by Adam Noar
You have an extremely important presentation to give, and you have a short window of time to get your slides ready.
Then, all of a sudden…
You have some awesome presentation ideas for your slides. You know EVERYONE is going to love this one!
As usual, you search for the perfect image on Google, your search TAKES FOREVER, and you have no luck finding the ideal image that’s in your head.
So, what do you do at this point?
b) GIVE UP
C) CREATE THE POWERPOINT IMAGES YOURSELF
If you answered a) or b), this blog entry is NOT for you.
If you answered with option c), then this post is definitely for you, and I advise you to keep reading.
Design your own PowerPoint images from scratch
Sometimes, the quickest way to get your hands on the perfect image is to create one yourself. When that need arises, you’ll be surprised how the careful combination of shapes and lines can help you to create an awesome looking image, template, or layout for your slides. And, the nice thing is that this can all be done straight from PowerPoint or Keynote.
Now don’t get me wrong, the standard drawing toolbars in PowerPoint or Keynote are SOMETIMES no match for the stunning professional stock imagery that professional graphic designers can put together using advanced image creation tools. However, you can adapt your slides to accommodate some really nice images and visually communicate your ideas in a meaningful and dynamic way.
Let me show you how, step-by-step with a few examples.
In the examples below you will see that all of these PowerPoint images have been designed from scratch (no internet image hunting), using the drawing tools in PowerPoint.
All that’s required is a bit of creativity and some patience.
Example #1 – Custom Silhouette
For this first example I wanted to demonstrate how you can create your own custom silhouettes from a cluster of circles and ovals. All that you have to do here is arrange the circles/ovals how you like. In my example, I wanted to show how a weight loss supplement was contributing to weight loss, so I created the first person (to the right) the way liked, grouped it, and then duplicated it to form the second person (to the left). Then, I created the supplement, shown on the person to the left, by taking to half oval shapes (to look like the supplement broke in two) and combining it with some very tiny circles to look like the contents of the supplement were spilling out of the pill. Finally, I added a bit of key text (with a custom Bebas Neue font) and voilà! … A clean looking slide that quickly presents the key message visually and verbally to the audience. A person could look at this slide and, within THREE SECONDS, understand what I’m trying to convey, which is EXACTLY what you should be aiming to do in your presentations.
Example #2 – Custom PowerPoint Backgrounds
In this next example, I wanted to show you how you can create a really nice looking PowerPoint backgrounds by using a combination of some well-placed shapes within a series of layers. To create this slide, I started off by creating two layers of hills (one light green and the other dark green) by using five large oval shapes. For the light green hills there are three ovals and for the dark green hill there are two ovals. Once I arranged the ovals how I liked, I simply combined them and placed the light green hill (the first layer) on top of the dark green hill (the second layer). Next, I created my sun by drawing a small circle and placed it behind my second layer of hills (to make it look like the sun was rising over the hill). After I created my sun, I then added three clouds made out of a cluster of circles (similar to how I created the clustered image in example #1), which I then combined into one shape. Next, I created my tree by taking three triangle shapes, layering them on top of each other, grouping them, and layering it on top of the light green hill. Finally, I finished off the slide by finding a cool looking moose silhouette image (to layer on top of my sun), and added a bit of key text (with a custom Chunk Five font) to add the final touch.
Example #3 – Custom Smartphone Application
In this last example, I wanted to show you how you can create a realistic phone App design by using a combination of shapes and text. To create this slide, I started off by creating the outline of the phone by drawing a large rounded rectangle and filling it in black. I then created the trim around the phone by duplicating the rectangle (Ctrl + D), and then I reduced the size of the second rectangle, just slightly, to fit into the first rectangle. I then filled the second rectangle with “no fill” and changed the outline to a light grey color. Finally, to finish off the phone, I added the “home button” by placing a small square inside a circle, and added the screen which was just a large rectangle. Once the design of the phone was complete, I then created the design of the App by adding a circle in the center, the menu buttons on the top, and some small circles on the bottom to represent what page the App was on. Finally, to finish off the slide all I had to do was add my text on the App and to the left of the phone. So, now I have a nice clean looking slide with an image that looks just like a professional graphic artist would have created.
I hope that you found these PowerPoint tips useful. Remember, once you get comfortable combining and layering shapes there is really NO LIMIT to what you can design in PowerPoint or Keynote. All you need to need is a bit of practice and creativity, and you are well on your way to creating awesome looking PowerPoint images that will WOW your audience.
Let me ask you this …
Do you have a friend that could use some help designing some nice looking PowerPoint images for an important presentation they have coming up? If so, make sure to send them a link to these presentation tips. I’m sure they will return the favor one day to you!
Do you think you will try these image creation methods yourself? Leave me a detailed comment below! I make sure to read each and every one!