Microsoft PowerPoint is one of the most used software when it comes to presentations. You can use its essential functions to put your message across at a conference. But then, the software does not limit you to its basic functions, so you can explore different ways of making the best of it.
One way to do this is to add graphics to your PowerPoint presentations. We all know how important graphics are for communication. They are some of the things you can use to attract an audience’s attention quickly as they help demonstrate ideas better.
There are a few things to understand before you start using graphics in your presentations. You should know the reason why people use them and whether they add real value to your presentation. This article looks into how graphics can improve PowerPoint presentations.
Let’s read on.
Why Use Graphics in PowerPoint
As mentioned earlier, the best way to deliver a presentation is by making it visually appealing with graphics. Although only a few benefits can be evident immediately, some may take time to see. But there is no doubt that adding graphics to a presentation is a brilliant idea.
Here are some ways graphics can improve your presentation.
1. Make Your Presentation Attention-Grabbing
The first thing that every presenter wants to do is grab their audience’s attention. It is easy for people’s minds to drift off quickly if they find a presentation uninteresting. That’s why presenters use storytelling, cognitive dissonance, surprises, and other techniques to grab attention.
Infusing graphics in a presentation then combining the techniques mentioned above can help you grab your audience’s attention. Texts tell a story while graphics show it, and that makes a combination of the two grab everyone’s attention right from the very beginning of a presentation.
2. Illustrate Relative Amounts
You will find graphics very useful if your presentation involves showing your audience that one thing is more significant than another. Describing relative amounts with words or numbers may not help you deliver the message well. In short, you risk losing your audience as they will have to calculate to confirm the numbers.
The best way to avoid this is by using graphics for a visual representation of values. It is easy to compare one thing with the other using graphical infographics.
3. Make Text Easier to Understand
Another way that graphics improve presentations is by making them understandable. Texts can be challenging to understand, especially for people who are not keen or patient enough. This is because text requires someone to read keenly, especially if the message they carry isn’t straightforward.
This is different when it comes to graphics. You can infuse graphics into your presentations to make them comprehendible. Many people think graphics are too tricky to create and opt to use text only in their presentation. However, graphics are easy to develop, especially with the availability of templates.
You do not need to start creating graphics from scratch. The internet has a variety of free marketing templates that you can add to your PowerPoint presentation. You can also customize the templates to fit your presentation needs, but they come primarily ready for use.
4. Make Information More Memorable
Graphics and visuals, in general, have a higher retention rate than texts. But that’s not to say that people do not remember what they read. The best thing to do is combine short texts and graphics in your presentations. This makes the content engaging and also easy to remember.
The best thing about graphics is that they make words easier to process. As mentioned earlier, some texts do not have literal meanings, and audiences can take time to understand them. The same applies to trying to retain such content. Graphic representations are all you need to make the content better.
5. Inspire Action
Every presenter has end goals that they want to achieve with their presentation. They measure the productivity of the presentation by checking if they reached the goals set before. The best way to ensure that you achieve the goals is by encouraging your audience to take the desired actions.
Having a good call to action in your presentation is, of course, the first thing. But then, you can further increase the chances of your audience taking action by including visuals. Graphics make your call to action more effective as they send a more powerful message to your target audience compared to just texts.
Creating Professional-Looking Graphics in PowerPoint
Graphics can make your presentation look more appealing to your audience. However, it would be best to be careful when choosing your graphics as you need to ensure everything looks professional for the best results. Here are simple ways to create professional-looking graphics for PowerPoint.
1. Create Custom Shapes
There are different graphical shapes that you can use on PowerPoint. They come in various sizes and shapes, making it easy to find some that can go well with the message in your presentation. But then, PowerPoint doesn’t limit you to using these shapes as they are in the program.
The best way to spice up your presentation is by creating custom shapes. You can edit the figures on PowerPoint to create custom shapes that can blend better with your message. This can also help you look professional as you do not use shapes that everyone else uses.
2. Get Familiar with Picture Tools.
PowerPoint has a picture tools tab that you can use to make your presentation better. Many people use this feature only for adding things like shadows and borders to images. But then, there are several other ways this tool can help you make professional-looking graphics for PowerPoint.
For instance, you can use these tools to edit the background of your graphics. They can also be helpful when focusing on the resolution of an image. You can check out this presentation by Brainshark to understand how best you can use the picture tools feature.
3. Use Artistic Effects
PowerPoint also has an artistic effects feature that you can use to create better graphics. Artistic features help you focus on a specific object in an image or graphic. With this feature, you can fade the background and leave objects you want your audience to see.
This makes it easy for your audience to concentrate on the things that matter in images. With some images on PowerPoint having multiple objects, your audience may end up focusing on things that do not matter.
Those are some of the ways that you can improve your PowerPoint presentations with graphics. As mentioned earlier, the first thing for every presenter is to grab their audience’s attention. Graphics, as seen above, is a tremendous attention-grabbing tool that every presenter should use.
Graphics also make texts easier to comprehend and increase the message retention rate. But to achieve this, you need to ensure that your graphics look professional. There are different techniques and tools that you can use to ensure this before using graphics in your presentation.
The insights in this article will help you create graphics that will improve your presentation. Focusing on these tips will help you inspire action and make your next presentation more productive. These best practices, tools, and techniques are all you’ll ever need for your future PowerPoint presentations.