business Template Background

Next comes another visually appealing, photo-based background designed with simplicity in mind.

This one allows you to present your content and data in a clean and straightforward manner. As the name itself suggests, this background will work nicely, primarily, in a business context.

Use it when you’re making a business presentation and want to keep your audience focused on the message you convey.

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Ultimate Template

This is our top selling business template with over 100 amazing slides that are easy to adjust. All the slides are available in 6 colors out of the box.

Free Download

Ultimate Template Slide Examples

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5. Social Media Template Background

When you’re about to prepare a social media campaign with style and show your efforts to your bosses or clients in a modern manner, you will find this free option distinctly useful.

See the preview and example presented below.

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Social Media Template

Present your social media campaign or activities with style and show your efforts to your boss or a client in a modern, easy to edit PowerPoint format.

Free Download

Social Media Template Slide Examples

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Its baby blue tint will immediately evoke associations with social media colors. Note that all the major social media platforms utilize various shades of the color blue.

Blue is calming and relaxing. It promotes clarity, and gives the sense of infinity, like the ocean. Besides, other colors tend to distract us, whereas the color blue disappears as a transparent background. Perhaps that’s why social media platforms rely on it.

Download this option when you want to enhance your social media expertise and show it in a relevant way.

6. White Template Background

I know, we’re trying to get away from the pure white backgrounds that are actually available in PowerPoint.

However, sometimes a clean and minimalistic background is best for exposing your content and letting it shine.

Especially when you have a lot of data and charts you need to show in a visually appealing way.

If this is the case, you can play with your data presentation on a slide and just implement colorful elements onto it.

Below, you can see slide examples that can inspire you to use white space appropriately.

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White Template

This minimalistic styled presentation template provides busy professionals a quick and easy way to create a high-quality presentation.

Free Download

White Template Slide Examples

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7. Funky and Bright Template Background

Funky and bright is one-of-a-kind, blue and light. 🙂

It will be a perfect accompaniment to your content whatever you want to present, especially when you want to use white fonts.

Below you can view ideas on how to use it in a real presentation. Go ahead, download it and make it yours.

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Funky and Bright Template

This bold template is designed to share even bolder ideas. Vivid colors and a flat design make this a one-of-a-kind presentation template.

Free Download

Funky and Bright Template Slide Examples

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8. Pink Template Background

Some say pink is the new black.

When you feel like a non-standard approach towards a slideshow is needed, you might feel like using some fuchsia in your presentation.

Unexpectedly, it might work to your advantage and help you distinguish your presentation from others – typical white slides.

If you still aren’t convinced, take a look at the preview below and see how it was adopted for an investor pitch deck.

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Pink Template

The Pink Pitch Deck Template provides startup founders with a pitch deck designed to highlight exactly what potential investors want to know.

Free Download

Pink Template Slide Examples

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9. Red Carpet Template Background

The next exciting free background is one that resembles a red carpet.

It’s an excellent approach for a presentation where you want to showcase an event (especially if it actually involves a red carpet).

See the preview and the example template on it. Perhaps this will appeal to you. If you like it, you can easily download it for free and implement it in your presentation.

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Red Carpet Template

Featuring a red background with classic black and white graphics, this template is perfect for delivering high-impact creative marketing presentations.

Free Download

Red Carpet Template Slide Examples

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10. The Vintage Template Background

Clearly, a business presentation should match your company’s style. This vintage background resembles lofts and a light industrial style, so it would fit your stylish products.

It resembles concrete. The color and texture are subtle, so your content will clearly show on it.

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The Vintage Template

Deliver your message with perfectly styled vintage slides, colors, and fonts.

Free Download

The Vintage Template Slide Examples

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11. The Marble Template Background

Another free background that might be pretty useful for you is this marble one. Anything that you put on it will look elegant and fashionable.

After all, marble is associated with glamour and good taste. It will fit well into a presentation of luxury products and fashion.

If you don’t have any idea yet on how to manage this option, just take a look at the preview and the slide examples below.

Hope you like it!

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Marble Template

This marble powerpoint template covers business economy related topics such as fashion, design and art.

Free Download

Marble Template Slide Examples

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This is it. That’s all our in-house designers prepared for you.

Hope you enjoyed it!

Let’s now move on to the next chapter and find answers to the frequently asked questions about free backgrounds.

How to apply a free background

When you like a particular template, but the one thing you’d like to change is the background, just change it.

You can apply an image – JPG, JPEG or PNG – as a custom background to:

  • a single slide
  • a particular selection of slides
  • all slides in your presentation

Start by adapting your image dimensions for PowerPoint 2016 to the following:

  • width – 10 Inches
  • height – 7.5 Inches
  • resolution – 100 pixels per inch
  • mode – RGB color

Next, make sure your file format is set to JPEG.

Once your file fits PowerPoint 2016, go to its interface and insert your file into your presentation:

1. First, click on the slide you want to attach a background to and open the Design tab.

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2. Select one of the designs from the collection.

3. Click on the format background in the right upper corner.

4. And then select a picture or texture fill.

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5. Finally, insert a picture from a file. Here’s your new background.

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6. If you want to use a background just for the selected slides, close the editor.

7. If you want to use a background for all of the slides, click Apply to all.

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If you’re trying to apply a theme to the PowerPoint presentation, watch this video:

How to apply a theme to PowerPoint presentation

How to remove a free background

Let’s say you are trying to remove a background picture. Here is a short guideline on how to remove it from your slides.

1. On the View tab, click Slide Master.

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2. On the Slide Master tab, click Background Styles.

3. Click Format Background.

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4. In the Format Background pane under Fill, click Solid Fill.

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5. Click the Color button and select white, or any other color you like.

6. If you want to remove the background from all slides, click Apply to All.

Editing an Image

Now let’s dig into how to dim an image or graphic when it’s placed on a slide as a background.

When you want to change the opacity of your free background image to make it more transparent and less distracting, go to the Insert tab on the ribbon and find the Shapes drop-down.

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For the sake of this example, choose the Rectangle shape. Draw a rectangle that covers the entire slide.

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Then click on Format Pane, which opens a new menu on the right side where we can amend the transparency of your shape.

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Now, your image is covered with a transparent layer in the preferred color. Just send it backward and voila! It’s ready!

Back to you

As said at the beginning of this article, presentations can be a pain in the neck.

But with a little help from us, you can change this and make them more creative. Backgrounds are just one of the ingredients that build the final look and impression your slideshow will make.

Even the smallest tweak matters and can make a big difference. Therefore, pay attention to the details and be a perfectionist in this field.

And download the full pack of Free PowerPoint templates!

How do you like our custom backgrounds? Let me know in the comments below.

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