A picture is worth a thousand words. However, in the case of a presentation, it must be worth one word and multiple interpretations. The pictures you use and the way you use them will become part of your brand. Every time people see a presentation created by you they will identify it as your product. They will know what to expect and look forward to it.
There are a few words of caution:
- Size. Make certain that your pictures are of high resolution so that they look crisp and sharp even when they cover the full area of each slide. In addition, they remain sharp when you crop them to focus on a particular aspect of it.
- Content. Pictures are created with different cultures or groups of people in mind. Inevitably, some viewers may find them indifferent, strange, or even insulting. Test drive them if you are in doubt.
- Tone. Pictures should be part of your commentary or narrative. You cannot have a humorous picture while you are making a serious point. Your tone should be reflected in your visuals and the tone of your visuals should be reflected in what you say.
- Manipulation. Feel free to change your pictures. Play with colours, backgrounds, artistic effects, borders and the like. Keep your choices consistent for all sections of your presentation. Keep your changes to a minimum. Remember: the presentation is about your ideas not your software skills.
- Impact. Visual stimuli stay in memory longer. Use pictures that are memorable. Make your slides memorable by associating each picture with one of your points and leaving the interpretation to your audience. For instance a black and white picture has a dramatic effect which does not need to be explained.
- Copyright. Observe and respect the ideas and the effort of the picture creator all the time. Acknowledge them as you would like them to acknowledge you.