The Wrong Way to use a Presentation Visual

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Using a wrong presentation visual can bring down the effectiveness of your message much more than using no visuals at all. Understand and avoid the common mistakes in using visuals in your presentations.

Every book and every site on presentation tells you to use pictures in your presentations.  But, unfortunately no one tells you how to use them – the right way.

As a result you see slides like these in business presentations.

Wrong presentation visual with clipart
Unfortunately, what you see here is what passes for a visual slide in many meeting rooms. Such PowerPoint slides just don’t sell your ideas.

As an audience, you know these slides are sleep inducing.

The issue with clipart…

The issue in such slides is not that the clip art used looks like it is drawn by someone in third grade. The real issue is that the image is used just for decoration.

Remove the image and there is no difference in the impact (of course, in the above slide the impact is positive).

The issue with beautiful pictures…

The problem remains the same even if you use ‘beautiful’ pictures in your slide. For example:

Wrong presentation visual with picture
If you remove the image, there is no loss in message.

When you use images merely to add beauty to your slides, then do a favor to your audience – delete those images.

You are not there to entertain them (let them visit a photo gallery for that), you are there to sell your ideas.

So, how to use visuals correctly?

The right way is to use visuals to illustrate your ideas. Let them convey a concept instead of just filling the empty space on your slides.

The best way to use visuals is to use diagrams. Diagrams have the power to communicate your ideas in a matter of seconds.

Related: Right and wrong ways to use visuals in your presentation.

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