As a business professional — regardless of the industry you’re in — there’s a pretty good chance you’ve had to develop or deliver a presentation at least once in your career.
If you haven’t yet, hold on… you’re likely due pretty soon. So do yourself a favor and read on discover how you can set yourself up for success by choosing the right images to help get your point across and keep from striking out.
Whether it’s a high-pressure client pitch, a weekly team meeting, or a conference keynote, knocking a presentation out of the park can be tricky task.
To deliver a presentation that really grabs their attention and enhances your message, there are a few key players you’ll want to have on your side – and a professional, eye-catching visual aid is usually the number one pick for most presenters.
So… what do you need to know to get most out your next presentation?
Check out our top tips below, grab a copy of PaintShop Pro, and we’ll have you developing home run presentations and scoring points with your co-workers & colleagues in no time.
Find Images to Enhance Your Story
We all know the first rule of slide design is:
never use too much text… But less text is only part of the story. To really succeed, you need to harness the power of images to help tell your story and really drive home your message.
This can be tough, so take your time. A picture can speak a thousand words, so make sure it’s using the right ones by taking some time to think about the images you’re looking to put on each slide.
A good question to ask yourself is: Does this add to, emphasize, or take away from my main message? Use photos to help people visualize your words for a quicker understanding, like including a photo of someone who matches a customer persona, or a create graph to illustrate your data instead of a table full of numbers.
Remember, not just any old image will do. They’ll need to be relevant, colorful and crisp — or they could end up doing more harm than good.
So… where do you find these photos? If your presentation will be made public, Google Image Search may not be an option due to copyright restrictions. To steer clear of any legal trouble, you can always take them yourself and edit in PaintShop Pro, or you might turn to a stock photography site where you can choose from millions of photos for every situation and often at pretty reasonable prices.
Choose the Right Resolution
With the right image picked out, it’s time to make sure it will be good enough for your slides. You’ll need to confirm the resolution of the image, which essentially tells you how much detail is contained in the file.
Images with too high of a resolution can really slow your presentation down, introducing lag when you flip slides or trigger animations, and can cause the size of your presentation file to skyrocket.
Ever try to email a slide deck that was too big to be an attachment? Check your image resolutions!
For on-screen use, the standard is 72 DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (pixels per inch), the universal standard used by monitors to display images clearly to the naked eye. Keeping the total number of pixels down means a smaller overall file size for your presentation.
Need a file professionally printed? Files should be a minimum of 300 DPI.
By setting all of your images to this size, you’ll decrease the file size of your presentation, meaning it’ll load quicker, you’ll be able to send it out via email, and it’ll use a lot less memory on your computer.
Resize the Proper Way
Tied to the resolution of your image file is the physical size of the image itself. How much real estate will it take up on your slide? Does it need to be bigger or smaller?
There’s not much worse than watching a presentation with unrecognizable images, so make sure the ones you choose are the right size before you start.
The images in your presentations will need to fit on the slide or they’ll be cut off when you present. Of course, you can resize an image in PowerPoint but you might change the aspect ratio, which can leave your image looking squashed or stretched.
The aspect ratio tell you about the relative size of your photo based on its width and height.
A standard Powerpoint slide is 1280 pixels wide by 720 pixels tall.
A square photo, for example, has an aspect ratio of 1:1. If you were to resize this image, you would want the length and the width to be equal each time to keep it in proportion (2:2, 3:3, 4:4 etc.). If you have a photo with an aspect ratio of 2:1, you would want the width to be twice the height each time you resize the image.
Don’t like math? Don’t worry.
A photo editor like PaintShop Pro will enable you to lock the aspect ratio, so when you change one side, the other remains relative and automatically changes to keep your images looking crisp and clear.
Adjust the Saturation
If you’ve ever played around with Instagram (and really, who hasn’t these days) I’d bet you’re already pretty familiar with how adjusting the saturation can affect a photo. But for those who might not know, in short, changing the saturation determines how much color is displayed in your image. Bump up the saturation to make it more color-rich, and bring it down to remove color from the image.
Want to display a colorful photo in black & white? It’s easy! Just bring the Saturation down to zero.
Most screens and projectors will present colors differently from one another, so it’s always best to practice before you go live in… because no-one likes dull colors or a really in-your- face photo that’s too over-saturated.
Combine Complementary Colors
Finding the right balance in any business presentation is crucial, so choosing colors that work together to please the eye is important. It might sound obvious but you’d be surprised how many presentations go wrong by skipping over this “minor detail”.
First, choose a color scheme for your presentation and stick to it. It will tie your slides together, giving them a real professional look. Those colors can then be carried through your entire presentation, from headers and fonts to any images or graphics you include.
Found a photo you want to use that doesn’t fit your color palette? Bring it into your photo editor and adjust the color balance to make it match. You’ll need an understanding of how colors balance each other out, so check out a color wheel or try using PaintShop Pro’s color palettes to get started
Save as a Standard File Type
Once you’ve made all the adjustments to your photos, you’ll need to save it in a format that’s compatible with other software and the web. But with all the different file types out there, which one do you choose? You have two main choices: Vector & Raster.
Vector files can be resized without impacting image quality but are, again, much larger in size and often unrecognized by programs like PowerPoint.
Raster images cannot be made any larger or they will become blurry. The formats in this category are, on the other hand, universally recognized image file formats. The most popular Raster file types in business are:
The universal standard file type for online images, JPEG images are extremely small in size and are easily transferred across email and social media. Ideal for images with a large range of colors and gradients, they are so small because of their high compression.
The file type used in most business and licensing scenarios, PNG files are “lossless” and generally of higher in quality than other types. PNGs allow for image transparency, so you can save an image with a clear background. A good example of this is a company logo, which needs to be high in quality and can be easily added to any marketing materials.
GIFs are small image files that contain several images that display on a cycle and are perfect for short video clips or before/after shots. The downside of GIFs is they have a limited palette of only 256 colors, which means they can appear flat and dull. Certainly not an everyday business image format, but it has its uses.
Make it All Possible with PaintShop Pro for Business
Image optimization can be both an art and a science: an art because it allows business users to express their creativity when editing an image that has no rules on how it should look, and a science because there are some techniques and basic knowledge needed to ensure your images a propelling you forward, not holding you back.
Thanks to photo editors like PaintShop Pro, business professionals with even the smallest amount design experience can edit images for their presentations and deliver an all-star slideshow. PaintShop Pro is an invaluable teammate when it comes to optimizing images and can help you with each one of the tips you’ve just read.
To find out more about how your company can benefit from the power and affordability of Corel at work, visit our Enterprise and Small Business Licensing Information Center. Our volume licensing program offers flexible and affordable per-seat licensing and the costs drop as your seat count rises!
So follow these quick tips to optimize the images in your next presentation, then knock it out of the park!
When you’re ready for Corel at work, just let us know and we’ll show you how you can save your company more time and more money with PaintShop Pro for business.