Adding pictures to your presentations is a very easy way to increase student’s attention and retention on what you tell them. In fact, according to John Medina and his very popular book “Brain Rules”:
"We are incredible at remembering pictures. Hear a piece of information, and three days later you'll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you'll remember 65%."
simply adding a picture to a powerpoint slide increases retention by about 60%!
So here are a three important rules on adding pictures to your next presentation:
- Go high quality: Make sure you use high quality pictures. See below for some good web sites where you could find good photos.
- Go big: Try “bleeding” the image for a good effect. Bleeding the image off the page occurs when the image takes the whole slide canvas. To achieve this effect you need an image that is about the same size as a PowerPoint slide (1024 x 768 pixels for most screens). Here are a few examples.
Text on images: In order to make the text legible, place a text box between the text and the image (see above). You can change the legibility by controlling the transparency of the textbox. Make sure to be consistent in the use of this technique throughout your presentation.
Where to get good images for free?
On Google search: The best way to find good pictures is the image search in Google. Just search for the topic you want to find "scarce resources", and then click on images at the top of the search results. You can then narrow your search by clicking on search tools. Make sure to choose the correct usage right. I recommend " labeled for noncommercial use". Usually these images simply require you to attribute the author in your presentation. Here are some good pictures I found simply by searching for "scarce resources". All of these pictures are free to use for noncommercial use.
- https://www.flickr.com/photos/13589188@N00/3164059182 (this one always get great laughs from my students)
Take your own pictures: as Eric Chiang knows, once you go down the road of images in your presentation, you become the best author of your own pictures. He is an expert in finding taking great pictures wherever he goes and use on his presentations. It is really the best, and most fun way, to add pictures to your teaching.