Join Justin Seeley for an in-depth discussion in this video Choosing the right images, part of Designing a Presentation.
Alright, now it's time to talk about one of the more fun aspects of building a theme for your presentation. And that's choosing the right images. And images are so important because they actually help tell the story of the presentation. And when people are inside of a presentation they're watching you do a presentation. They're not going to remember all those bullet points and things you talked about. People only remember the big time images and quotes that are memorable. And things that stick in their head as they're leaving that presentation. That's what they're going to be talking about for days and weeks to come. So you want to make sure that the images and one liners and things that you throw at them during the presentation are memorable, bold, easy to see, and just good overall. It could be the difference of something like this. Let's say we're giving a sales presentation and we're talking about how to become the king of the sales jungle.
And somebody looks at this and it's written in Comic Sans and it's got this little clip art cat over to the right. And, yeah, you know, he's got the little crown on. He's a king. You know, cool. But look at this compared to this. Which one do you think evokes the emotion, the aggressiveness that's needed to succeed in a sales-type business? I think this one is. You're drawn to the eyes of the lion, the big bold text at the top. This is a memorable slide. People look at this and they think, yeah, I can become the king of the sales jungle. So I think using images in this way to help advance the story, to help sort of set the mood of the presentation, is a very important piece of the puzzle. I want you to avoid using clipart at all costs.
I realize clipart is cheap, it's most of the time free, and a lot of clipart is included in programs like PowerPoint and things like that. But you run the risk of actually taking away from the message of your presentation and also creating what I call a cookie cutter look. Because everybody's got access to clipart. Everybody who bought PowerPoint has access to the clipart in PowerPoint. So you run the risk of creating a presentation that looks just like somebody else's. You want your presentation to be genuine and unique only to you. Let's take a look at this slide right here. So it's a slide for a company retreat let's say.
And we've got two pieces of clip art here. You know, a little golfer and a little bowler. And really and truly they distract me away from the actual title of this presentation. I find myself focused because they're both line art and the text is line art. And I just really get lost in this right here. I'm going to use the same text. We're going to switch it over to white though. And we're going to use one single image in the background to sort of convey the message we're looking for. Check that out right there. So the company retreat 2013 right there on this green background with the golf ball, and this is such a calming image. You can almost smell the fresh cut grass as everybody's going out golfing that day. I think this is a really powerful image, much more so than the two clip art pieces of imagery that we had on the last slide.
So I think this is a much better way to go. So just using images to better your presentation and sort of make it feel different things as people go through it. This is a very powerful thing. And you might be saying, oh yeah, but Justin, I'm not a photographer. I can't go out and, hunch down in the grass and take a picture of a golf ball that looks like that. That's okay. You don't have to do that. That's the best part about it. There are tons of sites and things like that all over the internet, that make it easy for you to find photos to use in your presentations. You may have to pay a little bit of money for them, or you may have to do a lot of searching to find the right one. But at the end of the day I think any of that far outweighs the cost or the time investments that you're going to have to put in to find these images really and truly.
So where do I find my images online? Well I have a couple of places, first and foremost I go to iStockphoto. This is a tried and true place to find stock photography. You find it at istockphoto.com. You do have to pay a little bit of money here. But the selection and the quality of the photographs is second to none. Number two, is one I'm starting to visit more often, it's pond5, that's pond5.com. And this is a great site not only for photos, but for video and audio and all different kinds of stuff. And it's a new comer onto the scene, or at least it's new to me anyway, and pond5 is really starting to expand their library and get some great content in there, so I recommend checking that one out.
As well as one that we use all the time here at lynda.com, one called Thinkstock. And you can find them at thinkstock.com. A great selection of stock photography. A lot of the photos you see me use in my courses here at lynda.com have Thinkstock photos in them. And I really enjoy using their service. The one that I go to all the time. I've been going to them to years. I used this when I was doing tutorial files for my old podcast and things like that, is the Stock.XCHNG. This website is actually free. And you find it at sxc.hu. It's a great site. Free stock photography. You do have to check the terms of service on each individual image to make sure you're not breaking that, because if do you break that, you know, you might get into some trouble.
