It’s 2019. You need to improve on using images in presentations if you wish to gain success professionally. Let’s face it. If you don’t, you will be left far behind.

You know for a long time, your images incorporated in presentations didn’t work. They were simply not up to the mark. Perhaps you ignored them because of time constraints! But remember images are the essence of a PowerPoint presentation and ignoring them is ignoring the complete PPT.  

Well, if you have understood this fact, then definitely you will be keen to master the art of using images. But in order to truly get most of the images, you must comprehend what errors you did till date.

Remember errors always sound little scary but one can learn a lot from them. So, with this post, we will walk you through some important dos and don’ts of using images. So, let’s check them to analyze what errors you did.   

Error no.1: Use of blurry or unclear images 

Images are powerful. Just don't consider them as an aesthetically pleasing element only. A single image has the potential to convey a thousand words. Therefore, to catch the audience attention, sharpness is an important technical thing that one needs to get right in images.

Quite strangely, despite having such an importance, the most common mistake that people make is the use of pixilated images. The sad part is that most of them intentionally use such images as they don’t have any other alternative. Before inserting an image, thoroughly understand its resolution. In fact, if you lack resources or time to get good pictures then connect with professionals. Here's an example showing the effect of a good resolution picture.    

Use of blurry or unclear images

Error no.2: Use of small sized images

An image is a good source to please the audience and hence, do a good job to attract their attention towards offers. No matter an image is of high-resolution or not, if a visual is not of the perfect size it fails in purpose.

For example, in below 'don't slide' use of a small picture completely failed to portray the message. The right strategy is to divide the slide into two halves for providing equal space to both content and image. Check 'do slide' given below to observe the difference.     

Use of small sized images

Error no.3: Use of multiple images

Well, images are powerful but that does not mean one should inundate a slide with multiple images. Even if images are justified, inserting too many images in a slide distracts the focus of the audience. So, the key is to go with a single most relevant image to cast a spotlight on the objective. To make it comprehensible, we have displayed both 'dos & don'ts' slides laying emphasis on the importance of single big image.  

Use of multiple images

Error no.4: Use multiple images wisely

Compared to content, audience relate more quickly with images. That's why giving text an overlook many presenters prefer to go with multiple images per slide to convey their point. In fact, many-a-times it becomes even vital to use multiple visuals. Key in such situation is to arrange visuals in an aesthetically appealing manner. Further, giving each image a borderline or frame supports to bring in a professional approach. Check the sample slides given below to understand the difference.    

Use multiple images wisely

Error no.5: Say a strict 'No' to watermarked images

To avoid purchasing a brilliant image or lack of time to buy a subscription, sometimes presenters copy watermarked images from the web. Never do that! Even if you try to hide the watermark, the audience will never fail to spot it. See it yourself in the sample slides given below. So, instead of copying and doing any unnecessary arty work go for originals. The tip here is to be honest while using visuals. Just buy them to avoid any awkward situation during the presentation.   

Say a strict 'No' to watermarked images

Error no.6: Leave the practice of amputation for doctors only 

We all do a little bit of cropping job to make a photo fit perfectly in a specific PPT slide as well as to remove unnecessary stuff. The question here is to what extent cropping of a photo is justified or should be implemented. Remember when it comes to our own photo, we all prefer our full photo whatever may be the condition. Same applies to photos of other people. So, while composing a photo for a PowerPoint slide, the key is to strictly avoid amputation of body parts. If it seems difficult then don't worry there is a way out - minimize the photo.  

Simple! Isn't that cool!

Just check the sample slide below.  

Leave the practice of amputation for doctors only

Error no.7: Understand resolution before stretching or compressing visuals

To adjust the given space or landscape format in a slide, professionals often compress and stretch visuals.

That's pretty OK!

But the thing that is not OK is when presenters distort the visual dimensions while stretching or compressing visuals. To make it easier for you to understand, in our sample slide we have used the same visual in two ways. Now, see the difference in a casual image-stretching approach and a professional stretching approach brings in. Always remember practice stretching or compressing of images to avoid or just to fill the boring white space. 

Understand resolution before stretching or compressing visuals

Error no.8: Don't insert irrelevant silhouettes   

Instead of real images, many presenters apply silhouettes to bring in a visual element. That’s good! But again relevancy comes in play. Unnecessary insertion of silhouettes just for the sake of bringing visual elements is not at all a right strategy.

Mind it!

Silhouette should go hand-in-hand with content or objective of the slide, otherwise, it distracts the audience. For example, in ‘don’t slide’ below the silhouette of women is purposeless and hence is distracting attention. Also, observe ‘do slide’. Isn’t that looking clean and understandable!        

Don't insert irrelevant silhouettes


Concluding thoughts

Getting regular audience attention with PowerPoint images is one thing but creating images that act as a magnet for the audience is another. In fact, if you want more applauds for your PPT presentation, then show images, don’t just tell.

But this does not mean that to achieve such an effect, the presenter needs to do something extraordinary. But the big blunders have to be avoided at all costs.  

Bottom-line is that images add meaning to slide as well as an aesthetic appeal. Choose them wisely and ensure that when you use them in a slide, you do not distort it as per your convenience and destroy its aesthetic appeal as well as your reputation as a presenter!