Scary may be a good thing for Halloween decorations and theme park rides but certainly not for presentation slides. With all things scary taking center stage as we get ready to celebrate Halloween, it's a good time to ensure that we have some tools to engage our presentation audiences rather than scare them with our terrible PowerPoint slides.
Way back near the dawn of time, when PowerPoint was invented (1987), our limited technology skills and the scarcity of easily sourceable images made it sort of (note I said sort of) acceptable to fill our slides with text and the odd clip art stick figure.
But that was then.
What's our excuse now?
Slides that accompany our presentations should enhance the audience's understanding about different aspects of the content. They should help the audience think more deeply or see your point more clearly. Above all they should be memorable and make an impression.
Sources for thought-provoking images and chart and graph slide templates abound. In the interests of motivating you to explore different and more effective ways of supporting the content of your presentations here is a profusion of resources:
- New York Public Library Public Domain Images :: Over 700,000 photographs, maps, posters and prints including a collection of images of New York from the 1870s to the 1970s.
- Pixabay :: Close to a million images offered under a Creative Commons license and requiring no attribution. Categories include business/finance, architecture/buildings and science/technology among others.
- PicJumbo :: Beautiful photography in a wide range of categories.
- Unsplash :: Stunning, high resolution images from contributing photographers.
- Flickr :: A wide selection of images, some whimsical or amusing. In many cases you do have to sort through some amateur content to find a gem. Do an advanced search to look for images available under a Creative Commons license.
- Gratisography :: More high resolution images.
- New Old Stock :: Vintage photographs from all over the world.
Images from these sites are free and either have no known copyright restrictions (in the case of public domain images) or are offered under a Creative Commons license.
DESIGN TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
- Diagrammer :: A huge number of downloadable diagrams that can be used to create charts and graphs and express relationships between various ideas and data sets.
- Canva :: Professional layouts and drag and drop functionality combined with a large selection of images, shapes and fonts.
- Visme :: Another site offering slide templates and tools to help you present your ideas visually and make your data easy to understand.
- Slidebot :: This is a particularly interesting twist on design tools. Here you provide the text you want on your presentation slides and, in seconds, Slidebot designs slides tailored to your content and presents alternatives for you to choose from. You are able to edit and then export the finished product.
So ditch the mounds of bullet points. With all these tools, there really is no excuse for scary slides.
Pixabay/Halloween Pumpkin/Yuri_B CC0