Seeing is Believing: The Power of Images In a Presentation


It’s no surprise that powerful imagery is a common link amongst great presentations. Using high impact images thoughtfully throughout your presentation can skyrocket your presentation from good to amazing. However, placing images on slides because you feel they look “empty” will take your presentation from good to good…with decorations.

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So how do you know when an image will enhance vs. decorate? Try asking yourself a few simple questions.

  • Does this image help tell a story?
  • Does this image provide clarity and understanding?
  • Is this image relevant?

If your answer is yes to those three questions then you are on the right track. Images placed on a slide to simply take up space means you run the risk of distracting and confusing your audience.

The human mind tends to be very visual.

Use this to your advantage! During my storyboard process I like to sketch my ideas of potential images and try to find a close match when i begin creating the slide.

A personal favorite method of mine is to type out the content in the instructor notes, including a brief statement of what I want the audience to take away from it and then think of how I can convey that message visually. This may sound like extra work, but I think seeing is believing. Let’s say you walk into a car dealership and you are approached by two salesman. Salesman A describes a car to you, promises it’s great, and tells you the price. Salesman B pulls up in a brand new car and walks you through inside and out. He tells you the price on a test drive while you grip the steering wheel with a big smile on your face.

Let’s PowerPoint this dilemma…


Something tells me salesman B has much better shot at getting the sale :-)

If you want to know where you can obtain high impact images for you presentation I am happy to direct you to the master of presentation design Garr Reynolds’ Presentation Zen blog. Follow the link to a great post where he lists his top sources for paid (affordable) high quality images and good free ones. Enjoy!

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