SlideRocket Blog

Slide Design – Make Your Presentation Images Sizzle

By John Rode on January 13, 2011

A key ingredient to memorable slide design is presentation imagery. But making your slides sizzle takes more than just a pretty picture. It’s best to take a little time to position and frame your images for maximum impact.

Fortunately, the extensive use of PowerPoint clip art has set the bar low for slide design success. And, the pervasive, monotonous use of images of businesspeople staring at computers and “doing business stuff” makes standing apart from the crowd that much easier. Dare to be a bit more inventive with images and you’ll be a hit.

11 Striking Ways to Display Images – Check Out the Presentation

Here is some more detail on three of the slide design approaches for presentation images:

Let the Image Lead the Eye

The imaginative placement of images keeps viewers engaged by nudging them away from the standard left-to-right reading pattern. Explore this slide design approach:

  • Place the image in the upper left corner of the slide
  • Choose a small image with a linear design element
  • Set the text so the design is pointing to it

Take a look at slide #4 “Ladybug on Leaf” for a compelling layout.

Use Unique Image Frames

Adding a border is a common way to frame an image. Group 3 of them together as a “deck of cards” to juice things up a bit. Here’s how:

  • Place 3 images on white rectangular “cards” and use a drop shadow
  • Place the “cards” to the upper right
  • Allow the very top of the images to bleed over the edge

Explore Slide #6 “Deck of Cards” to see the effect.

Set the Slide Background as the Canvas

Gone are the days of white backgrounds with squared-off presentation images placed symmetrically to the right of bullet text. Try this instead:

  • Pick a small image that “pops”
  • Set it to the right so the text is more prominent
  • Set the background to a complementary color and add a gradient
  • Keep text to fewer than 10 words and use a contrasting font color

Check out slide #1 “Blue with Balloon” for a sample.

For more great effects, advice, and resources visit the Slide Design “Launch Pad”.

46 Comments »

  1. Lazza

    January 16, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    Very nice tips, thanks. :)

    Sorry for the OT, but the font color of this comment textarea is hard to read…

  2. John Rode

    January 16, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    Ha! You’re right Lazza! Duly noted and appreciate the feedback.

  3. Abhijit

    January 20, 2011 @ 4:28 pm

    Brilliant!
    I agree, these days use of images is very common, but effective and expressive use of images is still an art! I especially loved the idea of cropped or clipped images. Haven’t seen much of it but would be interesting.
    One thing I noticed in your presentation is – every slide still has at least 50% open space which maintain a great balance between image and crisp text.
    Well done!

  4. John Rode

    January 21, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    Thanks Abhijit. Yes, much of the time less text is more. And even images need not be overwhelming to have a big impact. And I think you’re right that balance is key as you want a stunning image, but that should not prevent your message from being the center of attention.

    We will bring out some more samples shortly of interesting layouts we have seen in SlideRocket.

    - John

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