Power Point: Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

In The Beginning

Michelangelo - Creation of Man - Sistine Chapel - 1512

When I started using Power Point fifteen years ago or so, I felt “guilty” if I didn’t use complete, complex sentences on each slide.  Despite the knowledge (even then) that this overload of text violated every design and training principle going, my need to be complete and comprehensive was too much to overcome (self knowledge doesn’t always result in self mastery, I guess — or at least not right away!).     I probably shouldn’t feel too badly about this, as I had a very talented and otherwise practical colleague who couldn’t sleep at night if she didn’t have a full paragraph of text on each slide (often all in one LONG sentence) — or so it seemed, any way, judging by her presentations.

My Evolution: Less Is More

I recently heard an expert on designing and delivering powerful presentations suggest that he has taken to delivering presentations where the only thing he has on each slide is a photograph (i.e., no or very limited text), which he uses as the prompt for “telling the story” of the slide .  I can’t say that my evolution has been nearly as dramatic.  It is hard to give up on “text” completely — perhaps it is the “wannabe” attorney in me  and my need for completion and closure (but that is a story for another day!).  Nevertheless, I’m “proud” to report that I continue to take positive steps in the “less in more” direction.

Impactful Images

Over the past several years, I’ve built up a “library” of probably 400 – 500 free (i.e., no licensing, royalty, or usage fees) downloaded from Microsoft’s website.  Understanding that we all work in very different industries, I thought I would share 25 or so impactful images here (on topics of general interest and application, regardless of the specific industry within which you operate).  This is meant to save you the time of searching Microsoft’s gallery of free images for yourself.

See the next post for these 25 images.

(NOTE: My creative friends have bemoaned the “resolution” of these images.  You can, of course, download these directly from  http://www.microsoft.com for greater clarity and resolution).



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One response to “Power Point: Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

  1. The “less is more” adage is one that I embrace when it comes to writing/editing. We all tend to drift into verbosity when writing, whether intentionally or subliminally trying to impress the assumed reader. Of course, the reader could care less about your “writing wizardry” in most cases–the reader just wants the essential elements of whatever it is you’re writing about. This is true when writing, developing Web pages, and, as Michael notes, creating Power Point presentations.

    The key is keeping your audience in mind. The quickest, most effective means of getting your message across is generally the best strategy.

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