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More important than any word you will ever place on your slideshow are the photos and diagrams that you will include. We all know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but why? It's because a good photograph can invoke emotion in the audience and that emotion can lead to a decision. If your objective is to sell a product, ask yourself which of the following is going to elicit the most likely response from your audience: the name of the product and some of its specifications, a photo of the product or a photo of your customer actively enjoying the product.
The third photo conveys the benefit of owning the product and says so much more than the other two slides ever would. Here we have the New R-9500 and a picture of one of our customers using it. It's not the best picture though. So let's change it. We have a couple of choices here. Here's a happy customer using headphones and here's another one. Let's try this one first. When we really want to show the image, we make it as big as we possibly can. That makes sure that the audience connects with it.
Remember whenever you resize a photo, always grab it by the corner handles. I am going to move this to the lower right-hand corner. Don't worry about our swooshy curve at the moment; we will come back to that. Again, I'll click on my text, click on Arrange, and bring it to the front. I think we can agree that this picture better shows the quality that our product has, along with the excitement that it brings to our customers, and that's the message we want to convey to our audience. As I said, the picture, because it has a white background has blocked out the background behind it. In other words, our swooshy design in the background.
To fix this, I am going to use the New Background Removal tool found in PowerPoint 2010. I will select the picture and from the Picture tools Format tab, click on Background Removal. PowerPoint automatically tries to identify the portions of the picture to keep and those to get rid of. My first step is to use the mouse, to move the selection box and only capture that area that I want. I will bring it all the way down to the bottom and just a little bit to the right so I don't lose the elbow.
It has done a pretty good job, but you can see it's also going to remove accidentally a portion of her hair and accidentally leave a portion right over here near her hand. So I will use the Mark Areas to Remove and draw a very little line here and Mark Areas to Keep with a line that stretches out this whole area. I will double-check the picture and if it's perfect, I'll click Keep Changes. Now we can see the original slide background including the logo behind the person and because this picture is cropped off at the chest, I am going to move my image just down a little bit that when we show this full screen, it looks natural.
Now if it suited our template background, we could crop our photo in interesting ways. Let's try a different example. I am going to return to the very first slide and make this Quarterly Meeting Welcome message look a little bit more inviting. When we bring pictures into the slide, they don't always have to appear standard like this. We can move her around, down to the bottom, off to the side, and even if they're off the edge of the slide, they will still look pretty good full-screen, but let's fix this up just a little bit.
After adjusting the position of the picture and resizing it just a little bit bigger, I will move the text boxes over. That way they still appear centered on the slide. By pressing Shift+F5, I can see exactly how this appears to the audience, and since one of the important messages of our Quarterly Meeting is the announcement of the R-9500 product, I think we should put this picture on the front slide. Let's try one more way to use a photo in an interesting way, this time with a little bit of cropping.
As another example of an interesting way to use a photograph, let's go to our Training Program slide #7 and insert one of our training pictures. This picture is different than others used in the video because this does not have a white background, but with the creative use of positioning and resizing and cropping, we can make this into a great picture for our slide. Note that I am making the picture exactly as tall as the slide is.
I will move it just so it's mostly off the edge and then I will use the Crop tool to get rid of anything that I don't want on both sides. I will move it flush to the left and then I will just take my text and bring it to the right. Just one more adjustment using my left arrow key, and the picture is right at the edge of the slide. Shift+F5 and we can see how this looks. Now our slides have even more meaning. They are more emotional and more powerful because of the use of great photos in interesting ways.
Don't be afraid to experiment. Just remember to keep things consistent and focused, and try and reach an emotional connection with your audience.
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