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The Power of Using Pictures in Presentations

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We’ve all had the experience of seeing stunning pictures that stay with us. Look at the photo to the right, an abstract of a human face.

Which has a more significant impact on you? Seeing the picture of an abstract human face or reading the line, abstract human face?

Pictures have the power to say more than words and to stay with us longer than words.

Picture Superiority Effect

Researchers call it the picture superiority effect, the ability for people to remember what they see in a picture in greater detail and for longer than what they read.

Words matter. They certainly have their place. But like the research shows, in many situations pictures are superior.

One of those situations is presentations.

The Picture Effect in Presentations

When we pack our presentations–and our PowerPoint–with more words than pictures, audiences tend to disengage. The word overload competes with the presenter and creates confusion and discomfort in the audience.

Pictures, on the other hand, give the audience a visual support to what the presenter is talking about.

The marriage of a presenter’s words with pictures as support creates multi-sensory learning. The audience sees and hears different versions of the same message instead of seeing and hearing two different messages.

The Other Advantage of Picture in Presentations

Pictures also give a presenter more latitude. Put a bunch of words on a screen and those limit not only what a presenter can talk about but also what he or she can say.

Put a picture on a slide and the presenter has a tremendous latitude of what to talk about.

Put the Theory to the Test

Try it for yourself. Watch the video below and see for yourself the difference you feel as an audience member when I show you pictures and graphics versus when I show you screens filled with words.

Understanding how much faster audiences connect with pictures and graphics than with words will help you build far more effective presentations, PowerPoints, and support materials.

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Gerry Sandusky – View the original post .


About the author


Guest Blog by

Gerry Sandusky, is the New York Times best-selling author of Forgotten Sundays, the play-by-play voice for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, the sports director for Baltimore's WBAL TV, and a noted authority on communication, motivation, perception, and change.

Gerry has won Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for outstanding broadcasts.

The son of former NFL coach, John Sandusky, Gerry has found his own niche in coaching as president of The Sandusky Group, a communications-consulting firm.
The Sandusky Group helps professionals who are experts in their field look, feel, and perform better in front of every audience, and influence that audience. The Sandusky Group shows experts how to shine.

Gerry and his wife founded the Joe Sandusky Fund, to honor Gerry's late brother. The fund grants college scholarships to students who demonstrate passion, talent, initiative, and a drive to fulfil their dreams. Read other posts by

Published On: 11th Sep 2017

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1 Comment
  1. Image speaks lowder than words, very true

    Maoni 1 Feb at 5:01 pm
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