You ditched the mom jeans and frosted tips. It’s probably time to update your slide deck too. Where to begin? We’ve written quite a number of blog posts on moving away from the slideument (an attempt to include an entire document on one slide using bullet points), and hope you’re already incorporating that nugget into your work. Today we’re going to talk about something more visually telling.
Nothing dates your deck quicker than floating photos.
You know them. You have them. They look like this:
Let’s start with the appropriate congratulations for using photos. Good job! Meaningful visuals are a step up and away from text dense slides and they supplement a presentation’s narration, helping the audience to more thoroughly grasp your concepts.
But photos framed by unused slide space scream, “I’m dated and need a makeover!” Like a fanny pack stuck in a handbag world.
Floating photos can be hard to resist because PowerPoint and Keynote tell us clearly where both the photo and the text should be located on the slide. You know… that spot that says something like, “Click to add title”?
If we ignore this default template a new problem arises. Where in the world do we put the text?
Never fear, in this blog post we’re going to show you a couple of tips and tricks to make using full slide photos – and adding text – easier than connecting to the world wide web via America On Line.
1. Start by inserting a new slide into your presentation, and then inserting the photo you want to work with. If you need a quick refresher on how to make this happen head on over to our How to Rock Your Icon Drawings blog post.
2. Once you’ve added the photo select it by clicking on it. Once it’s there click on one of the corners and pull until the photo is full page. You may have to click and pull from a couple of corners to achieve the full slide photo.
3. Now for the text. Insert a rectangle by clicking Insert>Shape and selecting the rectangle. We chose a pretty green color to match some of the color elements in the photo.
4. To preserve the full-page photo effect we want the shape to have a bit of transparency; we adjusted the transparency setting by going to the Drawing toolbar and clicking Format>Format Shape.
Following these steps will cue the transparency setting. Once there adjust it to your liking. In this example we used a 41% transparency which provides enough contrast for text but still allows us to see through to the photo.
5. Now we just need to add a little text and we’re done. We created a whole new space for text on our slide. Nicely done.
If you prefer black and white simply adjust the photo colors to black and white and choose a grey fill for your rectangle.
Feeling low on design inspiration? Head on over to Canva.com. Canva’s got a whole load of presentation templates you can recreate in PowerPoint or Keynote using the techniques we just used.
From the Canva home screen choose the Presentations option and select one of their many slide template offerings.
We took the top left template in the screen shot above and remade our yummy Mexican lunch slide. Note that we completely ditched the clip art (we advise you to do the same).
Sometimes you don’t need to add a transparency for text. Sometimes – given enough contrast – a quick text box will do the trick.
(For the record this is probably not my ideal retirement situation, but I would definitely give it a shot).
And if you’d like to showcase more than one photo there are options too.
Taking advantage of all of the space on a slide – and using it strategically – helps create a seamless viewing and presentation experience for your audience.
Happy slide making!