This is one of the most abused and misused forms of punctuation center to the English language. Colons are used to clarify what is meant by the writer. They are a form punctuation that help us introduce an item or series of them. The main objective with their use is to present the information in a much more digestible manner for your readers or audience. The words that follow a colon generally are not capitalized, but if a complete sentence follows the colon capitalization is appropriate to be used. Avoid using colons if they are to be followed by a preposition or verb because it will not flow in an ordinary sentence.
Much confusion surrounds the use of colons versus semi-colons. This is because they look very similar but have very different uses. The colon is meant to offer a pause in the reading, usually to introduce related information. The pause adds a sense of a dramatic effect which can impact how your words are valued by your audience. Rather than a simple pause, a semicolon offers a hard stop to the reader. The semicolon is often used to join two clauses that are more commonly separate sentences. In affect semicolons produce a longer overall sentence.