You’ve probably seen a presentation before in which the speaker included many pictures in his or her slideshow, but these photos didn’t really add anything to the talk because they were either never mentioned, or were too blurry to be seen clearly. Pictures truly can add a lot to a presentation at a conference or seminar, but only if you use them in the right way. Here are three tips to ensure your pictures make your presentation more vibrant and memorable, rather than just serving as superfluous filler.
Before including any picture, ask yourself, “what does this add to my talk?”
Include too many pictures in your talk, and they’ll distract your audience, stealing focus from your important words. By asking yourself the question above about each and every picture you consider including, you ensure that you only include the most important, interesting photos in your talk. A few well-placed pictures will help you hold your audience’s attention, as long as they relate well to your topic.
If possible, view your slideshow in the conference setting to ensure your pictures can be seen clearly by the audience.
You might choose the best, most relevant pictures possible, but if the audience can’t see them clearly, they won’t add anything to your talk.Try running your presentation slideshow in the room where you’ll be formally presenting, and on the same equipment, prior to the day of your talk. This gives you a chance to play with lighting and photo editing to ensure the audience can actually see your pictures. If you can’t access the presentation setting, try to at least borrow any projector and ensure your images are projected clearly.
Specifically mention and discuss each picture you include.
Don’t just let a picture sit there on the screen while you discuss a topic that you know is related to the picture. The audience may not make the connection, or they may waste time trying to figure out how the picture relates rather than listening carefully to what you are saying. When a picture comes up in your slideshow, reference it directly. Use phrases like “As you can see in this photo,” and “This picture is a good example of this phenomenon.” Don’t assume the audience will understand the relationship of your photo to the overall thesis of your presentation—tell them.
Many times, showing your audience an image helps them to better understand a point that you’re making in your presentation. By choosing the most relevant images, making sure they appear clearly, and taking the time to formally introduce or discuss each one, you maximize the benefits of including images in your slideshow.