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Can Photo Filters Make Your PowerPoint Images Look Better? Yahoo’s Research Says ‘Yes’!

PowerPoint Design Tips | Use Photo Filters to Enhance Your

Do you love the look that photo filters give Instagram photos? Photo filters have become the latest rage in photo sharing. If you haven’t already noticed, almost every smartphone photo app on the market today has some built-in filters that can transform the look and feel of your images. With photo filters you can easily convert a normal color image to monochrome or give it a vintage look.

The Results Are In! – Photo Filters Make a Difference

PowerPoint Design Tips | Use Photo Filters to Enhance Your Images

New research indicates that filtered images garner the most attention on popular web platforms including Instagram and Flickr. According to a recent study by Yahoo Labs, “Filtered photos are 21 percent more likely to be viewed and 45 percent more likely to be commented on.” One of the questions these researchers explored is whether filtering photos changes how people like and comment on them on social media. Interestingly, they found that not all filters affect viewer engagement equally. Their study determined that filters creating a warmer color temperature are more engaging than those with cooler color effects.

Furthermore, the study found that self-described photography enthusiasts often look for filters that highlight salient objects in the photos and try to apply aesthetic effects, such as adding color saturation or making the photo look vintage. The main reasons to apply filters is to fix mistakes, expose certain objects, or manipulate certain colors. More casual photographers like to add artificial vintage effects to their photos and make them more playful and unique. Regardless of the motivation behind using filters, this study concludes that filtered photos  are more likely to result in viewership and community engagement.

Following Yahoo Labs’ findings one can argue that adding filter effects to your PowerPoint slide images can increase your audience’s engagement. Using photo filters is one way to help enhance the CONSISTENCY of your PowerPoint images. And as mentioned in previous posts, consistency is one of the golden rules to a successful and powerful PowerPoint design. By sticking to a consistent photo filter, you can take a set of random looking images and turn them into a more consistent set of images.

Pic Monkey (PowerPoint’s Trusted Friend)

One of my favorite tools to use to add nice photo filters to PowerPoint images is PicMonkey. This tool is a free photo editor that works directly in your web browser. Forget about having to download or install a new application.

PicMonkey makes it easy for you to fix your photos and add beautiful filters or text  (as seen in the example above). Beyond the awesome photo filters, PicMonkey let’s you touch up facial features and create nice looking graphics. Did I mention this tool is ridiculously simple? I can assure you that it will only take a matter of minutes for you to figure out how to use this tool.

Many of the PicMonkey photo filters are free. For additional filter selections, consider upgrading to a “Royale” membership for $4.99 a month. What’s really nice is that for a limited time anyone can try Royale for free for 30 days.

PowerPoint Design Tips | Use Photo Filters to Enhance Your PowerPoint Design Tips | Use Photo Filters to Enhance Your


Many would argue that photo filters enhance the look of any image. But why should social media have all the fun?! If people truly enjoy images with photo filters better then why not apply that knowledge to enhance the images in your presentations by using a photo editor?

While there are many photo editors on the web to choose from, I prefer to use the ones that are simple and intuitive, like PicMonkey. I strongly encourage you to play around with this tool and the many different photo filters.

Here’s my question for you…

After reading this post, do you think you will try applying photo filters to your PowerPoint images? Let me know what you think below and please try to be specific as possible.

Also, do you have a friend that could benefit from these PowerPoint tips. If so, email them the link to this post now using the sharing options below.

Presentation tips  - Check out my ebook Slides Made Slimple Now!


Where To Find “Real” Images For Your PowerPoint Slides

powerpoint tips - where to find real images for your slides

A lot of stock imagery (not all) is too staged, or too perfect.  Like an artificial plant or a mass produced cookie.  It’s the little imperfections that make things more realistic and have endearing quality.  Like a lump in a cookie, or a misshapen leaf.  Or the bad haircut or mismatched jacket and skirt in your image.

That’s why I frequently turn to alternative sources of photographs for my presentations.

Where can you find these alternative sources for photos?

There are actually many places to find great looking stock photos for your slides. Some of my favorites include:

The nice thing about all of the above photo sites is that they are not only beautiful but they are also FREE. But even the photos on these websites sometimes feel a bit too staged.


One site in particular that is creating buzz around having quality “real images” is EyeEm. EyeEm is different because it’s a photo sharing community. This is built around real people taking real photos.

EyeEm is a photo-sharing app that has built a creative user community and feature set that seperates it from the ‘Instagram clone’ crowd, and has recently launched an easy way for its users to sell their images to individuals and businesses for a fairly low cost of $20 (for a standard license with unlimited impression for editorial and commercial use). Users can also purchase an extended commercial license for $250 which removes the cap on print copies and allows the image to be used on TV or on images for resale, like t-shirts or mugs.

PowerPoint Tips - Where to find real images - EyeEm

You might think that $20 is a lot to pay for a single image, but that is actually on par with what you would pay for a single image download at many of the premier stock photo websites including iStockphoto, Getty images, Shutterstock, and Depositphotos.

