5 types of visuals that can be used in PowerPoint presentations


In an earlier post, we discussed how humans process visual data a lot better than text. In fact, an astounding 90% of all information transmitted to our brain is visual.

With this in mind, we should all be aiming to present with less text and more visuals in our PowerPoint presentations.  The ultimate aim of a presentation is to retain your audience’s attention and have them understand and remember the information being presented. Using the right type of visuals is the best and easiest way to achieve all of this.

Below are 5 visual options for you to consider using when you are creating your next PowerPoint Presentation.

1. Photos / Images

If you choose to or are required to use photos in your presentation, there are two ways of sourcing the photos you will use.

Stock photos – these are professional-looking photos that have been taken and edited by someone else and placed on a stock photo website. They are ready and available for you to choose, download and use in your presentation.

There are plenty of stock photo websites available to choose from and while many charge a small fee for each photo, there are others that don’t. The most important thing to remember whenever using a stock image is to carefully read the Licence Agreement for every single image you choose to use.

Your own photos – if you have a good camera and have a talent for taking attractive and visually appealing photos, then you also have the option of using your own.

2. Infographics

An infographic is exactly what it is named after, ie. information + graphic.  It is a visual way of showing a piece of information or data that you need to convey in your presentation.

Having to interpret a lot of data can be boring at the best of times for an audience. This is where using infographics as a way of explaining a piece of dull data is a very smart move.

With infographics, you are much more likely to keep your audience’s attention and have them remember the data you are presenting because you have showcased it in a more visually appealing, interesting and memorable way.

3. Illustrations and Drawings

If you really want to catch your audience’s attention with what you are trying to convey, consider using an illustration or drawing rather than a photo.  Illustrations and drawings are more customised and therefore unique, which is a great way of grabbing your audience’s attention and helping them understand the content you are presenting them with.

4. Icons

Icons are a quick and simple way of adding visuals to your presentation. They are fantastic to use because they are not only eye-catching but they support the text on your slide in a visually simplified way.

When using icons, it’s important to ensure they are clean and simple, in a style that suits the overall branding of the presentation, and colours that are in line with the corporate colour palette.

5. Videos

If you have a video that you would like to embed into your PowerPoint presentation, ask yourself first ‘is this the best visual option I have for this particular slide’?

Everything you share in your presentation should be for the purpose of it being remembered by your audience because it is engaging, visually appealing, and because it tells the visual story the best.

The benefits of using the right video in your presentation are that it can create an atmosphere, provoke an emotional response and effectively get a story across. Don’t use an old outdated video purely because you happen to have one.

Educational videos or videos that show a process for example can be a valuable addition to a presentation.

In Summary

So, we now know that humans prefer and process visuals a lot better than text or data, but it’s important to keep in mind that not all visuals will give you the right or desired impact.

For a visual to be effective, it must always be –

  • formatted properly
  • be large enough in size (dimension/pixel)
  • clear (not blurry or grainy)
  • match the content of the slide
  • be eye-catching and memorable
  • evoke the right emotion

Do you need impactful visuals in your presentation?

Contact the PowerPoint presentation design experts at

Slidesho today!