Get best practices for creating PowerPoint presentations with stock images. These PowerPoint tips will make your slides more effective!
PowerPoint is an effective tool for all kinds of presentations—from corporate to academic settings. No matter the purpose, there can be a lot of pressure that comes with creating a slide deck that captures attention and gets all the right points across.
In this post, we’ll explore PowerPoint presentation tips, discuss how to choose stock images for PowerPoint, and show you how all the pieces work together to make an impact.
How to Make a PowerPoint Presentation
Putting together a compelling presentation is an art. How do you combine your ideas in an engrossing way, and ensure they’re delivered in a format that’s easy to follow?
Consider these steps your crash course in making an effective PowerPoint.
Define Your Goals
There can be some temptation to employ an “everything but the kitchen sink” strategy for presentations. There’s no limit to how many slides can be in a deck, so why not throw it all in? Wrong. The average adult attention span is 20 minutes—you’ll want to use that time wisely.
To narrow down your talking points, the first step is understanding who your audience is and what you want to achieve. Are you presenting to industry experts or the general public? Your visual materials, language, terminology, and explanations will vary based on your audience.
Then, you need to think about what your goal is. Do you want to educate and inform? Or is the primary purpose of your presentation to inspire an action?
Know this basic information and use it as a guiding principle before you draft a single slide.
License this image via UfaBizPhoto.
Develop Your Content and Structure
Now, it’s time to outline your presentation’s content and structure. At the minimum, a well-structured presentation usually starts with an introduction of the topic, followed by the main points, and a conclusion or a call-to-action.
This structure gives you the broadest opportunity to repeat points and hammer them home—a great strategy for making your presentation more memorable.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for a presentation’s structure. One popular format, called Pecha Kucha, requires no words at all.
License this image via fran_kie.
Design Your Slides and Incorporate Visuals
Designing your slides is where your presentation starts to come alive! As mentioned, there is no requirement to include words, graphs, or even pictures on your slides (though excluding visuals can make for a dry presentation).
This is also where stock images can come into play to support and enhance your ideas. No need to get the camera out—no matter how literal or abstract you want your visuals to be, the perfect photo already exists as stock to illustrate your point. And, if it doesn’t, you can always generate the AI image in your head!
License this image via Zamrznuti tonovi.
Can I Use Stock Images on PowerPoint?
Yes, you can. Typically, when you pay for a stock image, you receive a license granting you the right to use the image under certain conditions.
Always make sure to read and understand the license agreement to avoid copyright infringement when selecting pictures for PowerPoint.
What Types of Images Can You Insert into a PowerPoint?
PowerPoint supports a range of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, and BMP. When choosing PowerPoint stock images, prioritize high-resolution photos that will look sharp and clear on any size screen.
If the image is intended to be full screen, a resolution of 1024 x 768 is recommended. Anything larger will automatically be scaled down by PowerPoint.
How Do I Put a Picture in PowerPoint?
Adding pictures to PowerPoint takes just a few steps. Navigate to the Insert tab, click on Pictures, and choose the image file from your device.
From there, you can resize, crop, or add visual elements to your picture so it fits your needs.
3 Best Practices for Using Stock in PowerPoint Presentations
Ready to start putting together a presentation that will wow your audience? Follow this advice to seamlessly incorporate stock photos into your PowerPoint
1. Try Different Asset Types
You may use a mix of stock photos, illustrations, diagrams, or even GIFs to get your point across. PowerPoint even lets you embed video into your slides! This is especially handy since the majority of the human brain is devoted to processing visual information.
In one study, research showed that 94% of teachers preferred using videos over textbooks to effectively teach during the academic year.
Don’t be afraid to try different types of media across your work. This variety may cater to different learning styles and hold an audience’s interest, especially during longer presentations.
Different visuals can also break up any monotony and make your points more memorable.
2. Combine Text and Images Effectively
A concept known as the “double-coding theory”, which was developed by Allan Paivio at the University of Western Ontario, explains that the human brain better remembers memories when they have the double coding of multiple mental representations. (Think: A picture of a house with the word “house” over it).
Adding text to images in PowerPoint can help viewers better associate and remember the information you present.
Still, your audience needs to be able to make sense of both the words and the visuals on your slides.
This makes it important to:
- Avoid placing text over busy parts of the image
- Take advantage of negative space
- Create a visual hierarchy to draw attention to the right places
- Use animations wisely to guide focus, so text and images don’t compete
License this image via Jasmina Buinac.
3. Think Outside the Box
You’re not limited to any one format or template for your stock photos. Be creative!
Trying to explain to the audience how different elements or concepts work together? Don’t just tell them, show them.
Consider using a variety of stock images to create a collage from scratch or to supplement your existing visuals on a slide.
Looking to drive home your call-to-action? If you want your audience to do something specific following your PowerPoint, use a striking image along with text (remember: double-coding theory) on your final slide to leave a lasting impression and motivate them to take the desired next step.
Unlock the Potential of Stock Images for Your PowerPoint Presentations
Say goodbye to dry PowerPoints and slides that won’t keep your audience on the edge of their seats. Understanding how to select, incorporate, and maximize the use of stock photography is a skill that will take your presentations to the next level.
Like this post? Stay tuned for our next “Best Practices” article on using stock photos as part of web design. We’ll explore how to make the most of stock photo libraries to better your desktop and mobile experience, and create pages that encourage your audience to stick around.
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