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Powerpoint Presentation Tips (3/6): Images, Images, Images!


Fail

Our brain is really good at remembering images and it is also really good at connecting images to abstract ideas. Good use of images is essential in a good PowerPoint presentation. A good image clarifies a point and makes it remarkable without taking the focus away from the story. The brain can actually handle viewing something and listening to something at the same time (well, except for men watching TV).

So let’s say you’re talking about something that went really wrong in your story. Do a search for «failure» on our site, spend some time flipping through the result, and maybe you end up with something like the image above in your presentation. It will stand out, it will look good, and people will remember your point. Thanks to our site (and other microstock sites) it doesn’t cost you much (yaymicro sells images from $1.5).

Obviously, you are on a microstock site, and we want to sell you high-quality images. This doesn’t make the statement about the importance of images less true. Don’t take our word for it, pick up a book, or check out some of the excellent blogs about presentations on the web (see links below). They all confirm the same: Use of images makes a lot of sense in presentations.

After reading what to do, see how others do it. Learn from the best. Here are some links that will show you great presentations:

TED

Apple Keynotes

SlideShare

www.PresentationZen.com

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What Image Resolution and DPI do I need?

dpi_pixelsWhen working with images, especially for print, it’s helpful to know about image resolution and DPI. Let us begin with the basics:

What is image resolution?
Resolution is the number of dots of ink or electronic pixels that make up an image, whether it’s in print or be viewed on the computer screen.

What is pixels and megapixels?
There are many ways to measure resolution. The most basic is the number of pixels the image consists of, which may be expressed in the number of megapixels. A picture of the 1 megapixel contains 1 million pixels, which refers to the number of columns (width) and rows (height) of the image, such as 1000 x 1000. An image of 2048 x 1536 has a total of 3,145,728 pixels, or 3.1 megapixels. The images in YAY have a resolution of respectively 0.3 megapixels (small), 3-megapixel (medium) and the original resolution of between 3.1 and 30 mega pixels (large).

What is DPI?dpi_pixels2
In addition to image resolution is expressed by showing the number of dots per inch. We got multiple units of measure based on what is appropriate (DPI, PPI, SPI, and LPI). The best known measure is the DPI (dots per inch) that says how many dots there are per inch. This expresses the resolution of a printer and should only be used in this context. It refers to the number of dots of ink or toner a printer can print a photo in. In general a higher number means a sharper image. DPI is unfortunately often used to express a scanner or a display resolution. It is misleading and should be avoided.

DPI, Resolution and Print size
When someone asks for “an image of 300 DPI” it is natural to believe that they want a picture with 300 pixels per printed inch, but if the print size is not given, this makes little sense. To better specify the desired resolution you should also state the size of the print – and make sure that the printer supports such a resolution. If the printer does not support more than 100 DPI, there is no reason to use a picture with higher resolution.

In conclusion we can say that a digital image does not have a specific number of DPI. An image of 1000 x 1000 pixels can be printed on 4 x 4 inches with a resolution of 250 DPI, or 10 x 10 inches at 100 DPI. Please also be aware that good imaging software easily allows you to change the DPI without compromising picture quality (just remember to avoid “resample image”, as it leads to loss of quality).

resolution_dots_dpi

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Powerpoint Presentation Tips (2/6)


Bullet-points

Ever created a presentation by opening powerpoint and started filling in the bullet-points that are there? Out of respect for your audience; NEVER do this again. We do this mostly because the software (mis)leads us to do so. It’s considered a «standard». But do a google search for «death by bullet points» and you will see how many people are trying to tell the world to stop this nasty habit.


Hands

Bullet-points include too much text, and the human brain is not made to read and listen at the same time. As soon as you start reading the text that is on the slide, you loose focus on what the presenter is saying. The other problem is that it’s really hard to remember bullet points. There is nothing for your brain to link the bullet points to. This is why experts have created the «rule of 7» which states that any one slide should never include more than 7 words. Use this as a rule of thumb, and ignore it when it feels just.

So what do we do instead? Lets look at an short example. In Norway we have our famous 9 rules for travelling in mountains. Lets create a powerpoint to explain these rules for you – first the wrong way, and then the right way.
The wrong way: First, we open powerpoint, and we create our list of 9 bullets. That’s how 95% of us would do it. It would look something like this.

Rules for traveling in the mountains

Now, is this intriguing? How many of these rules would you remember? Is this remarkable? Or would this pretty much put you to sleep? If you are like most of us, the answer is the latter. Now the alternative approach. Do a search for «mountain backpack» (to illustrate point 5)

Find a suitable background, create a slide for each point instead of cramming it all in one slide and maybe you’ll end up with something like the image below.

Rules for traveling in the mountains

This might not be what you are «used to» or what your colleagues do, but ask yourself this question; a week from now, which point on the list will I remember? I think you already know the answer!

Click here to read Powerpoint Presentation Tips (1/6)

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