But most of the time, they're available for free use and you can put them into presentations, videos, whatever you want to use them for. It is a great resource. Stock.XCHNG. Check that out. Alright, so here are some image guidelines that I think we need to go over. Just general rules that I like to follow. Number one, you need to make sure that your images tell a story. And you're already supposed to be telling a story with this presentation, maybe following some sort of story arc. You want these images to help advance that story along. You also want them to fit the tone of the presentation, because along with the story comes the tone, and so they have to sort of fit both molds. So to speak.
So if you're trying to, let's say the, the golf presentation we had while ago. Let's say that we're trying to convey, this is an atmosphere of relaxation, but also we want to talk about business. Well, the business-y font that I used there, that tells us, hey, we're going to talk corporate stuff. But the golfing stuff says, hey, but we're also here to have a little bit of fun. It's got nice green soothing colors, and everything else, it sort of just advances the story line along for you. Also, images should complement text. They should not distract away from the text. When I had those two line art images on there, the two clip art guys, for the company retreat, I was distracted. I couldn't figure out where they started.
Where the text stopped and all this other stuff. And so I just sort of lost my way on that slide. Whereas on the golf ball slide it's just kind of in the background. It's not really doing anything. It's just there. It just sort of complements that big heading that we have on the text and allows us to see oh, okay, yeah, this is the, this is the mood we're trying to set here. I get that. So it should always complement, it should never take away. And, also, images should never, ever appear cut out. This is one of the most common mistakes I see with what I call novice presentation design, is people just find an image.
They don't care that it's got some sort of colored background on it and they just paste it in, no matter what color the background is for your slide. Let's take a look at an example here. Here's a good example of how to put an image into a slide. This is a picture of a light bulb. I didn't cut out this light bulb, the light bulb actually has a white background. But, that goes on to the white background of my slide and therefore it blends in nicely. I could wrap text around this thing, it's not distracting at all. It just fits. I could put it anywhere on the page and it really wouldn't do any harm. However, let's take a look at this example, same kind of light bulb but this time it's sitting on a black background and this big box is just sitting in the middle of my slide.
It's distracting, it pulls your eyes away from the content that you really want to focus on and it is not complimentary of the text if we had any, at all. So you need to avoid this sort of cut out look. Chances are if you're looking on those stock image website that I gave you earlier you're going to be able to find an alternate version of an image that you're looking for so that you can make sure that it fits the presentation that you're working on. Now if you find an image and it's got a background and you're using some sort of color in your slide that is a good time to take it into an image application like Photoshop for instance and mask something out.
And we've got tons of courses here at lynda.com on how to do things like that. So if you need some image editing tips, be sure to check out our Photoshop courses here at lynda.com for more information on that. Now one other tip that I'm going to give you is please, please, please stop using Google Images. I know Google Images is like this awesome resource. And everybody uses them for their college term papers, and a lot of people use them for presentations and things like that. But here's the deal. A lot of the images on Google Images are in violation of copyright. And you really don't want to be that guy that gets caught using the copyrighted image that you haven't paid for. So using Google Images, I think is good for placeholders. So if you're just mocking up a presentation.
You can find some quick Google Images on, you know, whatever the subject matter is that you're looking for. Put them into your presentation and then if you're not the actual person putting the presentation together, send it off to your designer, or if you have an art department, just say, hey, here are the images that I want to use, kind of. And I want you to find equivalents of these on a stock photography website, or if you're the person putting it together, just use Google Images like I said, as a placeholder, and then go back in and fill them in with actual images from a stock photography website. because chances are, the stock photography images are going to be better than the ones you found on Google Images anyway. Alright, wrapping up here, photos should be part of your budget without a doubt. You should put in for the presentation budget, which you should have a budget when you're starting to spec this thing out, you should put in a few dollars for some stock photos, period.
Because that's going to allow you to get the best imagery possible and allow you to deliver your message in a more effective way. Finally when it comes to photos, I want you to use them, but I want you to use them wisely. A lot of people overuse photos, a lot of people don't use the right kind of photos. Some people just don't care that they've used the cutouts and all the different things that I've talked about in this movie. But please take the time, analyze your presentation, find the right images and find the ones that fit your presentation, and its voice and its tone.
- Exploring the tools of the trade
- Setting up a slide deck
- Developing a slide theme with fonts, images, and colors
- Creating a storyboard
- Choosing software
- Using images as backgrounds
- Exploring the rules of slide typography
- Building charts and graphs
- Creating text and image focal points
- Effectively using animations and transitions