[Webinar Recording] Using Imagery to Create Powerful, Impactful Presentation Stories

Try GoToWebinar free for 30 days, and save 20% on an annual subscription. Give it a try today.A picture is worth a thousand words and using imagery in your presentations does make an impact enabling your content to come alive. In this webinar, moderated by Editor Sharyn Fitzpatrick, we share tips on how to find the right imagery for your content and how to use it in a design. Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haims showcases several design options for

Register on Nolan’s site, Present Your Story.com to get access to the handouts.

each slide and why it works. This is a perfect tutorial for the non-designer.

Topics include:

  • How to identify a good image from a bad image in your searching;
  • Harnessing the rule of thirds;
  • Creating “image sets” for consistency;
  • The power of transparency and gradients in PowerPoint;
  • Why you should cut the heads off people yes, really!;
  • Advanced image editing, no Photoshop needed;

The right way to compress files As a bonus, we explore where you can find images to use including sourcing across a variety of stock websites for all budgets.

About Nolan Haims:
Nolan runs Nolan Haims Creative, a visual communications and design consultancy that help organizations and individuals tell more effective stories with fewer words. As a Vice President and Director of Presentation for Edelman, he created and ran a department dedicated to raising the bar on visual communications and ensuring the firm showed up differently at pitches. During his tenure with Edelman, he oversaw nearly 500 high-stakes new business pitches as the firm grew by 64%. As a designer and art director, he has created high-end presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, top foundations, and all the major television networks. Nolan trains organizations to think visually and to create and give more effective presentations. He speaks at national conferences and writes extensively on visual storytelling including at his own site, PresentYourStory.com. Microsoft has recognized him as one of only 11 PowerPoint MVPs in the U.S for his contributions to the presentation community. He is also one of three co-hosts for the Presentation Podcast.

Consider These Free Photo-Editing Tools for Presentations

By Ellen Finkelstein

When you want to insert a photo into PowerPoint, you should think about how you can edit that photo to improve it. For example, you might want to:

–Crop it
–Change its brightness or contrast
–Recolor it
–Remove its background
–Give it a border, shadow, or reflection

You can usually do these tasks in PowerPoint. Since PowerPoint 2010 added a Remove Background feature (shown below), you often don’t need to leave PowerPoint.

But you may not have PowerPoint 2010 and the feature sometimes leaves rough edges. So here’s a list of some other free photo-editing tools. Of course, you can use them for your personal photos or any other use, not just for PowerPoint.

Microsoft Office Picture Manager

I use this a lot. It has an Auto Correct button on the toolbar that almost always makes my photos look better–in one click! I like this tool so much that I’ve set it as my default to open JPGs and PNGs.  The instructions to do this depend on your version of Windows; to find out how to set a default program to open a specific type of file, go to Start, Help and Support and search for “default program.”

This is important because Microsoft Office Picture Manager has a strange idiosyncrasy — you can’t simply open a file from within the program.  How weird is that? Instead, you click Shortcuts and let it find locations where you have images and use the Picture Shortcuts pane to navigate to images.

To find the Picture Manager, go to Start, Programs, Microsoft Office, Microsoft Office Tools. Another way to open an image in the Picture Manager is to right-click it in Windows Explorer and choose Open With. You should see a list that will hopefully include the Picture Manager.

Once you open a picture, after trying the Auto Correct button, click Edit Pictures for other options, which are: Brightness and Contrast; Color; Crop; Rotate and Flip; Red Eye Removal (something you can’t do in PowerPoint); Resize; and Compress Pictures. You can also choose File, Export to change the file format and more.


Picnik is typical of free online photo editors. You upload a photo, use the tools (Crop, Rotate, Exposure, Colors, Sharpen, Resize), then save the photo to your computer. One nice feature is that you don’t have to register.


Pixlr is a free online photo editor that is also a drawing tool. You can create art from scratch or upload your image. You can add text, distort photos, replace colors, and more. Pixlr is quite Photoshop-like.


GIMP is free software that you install. It’s as close to Photoshop as you can get without getting Photoshop and is widely used. It has many features for editing and composing images.

Other Free Tools

Here is a list of some other free tools. Many are supported by ads. I suggest trying them out to see which you like best. Thanks to MediaBistro for their list.

–Online Image Editor

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein is the author of How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 (and 2003), 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know, 101 Advanced Techniques Every PowerPoint User Should Know and PowerPoint for Teachers: Dynamic Presentations and Interactive Classroom Projects.  Her web site, www.ellenfinkelstein.com, offers the free PowerPoint Tips Newsletter, a PowerPoint Tips Blog and many ideas that help PowerPoint users create more effective presentations.

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