How to Choose Effective PowerPoint Images

One of the hardest parts of creating a great PowerPoint Presentation is choosing the right photos. Things like bullet points, vector art, and cartoons scanned from newspapers and magazines, and even hundreds of words in tiny print, are often crammed onto the slides. These are usually ineffective.

How do you choose effective PowerPoint Images?

What PowerPoint design will keep your audiences from slipping into a coma? One of the most effective ways that I’ve seen is by using pictures to tell your story. This is not the same thing as making one picture the story. Instead it’s choosing a word or a sentence, a digit perhaps, or symbol that by itself distills the essence of every new idea.

Case study of effective use of PowerPoint images

For example, let’s suppose your story was about The Three Little Pigs.

The first thing you’d probably say is, “This is the story of the three little pigs.” And then about midway through that sentence, you would have a slide of three little pigs. That one picture would fix the most important part of that sentence into the minds of your audience.

Your next sentence might be, “Together they decided to leave home and seek their fortune in the world.” This time your slide could be of the three pigs leaving home with their belongings wrapped in a kerchief dangling from a stick propped on their shoulders, like a musket, while waving good-bye to their mother.

Each time your story advanced even a little, you’d have a slide with a picture, or number, or symbol that filled the screen.

Who’s doing a great job

Larry Lessig, an expert in intellectual property law, is a genius at this. Each time he shows a slide, it contains a PowerPoint images that reinforces the most important point in what he has just said. Although the images themselves are not moving, the slides change quickly enough for the audience to remember the picture that’s associated with the idea. By the time he’s finished his talk, they have his message etched onto their minds.

If your PowerPoint design and delivery can achieve that, then your audience will internalize your message, and no one will slip into oblivion during your presentation.