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PowerPoint Graphics: Create Effective and Engaging Presentations

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William Griffiths
PowerPoint Graphics: Create Effective and Engaging Presentations

PowerPoint Graphics: Create Effective and Engaging Presentations

Over the years, we’ve all used a variety of different programs and applications in order to find success in graphic design work. Some of us are simply beginners just trying to get by, whereas others are looking for something a bit more advanced. Either way, there’s one ever-present player in the game that you’ve probably heard a thing or two about: Microsoft PowerPoint.

In recent decades, PowerPoint has been used in a plethora of ways in order to get across data or information. It’s a regular feature in business models all across the globe, and while many of its competitors have become obsolete with the passage of time, PowerPoint seems to have survived - and, in many ways, thrived.

Today, we want to focus on the specifics of PowerPoint graphics. They serve as a key piece of the puzzle, and from the ground up, they can influence your work in the best of ways. With that being said, let’s get into it.

What are PowerPoint graphics?

A graphic, in a general sense, is the representation of an idea. While it’s all well and good using a PowerPoint presentation to get your point across in a pitch or a meeting, they really aren’t too much use without graphics. You can go down the minimalistic route, but in reality, that’s not the kind of operation that’s going to blow someone away.

Within a PowerPoint presentation, a graphic is used as a function that helps certain elements of your PP stand out. They help to inform the viewer or audience on a deeper level, perhaps as a way to display results from a poll or a simple infographic that condenses the information in a way that makes it easier to read.

People may choose to see it as a way to simplify the core meaning of your work, but it’s not - not entirely, anyway. You can always run the risk of doing too much in a presentation when it comes to the text, and even if it’s just a few well-designed images that are cropping up, it’s still useful, especially if you’ve got way too many slides to deal with and you want to avoid running over.

How to insert graphics in PowerPoint

It’s going to sound like a pretty basic explanation when laid out but inserting graphics into PowerPoint is something you’ll want to 100% understand before getting started. A lot of the time, you can source what you need online - but you can also get creative and make an entirely new piece of content.

From the drop-down ‘Insert’ tab on PowerPoint, you’ll find an images group which will be followed by the pictures section, and there’s where our journey begins.

Images from the internet

Insert > Images > Pictures > Online Picture

The internet is a pretty strange, yet equally incredible, place. It can be home to some of humanity’s finest individuals and projects, but in equal measure, it can also be quite difficult to navigate. Alas, we still maintain that it’s incredibly useful, and in this setting, that’s definitely the case, as you can scope out exactly the kind of picture you want to start progressing with your graphic needs.

A search box will appear which you can type a word or phrase into, and once you’ve pressed enter, you’re able to scour through the images that pop up. You’re also able to use the Format Picture function to get the size and position right, but one thing that must be kept in mind is the issue of copyright and what you’ll be permitted to use. Either way, we’d advise posting an image credit.

Microsoft stock images

Insert > Images > Pictures > Stock Images

Stock images may not be as widespread or diverse as some of the other options on this list, but they’re definitely helpful. They tend to be defined as quite generic photos and icons that are made without one specific goal. From a creative standpoint, there’s a lot of good stuff here, largely because many of them are created with the intention of enhancing the viewing experience.

If you happen to be a subscriber to Microsoft’s premium service, you’ll also have a greater range of images to choose from. That’s not to say that the free pictures aren’t top quality, because they are, but as is the case with most things in life, subscription services are the way to go if you’re looking to expand your search limits.

Use your own images

Insert > Images > Pictures > This Device

Ah, yes, the good old “do it yourself” option. Whether you’ve created the graphic or image or you’ve just downloaded it in the past, this is the best option for speed and practicality. You can either go through your device and pick out a specific shot, or you can right-click and copy & paste the image onto whatever slide you want.

However, you should be sure to format the picture correctly or at least have a good idea of how big/small it’s going to be. It’s not exactly hard to rectify this, and it’s not an outright problem, but it can be frustrating to wait for the picture to load if it’s a sizeable one, especially if you’re in a bit of a hurry.

How to get free PowerPoint graphics

We’re in the midst of a cost of living crisis, and when that’s the case, you often need to find ways to get your expenses down (which, we know, goes without saying). It may seem like the cheap way out to make a suggestion like this, but let’s face it, being able to get things for free that will benefit your workload shouldn’t be demonized. If anything, it should be celebrated.

PowerPoint graphics are readily available at the click of a button. It’s all about knowing where to look, and although there are other routes you could go down, we’ve decided to pick out a few of the best and most practical. After all, we all want affordable pricing, right? (Hint, hint).

So, let’s dive straight into it.

Freepik

Freepik, as you can probably imagine, does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives you access to a bunch of different vector graphics and photos that can even be edited to your taste. It’s worth noting, though, that free downloads are often limited to a specific amount per day, but it’s definitely a good way to get up and running.

If you’re looking for something more long-term and sustainable, then you’ll either have to consider the premium option or take your talents elsewhere. But if you’re only going to be dipping your toe into the water every so often, it’s a proven winner.

Pixabay

One of the first things that stand out to us whenever we flirt with Pixabay is the layout. It’s presented in a dignified and professional way, and from the first minute you enter the website, it’s clear to see that it’s easy and practical to use. Plus, there are over four million pictures to investigate, which is a pretty solid selling point.

It’s 100% free to use, with licensed images, illustrations, and vectors all being up for grabs. It may not be the only website you use, especially if you want to contrast and compare what else is out there, but we’d still highly recommend it.

Vecteezy

When you’re looking for vector photos and graphics in general, Vecteezy is a pretty solid choice. This is the kind of company that stays up to date with the latest trends, and while that may not always come across as the most important element of the graphic design game, it is. When you know and understand what your audience wants to see, that’s a huge bonus point in your favour.

All of the products on display are licensed for personal use and also for, yes, platforms like PowerPoint. This is a prime way to make the most of your marketing, and you’re able to do so without even having to put your hand into your pocket for some cash.

Make your own!

Creativity makes the world go around, and that statement rings true in many different fields, including graphic design. Between the in-built custom theme option on PowerPoint and any other tools you want to utilise, it’s never been easier to insert your own touch into your work.

SmartArt Graphic helps you to get started from scratch, and it even offers you a selection of different graphic styles to have some fun with. Play around, spend a few hours whipping up ideas, and make those designs a reality.

Need some help with graphic design? Contact Hatchly!

Graphics for PowerPoint, if you haven’t been able to tell already, are something we advocate for. There are so many different businesses out there in every industry that are still using PP to this day and for good reason. There are very few peers or alternatives it has as a way to properly illustrate the point you’re trying to make (pun not intended), and that’s a testament to its longevity.

In the grander scheme of things, of course, graphic design is a tool that has been used for as long as we can remember - and that’ll continue to be the case long into the future. Here at Hatchly, we have an unlimited graphic design service that is designed to accommodate the needs of all different kinds of clients. If you need help, we’re on hand to provide that.

Feel free to take a look at our platform and let us know what you think. If you’re interested and fancy a chat, get in touch!

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