Insert and Format Images in Your pptx

Sun, January 18, 2009, 11:54 AM under AboutPresenting
I have given quite a few technical presentations in my time and anyone that has attended one will tell you that I believe in demo-driven sessions (I have *never* given a session that had less than 50% demo time and most of them met my goal to be close to 75%+). Having said that, the few slides that a session has are important and what is equally important in my opinion is to strive for an image per slide!

If you can't find an image that conveys the message of the slide, then maybe your slide is trying to convey too much; if the image does not fit on your slide, then maybe your slide is too busy; if you can't tie an image to the message, then maybe you can insert some humorous image. So, I think of it as a quality gate for my slide: if I can’t insert an image, there is something wrong with the slide. If you don’t agree with that, then still insert an image in order to please the people that think more visually than others and also to add some color to your deck ;-)

After you have inserted an image, please use the tools offered by PowerPoint to make it aesthetically pleasing. When you select the image, a new tab appears in the PowerPoint 2007 ribbon with tons of options - explore them:


It is surprising how many times people ask me how I created a glow effect or a reflection (aka mirroring) effect etc. Depending on your personal preferences and the theme of your deck, some options work better than others, but by far my favorite and the one I start with as a default is preset 5:

Please try it now on a slide: insert an image twice and apply the preset on one and leave the other "plain/default". Can you see the difference in quality? Try it projected on a huge screen and you'll never go back…

There you have it! I shared the secret to the images in my decks ("big deal" I know, but oddly it took me some time to be comfortable sharing this nonetheless ;-)
Monday, February 02, 2009 12:49:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Awesome as usual. I am unable to express as to how much valuable your presentation tips have been to me. Can you also shed some lights as to where to get those images? I use search engines msn / google, but it takes quite sometime for me to arrive at the right image. And sometimes, time taken to find a image exceeds the time taken for creating the rest of PPT :) .
Friday, February 13, 2009 1:21:00 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I have a question related to ppt presentations but maybe not this particular post. Could you tell me how did you make the transitions (fade out -> fade in) when switching from some slide to Demo on TechED seminars in Barcelona? It was a very nice effect. Was is a Power Point feature or maybe some external app?
Friday, February 13, 2009 8:14:37 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
nirajrules: I do the same as you and, yes, most of the time it takes longer than creating the deck! For large Microsoft events, I'll do the searching and then the organizers are concerned about copyright issues so they will replace them with their own. If you have that luxury, still do search for the image you like, so they can find the closest alternative. Just asking them for an image does not work well at all in my experience.

Piotr: For slide-to-slide, I just use the built-in Transition (accessible from the Animations tab). My personal favorite is the Fade Smoothly (second from the left). When switching from slide to demo, I actually switch machines. The machines are connected via a switcher (a hardware component). It is the switcher that offers the nice effect (that actually matches my slide-to-slide transition preference).
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