There is no doubt that images are an effective learning tool. A captivating image can tell a story on its own, but a well selected image will help your students remember the content of your presentation.
Why then, do you carefully select your images and hide them in the standard template design. Where the highlight of the slide is the text?
Let’s look at some ways that we can take your fantastic image and use it to create impact.
Begin with a strong image
The images you use should never be an afterthought. Selecting an image is part of the content development process. Look for the image that relates to the content and helps your students make connections between what’s being said and shown on the slide. When you provide context you help with learning.
You’re most likely going to look for a combination of free images, purchase stock images, and your own. Don’t be afraid to take and use your own photos, especially if your subject matter makes it difficult to find them on stock photo websites. While you want to use a high quality image, your lesson is not a photography contest. You’re looking for clarity.
I love this image. This is how you’re going to feel when you start getting the most from your images. This is a great image to use because it conveys an emotion. It can also be easily edited using the image editing features of PowerPoint.
Edit your text to the absolute minimum
Use just the amount of text needed to capture the main point of the slide. If you need to summarize a list of points, then, consider creating a checklist to distribute to your students as a handout. If all of the bullet points you’ve created are important to discuss and show on a slide, then create multiple slides.
Just because you can list 6 or more bullet points on a slide doesn’t mean it adds clarity for your students. Even if you’re an engaging speaker, too much information can cause cognitive overload for your students resulting in them not remembering much of what was said. Small bites of information on each slide will help your students remember more.
Three simple ways to make your image the focal point
1. Insert the picture as a background
When you design your slides remember you’re also talking, either face-to-face in your workshop or webinar, or recorded in a video. You do not need to put every point you want to make on one slide. There isn’t a limit on the number of slides you can use. Use as many slides as you need, but remember to be a ruthless editor when you create a list.
2. Use Shapes to focus attention on your image
It’s hard to imagine this circle shape takes up exactly the same slide space as the square placeholder in the template example; half of the slide. The circle shape is one of my favourite shapes to use. It allows you to create interest, and crop the photo to highlight the most relevant part of the image. Especially if the background of your image makes it difficult to overlay text or remove.
You can also increase the size of the shape until it fills the slide.
3. Remove the background
Removing the background from an image eliminates all of the unnecessary elements from the picture while integrating the image with the text. This provides you with a lot of flexibility in using the image on your slide. With more white space you have created more options on where you can place your text boxes. You can keep the left-right placement, or move the image to the centre of the slide and place your text around it.
Bonus Option: Change the background colour
Once you have the background removed from an image, it’s easy to change the feel of the slide by adding a solid background colour. Adding a background color can also hide any imperfections created in the image editing.
That’s it, 3 (plus one!) ways to better use images in your slide design.
And you don’t have to be a graphic designer to use these tips in your next presentation.
Want to learn more about creating effective presentations for your courses or webinars? Sign up for our free online course, and create a better presentation for your learners. In 5 Essential PowerPoint Skills Every Instructor Needs to Know we’ll show you how to combine adult learning and graphic design principles to avoid common mistakes webinar and online learning instructors make in creating their slides.