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Do Visuals on your PowerPoint Slides Hijack your Audience’s Attention?

Ram! Don’t you think pictures are a distraction on a business slide?

That’s one of the common questions I get asked every time I conduct a presentation workshop for Senior managers.

Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to see a YouTube comment along the same lines from one of our subscribers.

The comment was…

Youtube Comment on Visuals in PowerPoint

"Not sure this is practical as audiences will be more mesmerized with your PowerPoint skills instead of actual content..."

This comment was in response to one of the videos we uploaded on our ‘Presentation-Process’ channel on ‘Visual Anchoring Technique’.

Here is the video, in case you want to go through the technique.

In the video, we showed how business presenters can make a list based slide more interesting and memorable by using visual metaphors on their slides.

Here is an example of a visual metaphor we used in the presentation:

The question was..

Won’t visuals like Swiss knife on a business slide hijack the audience attention away from the main point of the presentation?

A valid concern.

Here is my take on the issue…

A visual can either be enlightening or distracting depending on the story you narrate around it. If you have a weak story, the visual would end up as a mere distraction for the audience. But, when you have a strong story – the visual makes your story far more memorable for your audience.

When Visuals with a strong Story make your slides memorable for the audience.

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An Example of Using Strong Story for Visuals

Let’s say you are a company that offers - ‘Integrated web solutions’ to your clients. You want your potential clients to remember you as a ‘One stop shop’ for all their web marketing needs.

If I were you, I’d start my pitch as follows...

“Let’s say, you want to go on a camping trip.
Your family is all excited and you start packing your bags.
Suddenly, you realize that you need a few handy tools to carry in your bag - to take care of some essential tasks during your stay. For example, you may need…

  • A small knife to cut an apple...
  • A corkscrew to open a bottle…
  • A screwdriver to tighten your car door handle…
  • A scissor to cut a tag etc.

At that point, you have two choices:

  1. Pack a whole bunch of tools and get your bag all heavy and clumsy or…
  2. Carry just a handy Swiss knife and travel peacefully

The right choice is obvious.

The same way, when you start an online business… you need an assortment of marketing tools to…

  • Gather leads
  • Nurture Relationships
  • Sell your products
  • Service your customers
  • Make upsells, downsells, cross sells and so much more.

As a business owner, you have two choices in front of you:

  1. Buy separate tools for each of those requirements and struggle endlessly to get them all working together properly or
  2. Get a reliable ‘Integrated solution’ to get all your needs taken care of in one place with no headaches. 

At Acme Corp. - we provide you that integrated web solution to take care of all your online marketing needs in one place.

Our solution is like the reliable Swiss knife that gives you peace of mind.

We offer all the essentials services you need at the growing stages of your business, like - Service 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.”

Now, as you present each of those services - you display the visual of a swiss knife as shown above.

Now, tell me….

In the above situation - is the picture of a Swiss Knife - a distraction or a useful illustration?

Can you see how the right visual - shown at the right time, tied with a strong narration makes a message more memorable for the audience?

So, to answer the question of whether a picture helps or hinders the audience’s understanding of your point - you need to ask yourself if the story justifies the visual on the slide or not.

A strong Visual makes your presentation memorable for your audience.

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The Key question to ask before using visuals

A slide exists to support the message of the presenter and never the other way around.

So, make your choice as your situation demands.

When you do feel that you need strong visuals to support your message - I highly recommend you check out our Comprehensive All in One Bundle.

It’s a collection of more than 4022 Premium PowerPoint Templates that help you makeover any boring text based slide into clear and creative visual slide in a matter of minutes.
You can find more about the templates, by clicking on the link here

Comprehensive PowerPoint All In One Bundle

What are your views about using pictures on your business slides? Do you find them distracting or helpful?

Let me know by leaving your comments below.

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