7 Reasons Why Your Business PowerPoint Presentation Visuals Need Context

A business PowerPoint presentation is a unique opportunity to communicate your ideas to a specific audience. The visuals that you choose to use in your presentation are an important part of this opportunity. They are the component of your presentation that can make or break the effectiveness of your message.

That’s why it’s so important that you get this part of your business PowerPoint presentation right. And it’s why we talk about visuals so much in this blog!

It’s not enough to simply drop a few images into your presentation and hope your audience will understand what you mean. Everyone interprets visuals differently, depending on their own personal experience, background, age, race, gender, and many other factors. To help avoid any misinterpretation of the visuals in your presentation, it’s important that you give them context.

Context is the environment, background or situation within which something occurs. In your presentation, your visuals need context too. The context you present will enable your audience to interpret your visuals the way you intended so that they can fully – and easily – understand your message.

Here are seven reasons why creating context for your business PowerPoint presentation visuals is key to your success – with some smart ideas on doing it right from your experts at eSlide.

1. Deliver in an instant

You’ve heard the adage: time is of the essence? This is especially true when delivering a business PowerPoint presentation. You want your audience to understand the message you’re delivering quickly and easily or else you risk losing their attention to their phone, email, Instagram, Facebook or what’s happening outside the conference room window.

Giving your visuals context allows you to deliver your key ideas in seconds. For example, by taking a dollar bill and showing it ripped into sections, we were able to instantly convey the share of healthcare dollars that was spent on certain categories for one of our clients. By using a dollar bill rather than a pie chart, the audience immediately understands that the visual is referring to monetary value. And without even reading the numbers, they can see the size of each category’s share.

2. Compare and contrast

Giving your visuals appropriate context enables your audience to compare elements quickly and easily. For example, let’s say you have three products which are similar but with a few important differences. One way to give your products context is to show images of them next to each other. This allows your audience to compare your products instantly. For any differences you wish to highlight, you can add graphic elements or text to the product images to help showcase key points.

3. Use the right words at the right time

Too much text is a classic presentation pitfall. However, the right text at the right point in your presentation can give some much-needed context to your visuals. Showing an image of a group of people without some clarifying text leaves it up to your audience to guess why the group is significant. Including a percentage on or near the image with a short tagline will give them the context they need to understand why you’ve chosen the image and what it means for them.

4. Eliminate extraneous detail

Visual context helps you present precise information. Let’s say you want to show that because you’ve exceeded your annual sales targets, your company is now a market leader. Imagine an image of a race, with your company in the lead. This tells your audience all they need to know without the need for a lot of figures or data.

This is important because your business PowerPoint presentation shouldn’t be like having a casual conversation with someone. You want to be direct and avoid any unnecessary detail.

5. Establish authority

Visual context can help foster trust between you and your audience by helping establish your authority on a subject. For example, you might demonstrate your team’s leadership within a certain industry with graphics that show the reach of their influence such as concentric circles. As another example, you might use a quote from a well-known and respected leader with an image of the speaker. Including the image helps convince an audience of the quote’s authenticity and reinforces the power of the speaker’s words.

6. Convey your values

Visual context gives you an opportunity to state your values to your audience. For example, using visuals that include warm colors and an image of someone taking care of someone else shows that you value customer care. Without you having to say it, your audience will understand what matters to you and, hopefully, it will align with their values too. Having that same image (or a portion of it) reappear on subsequent slides will help reinforce your message by peppering the context throughout your business PowerPoint presentation.

7. Give a lasting impression

Visuals make a lasting impact on an audience, much more so than words. Using words to describe items such as cost savings, safety standards maintained, or waste reduced won’t do much to inspire or enthuse an audience.

However, strong visuals set in the appropriate context can transform facts and figures into content that will pique curiosity and help make your audience more likely to take recommended actions. The more eye-catching your information, the more likely they will want to be a part of what you’re doing.

At eSlide, we’re proud to help our clients deliver business PowerPoint presentations that make a positive impact. We’ve been working with top companies from all over the globe for the past 20+ years to create presentations that get results. We’d be happy to help you with your next presentation too. For a free consultation with one of our design experts, get in touch today.

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