Pictures form the basis of storytelling and as presentation designers visual content drives our presentations. I can spend hours trawling through photographs, textures and backgrounds in stock libraries searching for the perfect image to enhance or illustrate my slides. There are occasions where I will take my own photographs, but I often get frustrated by my lack of technical expertise and equipment. You may not realise that you have a valuable tool at your fingertips in the form of a simple home office scanner. Scanners are relatively inexpensive machines that allow you to create your own unique images with items that are readily available to you. You can set your scanner to scan at high resolution, allowing you to zoom in and create interesting effects. You can fill PowerPoint auto shapes with scanned fabrics or textures and use crumpled paper and cardboard boxes for unique templates and backgrounds. Here is an autumn leaf I scanned alongside an autumn leaf from a stock library that costs close to $10. My motto is, if it’s flat, it can be scanned.
For more scanning inspiration, including a list of my top 20 items to scan, please check out my latest offering to Slideshare below:
A big thank you to Mark Fidelman for featuring me in his article for Forbes magazine: 20 World-Class Presentation Experts Share Their Top Tips. There’s some fabulous original tips featured in the article. One of my favourites is from Geetesh Bajaj:
Tip: Think analog before digital
Think analog before you begin creating your slides. Take some paper and a pencil and step far away from the computer. Visualize, conceptualize – close your eyes if it helps and think about your audience. Then think about your slides.
You can read the article in full here.
Have you considered that many of the skills we use to convey information in a professional setting can be used in other areas of our lives e.g. designing birthday invitations, creating a map to show directions to a venue etc. Recently I set myself the challenge of updating my resume so that it would be more of a visual display of my achievements and skills. I wanted to keep the document to one page only (reducing it from 3 pages) and distill larger amounts of information into key essential messages.
I created this visual resume in PowerPoint using auto shapes, text boxes and by inserting icons. To create a consistent effect, I used the colour picker tool to select a colour from my photograph to use in the rest of the document. I then saved the final product as a PDF document. I think this version is a much better reflection of who I am and the skills I have and I’m not sure that I could go back to the humble Word document again.
Make Great Tip
If you would like to create the effect of ‘dummy’ or latin text in PowerPoint 2010 when creating a document such as the one above, place your cursor in the text box and type in the following:
Then press enter and you will find your text converted to latin.
I am thrilled to be featured on Prezi’s Top 100 Online Resources Every Presenter Should See. This is a great honour for my new little blog! Please pop over and have a look. It’s great to see so many links to presentation resources in the one place.