The images should not be the protagonists of our speech but should illustrate the ideas that we are exposing. They must act as visual reinforcement and decoration for our presentation.
The difficulty is that, generally, the photos should not represent objects or people but rather abstract concepts such as effort, creativity, challenge, despair, or fear. And getting a good image that illustrates such concepts is not easy, especially if you want to make your presentations stand out.
There are several places where we can search for images, but often the problem is that we have no idea what photo we want to search for. And a direct search on Google Images for the concept itself doesn’t always yield a photo that exactly matches the idea we want to convey.
So, how can we know which photo to look for? To find or design the ideal photo for each slide, I follow the following 5 steps:
How to choose the perfect presentation photos
1. Define the concept well
It seems obvious, but that implies being clear about the message (in the singular) that we want to convey on each slide. And that doesn’t always happen. Sometimes the slides are not conceived as micro messages but as sections of a written report.
One slide for the introduction, another to talk about the opportunities, another to present the sales data, and I wonder, can’t you get more than one sales message? So, why not separate them into more than one slide?
How can we illustrate with an image more than one message at the same time? If we want to do it effectively, it simply cannot be done. So divide and conquer.
2. Choose the message
Once we are clear about the concept, we must think about what message we want the image to convey. It is possible to transmit different messages about the same concept, so we must be clear about which one we are interested in.
If we talk about trust, this can be trust towards others or towards ourselves. In addition, we can speak positively about trust or give the message of not trusting anyone. Obviously, in each case, a different image will suit us.
Suppose that, in our example, we want to convey the message that, in order to overcome the challenges we encounter in life, we must trust ourselves.
Once the concept and the message are clear, we must carry out a
Brainstorming answers the following question:
- What things do we associate with that concept?
- What adjectives?
- What situations?
- What expressions are in our vocabulary?
- Which characters?
Let’s make a list following our example: What do we associate with self-confidence to overcome challenges?
People who like challenges and adventures
- A tightrope walker on a tightrope without a net
- A tamer puts his head in a lion’s mouth.
- A skier is skiing in the middle of an avalanche.
Athletes who win everything by being very confident in their game
- A tennis player hits the ball from behind.
- A footballer is about to take a penalty.
Other trades that require self-confidence
- A surgeon wielding a scalpel
- A character who must overcome the adversities that life has imposed on him
I could go on, but we already have a few ideas to start looking for the type of photography that can best
illustrate our concept in the case at hand.
4. Go for the photo
Once you have a few ideas, it’s time to find or create the perfect photo. You can search for relevant images using keywords, browse through proposal PowerPoint templates, or even consider creating your own visuals. The choice depends on your creativity, resources, time constraints, and personal preferences.
By incorporating proposal PowerPoint templates, you can enhance your presentation’s visual appeal and structure while still ensuring the selection of the right visual photo for each slide.
5. Take into account the common scope of the target audience
All the ideas that have come out are valid. However, they have been designed without taking into account who the presentation should be addressed to.
When I analyse the type of audience that I will have in front of me, we must look at the elements that the public has in common: they belong to the same company, they all have the same training, they all live in the same city, and they are the same age. That homogenising aspect of the public will be their common area.
Can we find any other examples of our concept and message that are in the common realm of our audience?
Suppose we have to make a presentation for the police academy.
What situations in the police field can we relate to the message of our slide about self-confidence when facing challenges?
- A policeman in front of a group of protesters
- A policeman who must defuse a bomb must choose the red wire or the blue wire.
- A policeman who must regulate traffic
Surely, any of these will serve to empathise with the audience much more than any of the others.
Choosing the perfect visual photo for each slide in a presentation requires careful consideration and attention to detail. The images should not overshadow the main message, but rather serve as visual reinforcement and decoration. To achieve this, it is important to define the concept well and be clear about the specific message to be conveyed on each slide.
Brainstorming various associations, adjectives, situations, and characters related to the concept can generate ideas for suitable images. Once the ideas are generated, it is time to search for or create the perfect photo, using keywords, PowerPoint templates, or original visuals. Lastly, considering the common scope of the target audience is essential.
Understanding the shared characteristics of the audience can help identify additional examples or situations that resonate with them, resulting in a more impactful presentation. By following these steps, one can select visual photos that effectively illustrate and enhance the overall message of each slide.
Featured image: R-GraphicsDesign/Motion Array