Discover how to create your own expressive icons in PowerPoint. Take full control of the way you express your visual ideas.
Why use Icons in your business presentations?
There are 5 big reasons why you should use icons in your business presentations:
- Icons convey a lot of information in lot less time compared to a text based slide. So, when you use relevant icons, you grab your audience attention fast.
- Business icons have the power to depict your concepts visually without hijacking the attention of your audience like stock photos. So, when you use icons, you can be sure that you retain your audience attention. This is critical for high stakes business presentations.
- Icons can help you establish continuity and consistency in idea representation. So, you can use icons as visual memory hooks to build and expand on your ideas in a long presentation.
- Icons are non-controversial. You don’t have to worry about softer and political aspects like racial and cultural biases.
- More than anything else, icons are easy to create and alter. This article will show you how.
For ease of understanding, we will focus only on creating ‘People icons’ in this article. Once you get the basic understanding, you can create your own variations later. Here are some variations of People icons:
Here are 5 Ways to create Expressive Icons in PowerPoint:
1. Use PowerPoint Shapes to create icon:
You can create a basic ‘People icon’by combining a circle with any of the shapes from the ‘auto shape’ menu in PowerPoint as follows:
Once you have the basic structure, you can add embellishments by using some more shapes from the auto shapes menu like you see here:
The shapes we used to create tie, bow and jacket are the shapes from ‘Flow chart’ option in auto shapes. The embellishments help you differentiate the nature of work, the status of a person or the build.
You can even differentiate the gender and age of the people icons with some minor tweaks:
Read: 5 Tips to get the best out of your PowerPoint Images
2. Control the features with Effects:
The benefit of creating these simple icons is – you have complete control of the kind of effect you want to give to the icons. For example, take a look at the following variation in effects for icons in PowerPoint:
We could change the colors and presets to create interesting variations. We could add bevel effects, 3D rotation options and shadows to our liking. You can play with the present shape effects and see how it works for you.
3. Copy the shapes to create more elaborate representations:
We can copy the icons, vary color shading and create some elaborate representations like this:
4. Vary placement to represent business concepts:
By just varying the placement and position of icons you can communicate fairly deep ideas with icons. Take a look at the following examples:
All we did was to use copies of the icons and draw a few lines.
5. Add elements to capture the emotions:
You can take the basic combination of a ‘semi-circle and circle’ (our people icon) to a whole new level by adding some simple elements to express emotions. Take a look at the following examples:
You can add an ellipse and a couple of triangles to convey certain meaning:
You can change the fill color and line color to represent a different meaning:
The kind of things you can do with icons is limited only by your imagination.
Conclusion about using icons in PowerPoint:
By now, you would have realized that in the time you search for an appropriate icon to convey your ideas, you can create an icon of your own using basic PowerPoint tools.
To make it even easier for you, we’ve created a massive set of 156 business icons and stuck them on 26 PowerPoint slides (6 icons per slide). We grouped them logically, so you can find the exact icon that captures your ideas. Here is a preview of some of the icons in the pack:
Since all our icons look consistent, you can add them to your business presentations without worrying about compatibility.
If that is not enough, we have provided a couple of background variations for icon placeholders. You can easily copy the transparent icon image from any of our icons and stick them onto the variants. Since the background placeholders are made with basic PowerPoint tools, you can add any kind of effect you desire.
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