EyeEm Market is launching with over 50 million images and photographers can add their images on an individual basis by opting them in. Revenues from each sale are split 50/50 between EyeEm and the photographer.

The cool thing about EyeEm is that they have created a system that makes it easy for people to take great looking “real life” images and then sell those images for a relatively low cost.

EyeEm allows users to take and edit photos using 24 distinct filters, and share the photos in its own website, via email or five social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or Foursquare.

The service also offers an automatic tagging system that provides a topic, location, and an event for each photo taken. The user may keep or change the tags, or upload the photo with no tags at all. The tags then group the photos into Albums or keywords that result on streams of images.

Helping photographers expand their audience is EyeEm’s major goal. So while Instagram and Flickr helped popularize photography for the masses, EyeEm wants to help users graduate from casual photo-sharing with friends to more public, distributed photography.

This is great news for people that are looking for fresh cool images for their presentations. Check out some of the examples below.

What makes a great real image? Here are a few things to check for:

Is the image emotionally authentic?

People hate being scammed, by art or otherwise. Like the best books and movies, the best images present their subjects honestly. That means no shots of customer service reps leaping joyously into the air. No matter what emotion or feeling you’re trying to capture, make sure it looked barefaced and subtle (as seen below).

PowerPoint Tips - Make sure your images are authentic

Is it happening in a real place?

Too many stock photos look like they have been taken in an empty white room. They offer up a figure—a woman on a phone, a man with a calculator—but the photo has been taken against a blank white backdrop. This can be helpful to make the image easier to crop and superimpose images on your PowerPoint slides, but too often presenters insert these void backgrounds straight into their slides. In real life, there are no blank white backdrops. Things happen in kitchens, parks, bus stops, stores and offices (as seen below).

PowerPoint Tips - images need to take place in a real place

Do the people look convincing?

Lastly, do the people in the photo feel like someone you would run into in real life? Or do they feel like paid actors hitting you over the head with caricatures of what “confused,” “happy” or “professional” look like? Before choosing an image for your presentation, ask yourself if you can imagine seeing the person in the picture. Is he/she someone you’d come across at the supermarket, in a coffee shop office or at your office? Is she feeling something you’ve felt? A good stock photo does all those things (as seen below).



Stock images often get a bad rep. A lot of the time there are lots of weird and creepy photos that leave you wondering who the heck took them – or would want to use them; and then when you see them thrown in randomly in someone’s PowerPoint presentation, you cringe a little inside. Often the case these images are simply not “real” looking enough. So, next time you’re looking for images for your next presentation check out some of the websites mentioned in this post.

I hope you found these PowerPoint tips helpful. Here’s my question for you…

Do you have a friend that could use some help finding some nice looking images for an important presentation they have coming up? If so, make sure to send them a link to these PowerPoint tips. I’m sure they will return the favor one day to you!


Do you think you will try these stock photography websites yourself? Leave me a detailed comment below! I make sure to read each and every one!

Presentation tips  - Check out my ebook Slides Made Slimple Now!


4 Ways To Make Sure Your Presentation Doesn’t Get “Robbed”

Presentation Design Tips - Slide Bandits

Our newest presentation “Slide Bandits” is now available on SlideShare.

Check it out. It’s got lots of awesome presentation design tips:

Slide Bandits is the story of 4 outlaws that are out to “rob” your next presentation. However, the slide deck is packed with plenty of tips, tools, and resources to help keep your presentation on the right path. In this post we will summarize the four main learnings from the Slide Bandits presentation. Follow these presentation design tips and take your slides to the next level.

Presentation Design Tips - Keep your text short and sweet

1. Keep Your Text Short And Sweet

Use Less Text – People should be able to understand your slide in 3 seconds or less.

Make One Point Per Slide – Don’t bombard an audience with too many points all at once. Instead, spread your points out across multiple slides.

Don’t Use Boring Fonts – There are a lot of great fonts available online for download. Many of them are free. Don’t default to the standard fonts available in PowerPoint.

Play Around With Text – Your text doesn’t always have to be the same size and angle. Mix it up!

Remove Unnecessary Statistics – Complicated charts and graphs put people to sleep. Only present the key data points.

Loose The Lengthy Bullet Points – Bullet points are plain boring. If you MUST use them at least keep them to a maximum of three. Your audience won’t remember more than three points anyway.

Presentation Design Tips - Use Powerful Images

2. Deliver Powerful Visuals

Loose The ClipArt And Cheesy Stock Images – Use powerful images that hit people on an emotional level. There are a lot of free images available for download. Just make sure you give the authors credit if you’re using their work commercially.

Use High Resolution Images – You might have found the greatest image in the world, but if it doesn’t have good resolution don’t use it. Nobody likes viewing grainy images on screen.

Take Screenshots – Use a screenshot tool to quickly snag pictures of your product, service, or idea.

Use A Consistent Set Of Images – Make sure ALL of your images fit within a common theme.

