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00 Text Image.jpgI guess it’s true that there’s a first time for everything. After years of watching people doing presentations, I finally got to create my own.

I wanted my first time to be special, so I tried to find ways to make sure that mine was not going to be “just another boring presentation”. I noticed that most people paid too much attention to data and sacrificed the appearance. On the other hand, there are others who create a presentation that is too ‘flashy’ which distracts the audience from the real content.

The perfect combination would be to use related beautiful images to complement the content of the presentation. Then your audience can digest your content without getting bored.

Creating The Perfect Images

There are many ways to acquire perfect images that go along with the content of your presentation. You can create your own, or find and use somebody else’s.

If you are a good photographer with lots of stock photos, then the first option would not be a problem. But for those whose image capturing skills are below par, the easiest method to create your own image is to make the text itself as the image.

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This is a trick often used by one of the greatest presenters out there: Steve Jobs.

create presentations

The key is minimal use of text and extra time on tinkering with font properties and background. For example, I would like to present the statistic of blogs from Technorati. Some copy and paste routines would give me something like this:

create stunning presentations

To modify the data into text images, I cut out the fat and deleted most of the text. I also changed the written numbers with real numbers to add some drama.

create

Then I did a quick change of the font type, size and color using “Formatting Palette“. I assigned white for the title and dark grey for the content.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

You can also use the “Format – Font” menu for more comprehensive options.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

I added some shadow and reflection to spice things up a little bit.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

Centered text is so static and boring, so I moved them around.

And the last step was changing the background using right click and “Format Background

01g Format Background.jpg

I chose a simple 90 degrees linear gradient color fill from dark to light to further emphasize the text.

01h Linear Gradient.jpg

I clicked “Apply” and here’s what I came up with.

01i Final Result.jpg

Be sure to add real life context to the presentation. Using the blog statistic example, I’d show my audience the stunning slides while saying something like this: “In 2009, Technorati said that there were more than 130,000,000 blogs out there. That’s as much as all Japanese people in the world.”

Adding Real Images

To take things a little bit further, you can also use real stock photo images. My favorite way to get free to use and free to modify photos is downloading them from Flickr. Just be sure to use the Creative Commons licensed ones.

To find photos within that category, you can use Flickr Advanced Search while ticking on the CC boxes.

02c Flickr_ Advanced Search Creative Common-1.jpg

Or you can use Quix How To Create Custom Browser Bookmarklets In Quix How To Create Custom Browser Bookmarklets In Quix Read More and “fc” command for faster results.

02d Quix search Flickr.jpg

Use the downloaded image(s) for the background of your slide(s), and you can get something like this:

02f With Image.jpg

Using text images (and real images) is just one of the simple and easy tricks that will boost your presentation several levels above boring.

If you have other tricks that you’ve used yourself to create stunning presentations, please share them using the comments below.

Image credit: Sham Hardy

  1. WhatBradDidNext
    July 9, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    Thanks - simple works best. Steve Jobs built a whole company on it.

  2. richrussell
    May 1, 2010 at 9:06 am

    I am just getting into creating slideshow videos. I like this concept of minimalistic slides, much used by Steve Jobs, but I agree with the comment that this one went a little too far with the fancy stuff.

    I like the tip on finding usable images from Flickr.

    Rich

  3. Anonymous
    May 1, 2010 at 7:06 am

    I am just getting into creating slideshow videos. I like this concept of minimalistic slides, much used by Steve Jobs, but I agree with the comment that this one went a little too far with the fancy stuff.

    I like the tip on finding usable images from Flickr.

    Rich

    • Anonymous
      May 3, 2010 at 1:10 am

      Yes, I admit that I overdid it. LOL. Just want to show what the possibilities are.

  4. David
    April 26, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    This is nice, but doesn't work on a PC. Can you demo on a PC?
    Thanks

  5. David
    April 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    This is nice, but doesn't work on a PC. Can you demo on a PC?
    Thanks

    • Anonymous
      May 3, 2010 at 1:12 am

      Hi, I've tried this on PC also. The interface would be different but the basic steps are the same.

  6. Anonymous
    April 24, 2010 at 2:25 am

    I can't believe you live in Portland! I am from there! I hate Dimillo's lol...

  7. Peter
    April 23, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Sorry, but the statistics slide turned out ugly. The concept is great, but you overdid it with the gradient and the fonts are too thin to power the feeling of how big that number actually is.

    • Anonymous
      May 3, 2010 at 1:15 am

      Thanks for the comment. And I agree, the title should be smaller and the number should be bigger and bolder to show the magnitude.

  8. RD
    April 23, 2010 at 5:15 am

    Very useful!

  9. Jonathan Lessard
    April 22, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    For some great tools and tips about presentation I do recommand :
    http://www.presentationzen.com...
    They are simply amazing !

    If you need to pick some color from your image (tu use in the text)
    I do recommend : http://kuler.adobe.com/#
    You can upload an image and it will generate a color pattern for you
    and it will give you the specific composition
    I do use it very often

  10. Jonathan Lessard
    April 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    For some great tools and tips about presentation I do recommand :
    http://www.presentationzen.com/presentationzen/
    They are simply amazing !

    If you need to pick some color from your image (tu use in the text)
    I do recommend : http://kuler.adobe.com/#
    You can upload an image and it will generate a color pattern for you
    and it will give you the specific composition
    I do use it very often

    • Anonymous
      May 3, 2010 at 1:13 am

      Thanks for the tips on presentation zen and kuler.

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