Research on how our brain works and how it responds to information gives us a better understanding of human behavior. What is becoming increasingly agreed upon is that images (a.k.a. visual cues) used instead of, or in addition to, words make information clearer, easier to access and more memorable. You see, the part of our brain that processes visual images is much larger than the part that processes words so we have a built-in bias for using images to enhance our understanding. That bias can be fed by many forms of visual stimulation – pictures, illustrations, charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, cartoons.
When it comes time to create our presentations, however, we forget about this bias because it’s so much easier to just put a lot of words on a slide. But in so doing we compromise our audience’s ability to comprehend, remember and even care about our information.
Lucky for us (and even more lucky for our audiences) there are now a number of resources that provide pre-designed slide visuals and templates we can easily incorporate into a presentation. Not only can this save us hours of time, the slides are likely more professional-looking than anything most of us could create.
Here are some sources for slide templates:
SlideModel offers a robust suite of over 10,000 templates which are designed in alignment with current business trends and influenced by user feedback. The templates can be edited in Microsoft PowerPoint but are also compatible with other presentation tools like Google Slides, Keynote or OpenOffice.
Users can browse a collection of diagrams, business models, charts, maps and shapes and simply copy and paste the slide(s) into their own presentations, then replace the text placeholders and images with their own content. Each slide template has a helpful detailed description of its purpose, suggestions on how to use and the color pallet of the design.
For most of the templates text, color, shapes and icons are editable. According to SlideModel, “This tool becomes a Swiss-Army Knife for presenters running out of time when making their presentations and provides a wide range of presentation templates such as pitch deck templates to present a startup to an investor, marketing PowerPoint templates to present a marketing plan or educational templates to prepare a final thesis project presentation.”
SlideModel offers various subscription plans based on the number of desired downloads. It also offers free weekly presentation slides to subscribers. Pricing is reasonable with 4 options to choose from: 1-day access; 3 month access, annual basic access; and annual unlimited access.
This is an offering from Duarte Design, well-known for its principal, Nancy Duarte, and her best-selling presentation books, Slide:ology and Resonate. Duarte describes Diagrammer as a “visualization system” based on the principle that “diagrams use proximity, scale and links to clarify hierarchy and relationships between information, making your message more easily understood.”
The website has over 4000 customizable and downloadable diagrams. By asking questions it guides you to define the relationship you want to show and then takes you through several steps (like defining the number of objects you want to represent and whether you want a 2-D or 3-D perspective) to help you choose from the appropriate category of diagrams.
It appears that you can download the diagrams for free but since there is no mention of pricing on the website, I don’t know if there is a limit to the number of downloads.
SlideHunter also offers PowerPoint templates, diagrams and charts that are customizable and downloadable. There are some attractive slides available and they are free. Perhaps because of that there is a lot of advertising on the website, so take care that what you click on is actually part of SlideHunter’s offerings.
Knowing that visuals can help make complex ideas more undertandable and all ideas more memorable seems reason enough to try out some of these professionally designed slides. A small word of caution...less is more. Don't let the beautiful slides overshadow you. At the end of the day, it is you who will connect with your audience and change the world. Supported by the beautiful slides.
flickr.com/Brain C.C. 2.0