Use Icons – Icons are a great way to make your slides visual and minimize the text on your slide.

Create a Dynamic Cover Slide – Make sure your presentation starts with a bang by creating a powerful cover slide that grabs people’s attention.

Use Textures – Textures (wood, paint, etc.) can make great backgrounds for your slides. Just make sure that your text is legible if you use them.

Make Your Own Images – If you can’t find the image you’re looking for, you can make your own using Adobe Illustrator or PowerPoint.

Presentation Design Tips - Create An Attractive Color Palette

3. Create an Attractive Color Scheme

Avoid Creating Rainbows – Create a color palette and stick with it. Using too many colors will make your slides look like a rainbow and your audience feel nauseous.

Use Contrast – Make sure your text is legible by picking colors that contrast one another.

Be Mindful Of A Colors Meaning – Color is emotional and conveys meaning. Make sure that the colors that you are using in your slides fits with your core message. For example, if you are talking about a serious or negative topic you might want to stay away from an upbeat color like yellow.

Presentation Design Tips - Create a Nice Layout

4. Design a Clean Layout

Design For Whitespace – Make sure that your slides have plenty of “breathing room” for your text and visual. If you find a great image that is lacking whitespace to you can try my “focused blur technique using PicMonkey” to instantly add more whitespace to the image.

Trash The Boring Templates – Ignore the standard PowerPoint templates. Instead, create your own custom template that matches the theme of your presentation.

Keep Things Nice And Neat – Make sure to align all of the elements on your slide so they are nice and neat. When things are not organized properly it moves your audience’s attention away from you.

Practice The Rule Of Three – Things presented in sets of three look better and are more memorable.

Make sure to check out Slide Bandits below


By following the above presentation design tips you will be able to create a presentation that truly stands out from the crowd.

Here’s my question for you …

What do you find to be the most difficult part of designing a presentation? Sound off with your comments below. I make sure to read and reply to every single one!

Looking for more great presentation design tips just like these? Check these out:

5 Presentation Design Tips for Amazing Looking Slides (Infographic)

5 Presentation Tools That Will Make Your Slides Stand Out

Presentation tips - Check out my ebook Slides Made Slimple Now!


5 Presentation Font Trends For 2015

presentation fonts, cool fonts, powerpoint fonts, font trends

Goodbye boring old presentation fonts! Typography is one of the most important components of great PowerPoint design, and in 2015 rich typography will continue to be a dominating design element. Given that high quality fonts are more accessible and more affordable (often times FREE), be prepared to see some new, exciting and interesting trends in fonts within PowerPoint presentations. Interested in knowing more about presentation font trends in the upcoming year? Then, check out the list below with examples created by yours truly ;).


The Presentation Panda Writer’s Toolbox

presentation tips - writers toolbox

When it comes to presentation design there’s a whole process of information gathering, idea generation, and story creation involved. Just like in a real toolbox, you may use any tool you need to help you in each step of the writing process for presentation design. Here is a list of my favorite tools for writing presentation content:


I can honestly say that I use Wunderlist on a daily basis. Wunderlist lets you sync to the cloud and allows you to prioritize with unlimited lists, tasks, and features. The folder system allows you to organize tasks by different projects or labels. It also has a handy feature that lets you see the things you’ve already accomplished on any list. Did I mention that it’s FREE? I especially like being able to have shared lists. I’ve signed up an account for my fiancée and we are now able to keep track of our shared lists, including errands, groceries, and events to name a few.

Scribble Paper

Make sure your desk is always stocked with a pile of scribble paper and pens in a couple of different colors. Whether you are online or offline, you should always have some way to write down an idea as it comes to mind. Hand sketching a few thoughts on paper might help you organize your ideas better before moving forward. Alternatively, consider carrying around a small notebook. The important thing here is to always have something with you or near you.

Google Drive

Google Drive is a cloud storage system with a host of web-based productivity tools and is ideal for collaborative projects. Google Drive let’s people view, comment, and participate in writing together. The neat thing is that documents that are uploaded show when they were last edited and by whom. Access to your work is permitted by invitation or by sharing.


Evernote helps you remember what’s important. It is one of the easiest places to store most types of information, such as notes, outlines, ideas, and images. Evernote is the simplest way to catalog and browse through each new note you’ve created without having to open file folders or preview documents. When writing, this proves useful because it’s all accessible and speedy. This is a great tool for brainstorming and early stages of presentation design.


Possibly the most important thing! I have found coffee to be one of the best methods for putting me in a writing mode. No writing session would be complete without a cup of joe. In fact, all my best content work has been fueled by coffee.


Writing tools don’t have to be anything special or expensive, but they are important. So, make sure you get familiar with all of these tools since they can greatly ENHANCE your presentation design. Taking advantage of these tools can help you to strengthen your process and make you more productive and efficient, allowing you to focus more on your writing and less on other tasks.

Image Credits

Cover Photo by Pete O’Shea

Presentation tips  - Check out my ebook Slides Made Slimple Now!