As a presentation specialist, I get the honour of visualizing unique content for keynote speakers, companies, teams and individual professionals. The fun in creating (visual) content is the quick improvement that arises when you delete the obvious visuals. The art of image selection is to create unique visuals and make them fit to the speaker’s message perfectly.
When creating presentations, everyone is searching for the perfect image to visualize the message in the most recognisable way, e.g. using well-known metaphors and simple drawings. This is a step in the right direction, but, when poorly chosen, it can also result in disaster. Visuals trigger our imagination and, therefore, have are more effective than bullet points (see our tutorial about bullet points). But finding the right image to support your message can often be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Google alone will give you hundreds of thousands hits for keywords like ‘communication’, ‘team’, ‘cooperation’, etc.
Because of a lack of time, and, therefore, a lack of creativity – because creativity takes time! – people often opt for standard images. What we often come across are cliché visuals, because those are often the safe choices that we tend to make.
WE HAVE MADE A SELECTION OF THE MOST CLICHÉ IMAGES
TIPS AND EXAMPLES FOR UNIQUE VISUALS
Based on my experience, I can state that finding the right images is not always as easy as it seems. To expose the clichés and make content unique again, I have listed some alternatives that can make your presentation even more effective.
TIP 1: NOT PERFECT, BUT ORIGINAL!
A standard image might seem to match the speaker’s story perfectly, but, eventually, the audience will appreciate original content the most. It is important that a presentation is ‘memorable’. Self-designed visuals function as a business card for clients, that value a message greatly when new images stick in their minds.
TIP 2: ONE STORY, ONE STYLE
The range of images available is enormous. When you use images with different styles, your presentation can become somewhat overwhelming. Opting for a set style within your images can therefore create unity within your presentation. My personal tip: pay attention to different style elements. Use of colour, shapes, quality and position are the most important elements to make your presentation a harmonious and recognisable whole, with your core values as guidelines.
TIP 3: KNOWING WHERE TO GET THE GOOD STUFF
Like I mentioned before, images that match your message can be found on Google in large numbers, but not all of these are content-worthy. Also, they’re often ‘property’ of others. That’s why we’re glad to share some royalty-free platforms with you on which you can find high-quality visuals that can effectively contribute to your presentation.
- Unsplash (my personal favourite)
- Freeimages (used by Nu.nl and Frankwatching)
- Twenty20 (is currently campaigning on creating unique images for your organisation)
Adobe Stock Photography is also paying attention to using (cliché) stock images by using them to design t-shirts
FROM CLICHÉ TO UNIQUE – SELF REFLECTION, AMBITION
FROM CLICHÉ TO UNIQUE – OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE
FROM CLICHÉ TO UNIQUE – WORKING TOGETHER
Do you have a need for lifting your presentation to a higher level after reading this blog? Or do you like to get some help for your presentation?
- For effective icons, check out platforms like Flaticon or Noun Project.
- Need some food for thought? Check out the platform for inexhaustible inspiration: Pinterest.
When you choose to get started with your presentation yourself, keep following us for more tips. We love to share our experience with you!
When you think you need some help: we would love to work on your presentation or give you some advice! You can also choose to follow the workshop ‘Presentation Design for Non-Designers’ with us. During this workshop, we will elaborate on everything discussed above and help you develop more useful skills that come up during the design process.