May 16, 2009

Role of Images in Your Presentation

In my May 7 post I talked about the importance of choosing an image which merges with the background color. Today I will talk about the role of images in presentations. You cannot deny that images are being used in most of the presentation today. Be it formal or informal. But why?

Why do you use images in your presentations?
Think for a second before you read on.

1. To make your presentation look better
2. To break the monotony of text heavy slides
3. Because you like a particular image so you want to put it

4. Because it helps you explain the message better
5. To add humor into the presentation
6. Because you should use images in presentations
7. Because everybody else does it

An image is a visual representation (of an object or scene or person or abstraction) produced on a surface (source). Every slide has a story and every slide should talk about one thing.

Given this background, what is the role of an image in your slide?

To make it easier for the audience to get the key message. The image along with your text and speech conveys the message clearly and powerfully.

Take a look at two slides and see for yourself which one is better.
Slide 2 is better. As soon as we see the 'key and chain' the feeling of security is strengthened in our minds. Use images which take advantage of these associations in the minds of people. Lock with security, Fire with danger, Dove with peace and so on.

Remember: Your message is more important than your image.
Let the image not take over the idea. Do not use an image because it is beautiful and you like it. The test of an image is whether it adds to the message and drives it in the minds of the audience.

The next time you make a slide with an image ask: "If I remove this image from the slide, will I take away something from the presentation or not?" If not, then remove the image.

Recall the last presentation you made and the images you used. How did you go about choosing images? Did the images add any value to your slides or they were just there? Leave a comment.

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