In case you did not knowBackground images are a simple, yet significant means towards impactful, memorable and effective presentations. A set of carefully selected images can make your presentation come to life and speak volumes of the effort and care you invested in creating it. They can also be great indicators of style, attitude, intention and meaning.
There are three aspects to consider when selecting background images:
Ideally, you would like the slide background to be dynamic, inspirational, motivating or emotional; or any combination of the above.
- To create a powerful introduction or cover page. It will set the tone of your presentation and help your audience adapt and appreciate what you have to say.
- To signal different sections. Images will create an effective indication of when there is a change of focus, a development of an idea or additional information.
- To build up to an authoritative conclusion. An image will sum up and stress the main point or the call to action section of your speech.
- To enhance involvement and engagement. Participants respond to visuals faster and interpret them quicker. As a result they built associations with the content, the speaker and the occasion for a longer period of time.
- To break the template barriers. As a presentation designer use the picture composition: to create new organization possibilities, to amaze and astonish the participants.
Use picture characteristics to enhance your content. Make the picture work in your favour. In particular:
- Blurring. Use out of focus images or sections of images to highlight your text while making use of the image impact.
- Colour and Lighting. Use the image colour and lighting to create sharp contrasts with your text. While focusing attention, it leads to a whole new image composition.
- Composition. Use the way a picture is framed; in particular what is included, as well as what is left out, to support content. Use leading lines to guide the audience attention to your text/data.
- Gradient. Use the directional change of intensity or colour in an image to find whitespace. Use it to place text or other content in a section where it will stand out.
- Texture. Use textures to create a pleasing effect, to add depth and originality to your presentation. Different textures can be used to indicate different types of content or sections in your presentation.
- Whitespace. Use the dead space in the picture to allow your text to read more clearly. Use it to avoid clutter and unnecessary complexity. Use it to focus attention to your text naturally.
Use the inherent meaning of images. Consider images that allow for multiple interpretations depending on context.
- Metaphors. The image of an athlete cheering after a win can be used to indicate the meaning of “achieving a goal”. Use it along with your text/data to make a point.
- Storytelling. Every image automatically leads the viewer to consider the before and after aspect of the particular snapshot. Use it to enrich the emotional or personal aspects of your story.
- Reactions. Every image generates an emotional reaction. Use it to indicate your intentions and add a variety of dimensions to your content.
Remember: The rule of three when using images in a presentation:
- Be selective. Avoid overused or stereotypical images.
- Be relevant. Use images related to your content.
- Be specific. Make certain that every image serves a purpose.