18 Dec Better presentations need better visual aids

Story ByJim C.
Illustration ByLauren M.

Everyone has seen the classic dry presentations, the ones with slide after slide of boring text. Well, wake up! In the right hands, a presentation does not have to be dull. In fact, utilizing the presentation format should be a visual and compelling way to deliver your message.

How can a simple presentation evolve into a tool that can help you sell your product, push your message, or gather a crowd around your tradeshow booth? The key is images, photos, illustrations, diagrams and other visual aids. Animated or static, stock images or drawings created customc just for you, images can change an average presentation into an attention-grabbing, memorable, effective means of communication and promotion.

Clarify your message with visuals

The proper use of images and graphics is essential to effectively relaying the message of your presentation. The following tips and examples can help you communicate for faster understanding, longer message retention, and better business results.

PowerPoint Presentations Should be Visual sample 1

Drive home your point with images

Engage your audience and use your valuable presentation time most efficiently by incorporating relevant, business-appropriate visual elements into your
sales presentation or trade show presentation. In addition, images can serve as recognizable cues on a slide, reminding the presenter of a point to elaborate on or perhaps a hot-button issue for the prospect.

Incorporate presentation design elements such as:

  • Animation – eyes follow motion, so use simple and subtle movements to direct your audience’s attention
  • Photos and illustrations – stock photos and hand-drawn illustrations can add personality and human connection to your presentation
  • Diagrams & charts – statistics can have a greater impact when visualized as a bar graph, pie chart, flow chart, organizational map, or other diagram
  • Demonstrations – use GIFs or illustrations to visualize processes, product features or services


PowerPoint Presentations Should be Visual sample 2

Avoid text overload

slides should augment the speaker’s message, not reiterate it. A common mistake seen in business slideshows is a series of text-heavy, repetitive slides. Although not every point or concept can be presented as an image, the goal is to strike a balance between the use of meaningful graphics and descriptive text.

Using screen after screen of text is not only a bore to your audience, it is also an obstacle to successful persuasion or instruction because text-heavy slides create monotony and redundancy. When giving a presentation, you should provide your audience with information that they can’t read directly from the slides.

PowerPoint Presentations Should be Visual sample 3

Design for faster message processing and longer retention

In order to persuade your audience, they first have to understand your message quickly and completely. Then, they have to retain that information. Longer message retention is essential when audience members must discuss and make decisions about a presentation hours or days after a meeting.

Our brains process images much faster than text. Less effort is required of an audience when pictures support the message. Further, custom visual aids like infographics perform better and drive more engagement than other visuals like stock photography, according to a study by Venngage

Good graphics are attention-grabbers – they keep the audience awake, listening, and engaged. Utilizing animation in your presentation is another great way to achieve this. Memories created by images are retained longer and remembered in greater detail. 

PowerPoint Presentations Should be Visual sample 4

Achieve your business goals

Use presentation design to send the right message about your business capabilities and credentials:

  • Reinforce important points in your presentation with compelling images
  • Convey your company’s strengths and highlight growth areas with graphs and charts


Overall, every presentation is a chance to make a positive impression. A thoughtfully executed, visual presentation will captivate your audience and help you achieve your goals. At Modicum, we’ve crafted thousands of captivating presentations for nearly every industry and audience type. 

Queue the 90’s montage – it’s time for a presentation makeover. 

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