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Slide Notes

The use of images can greatly enhance your talk, but it's not as easy as just putting up a picture instead of words.

Images have their own syntax. They require a clarity of message, and an understanding of perspective and placement. In a presentation, how an image will relate to the text on the slide is also important.

Here are my tips for using images well in your next talk.

Enjoy.

How To Effectively Use Images In Your Next Talk

Published at Aug 04, 2016
Images can enhance your talk, but it's not as easy as just putting up a picture instead of words. Like a good wordsmith, effective use of images requires thought, a clarity of message, and an understanding of how the image will relate to the text on the slide. Here are my tips for using images well in your next talk. Enjoy.

PRESENTATION OUTLINE

Presentation

  • Idea
The use of images can greatly enhance your talk, but it's not as easy as just putting up a picture instead of words.

Images have their own syntax. They require a clarity of message, and an understanding of perspective and placement. In a presentation, how an image will relate to the text on the slide is also important.

Here are my tips for using images well in your next talk.

Enjoy.

Visual Metaphor

    Photo by djwtwo

    EMOTION

      Photo by Robby Ryke

      ACTION

        Photo by kriddick1908

        LAUGHTER

          THAT CAN RUIN A PRESENTATION

            Photo by matthileo

            Visuals can be distracting too

              When presenting important information with slides, it's all about the signal to noise ratio: loud or busy images with no connection to the idea being conveyed is just noise.
              Photo by neofob

              Impact

                If the image on a slide is meant to convey an idea itself a bold image that conveys the idea can be front and center.
                Photo by Thomas_Cat

                Simplicity

                  Not all ideas need to be represented by an image. Some core concepts benefit from a simple clean background without an image causing distraction.

                  Text only slides give your audience a break, and when used at the right moment, slides like this can have a visual impact all their own.

                  For Big Ideas

                    Reduce the visual noise

                      Humans can only visually focus on one thing at time. It's tempting to present a big idea with a big loud background slide. In fact the opposite can be much more effective.
                      Photo by VinothChandar

                      NEGATIVE SPACE

                        If you do use an image to support a slide with important text, consider one with plenty of negative space like this one to keep distractions to a minimum.

                        The image can even be placed to draw your eye to the text as in this case rather than pull your focus away.
                        Photo by daspader

                        SOFT FOCUS

                          Images do not always have to have meaning, but can suggest a mood or support the text in an abstract way. Soft focus or blurred images force the eye back to the text rather than draw it away.
                          Photo by B Tal

                          When Framing Your Image

                            Framing is an important skill when using images. How you place the image on the slide can dramatically change the impact or meaning of the image.

                            Compare this series of sunflower slides...
                            Photo by dave.see

                            Think Big

                              Images like landscapes where the points of focus are far away (as in the last slide) have less impact. Consider reducing the visual noise increasing the impact of your image by tightening the focus.
                              Photo by Andreas Helke

                              Remember

                                Photo by a4gpa

                                Placement Matters

                                  Studies of human responses to images have shown that having a slide off center with the focus to one side is more appealing to the human eye.
                                  Photo by vale ♡

                                  Rule of Thirds

                                    Use the rule of thirds:

                                    Divide up your image using 2 horizontal lines and 2 vertical lines, then position the important elements in your image along those lines, or at the points where they meet.
                                    Photo by colemama

                                    Matters

                                      Where you place the text matters. Text can enhance the meaning of the image or obscure it...
                                      Photo by ericmay

                                      Perspective

                                        Make sure the relationship between the text and the image support the idea being conveyed.
                                        Photo by ericmay

                                        Keys to Success

                                          Images chosen by pulling out a key word from the slide to hang a visual image on can leave your message flat by making it all one note.

                                          The Message

                                            Instead focus on the message. What idea do you want people to take away from the slide.

                                            The human mind delights in variety and flavor. Don't miss an opportunity to take your message to a higher level by forgetting about trying to match the image to the text.
                                            Photo by cjmartin

                                            THOUGHTFULLY

                                              With so many choices it can be hard to edit. When in doubt simplify and focus on the message not the image or the text.
                                              Photo by Julien Haler

                                              A LONG WAY

                                                Photo by LukeDetwiler

                                                Untitled Slide

                                                  It's over go home...

                                                    But if you want more check out these references. I have no affiliation or financial interest in any of these....

                                                    Check out this article at 99u.com:
                                                    http://99u.com/articles/7039/how-to-create-a-captivating-presentation

                                                    Check out these tips from presentation design wonks Ethos3.com
                                                    https://www.ethos3.com/2016/07/how-to-spot-a-bad-stock-photo/

                                                    Presentation Zen author Garr Reynolds has a selection of before and after slides here:

                                                    http://www.slideshare.net/garr/sample-slides-by-garr-reynolds