PowerPoint and Presenting Stuff

Avoid Death by Clip Art: by Gavin Wedell

Do you use clip art images in your presentations, or do you stay away from them just because you read somewhere that clip art may make your slides look unprofessional? Of course, that’s true –- but certainly not all the time, as we shall explore in this article. As you shall see, all clip art is not created equal, and there can be several benefits in using the right kind of clip art.

Adding clip art is a great way to help your audience comprehend and process the important points of your presentation. However, if you use clip art poorly, it can do far more harm than good. Let’s see how it can be dangerous, and how to use clip art properly.

What not to do when using clip art

Let’s take an example of poorly used clip art in a time management presentation:

You’ll notice that the clip art is way too small for the audience to notice (if you can’t find it, it’s in the bottom-right corner). This ruins the entire slide.

Let’s replace the small image with a larger one:

Notice that this larger clip art image doesn’t solve our problems. The image appears hazy (low quality). If your audience can’t clearly see an image, there is no point of putting it on the slide. Also, if you are planning on stretching that small image, beware that action will result in the image losing its clarity. Always use clip art images that are of a high enough resolution to appear clear on your slide. Hazy or foggy images will only make your presentation look tacky.

Notice that this image also has a white background which doesn’t merge well with the dark grey of the slide background. So we should either change the clip art image, or the background.

This is one of the common problems with merely copying and pasting images found on the internet. Typically those images are JPG files with white backgrounds. Ideally, we’ll want images with transparent backgrounds, so that they merge neatly into the slide background.

In the next step, we use clip art that has a transparent background. Does the following clip art image work better?

Notice that this slide doesn’t quite reach out to the audience -– the image is fussy, its message not easily comprehended. This is the worst kind of clip art -– the kind that requires audiences to pay an inordinant amount of attention to, thus robbing the presenter of their focus.

So what kind of clip art scores well with audiences? Check out the next slide:

Notice how using this hand-drawn clip art image reaches out to audiences more easily.

Fact: Hand drawn clip art is more memorable

Our findings suggest that hand-drawn clip art is more memorable and engaging than using photos or computer produced images. Hand drawn images adds a human touch and is more appealing to audiences.

Doodleslide.com is happy to offer Indezine readers this series of 20 amazing clip art images from the Doodleslide image library. Get your free download here.

Gavin Wedell is a business educator. He specialises in training business-academics in best-practice educational techniques. During his career he has designed and facilitated management development programmes for leading global corporates. He has received numerous awards for the innovative nature of his learning programmes. Gavin also created Doodleslide, a PowerPoint add-in that includes a collection of doodles and over 50 slide templates.

Categories: clip_media, guest_post, powerpoint

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