Creating your visual aids

Bleeding images in Powerpoint – well actually they’re quite good

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve got frustrated when I’ve found the perfect image for my Powerpoint slide only to find it is the wrong size and no amount of tweaking is going to help.  Stretching it will distort the image too much, especially if you only pull it in one dimension.  It’s like the hall of mirrors at the fairground.  You either end up looking too tall and skinny, or short and squat.  Leaving it as it is would be wrong.

We’ve already written about the power of images in your slides but as in all things, if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.  This is where the design element comes in.

If the image is so small you can hardly see it, what’s the point?  Does that mean we want to stretch it to make it fit?  Not if it means that you

1) lose the resolution of the image and it ends up all pixelated,

2) don’t keep the proportions constrained.  In other words you free slots for fun stretch the image unevenly in the horizontal or vertical direction and you end up with images all distorted and looking really poor.

You can leave a border (frame) around the image but try to make it harmonious with the image and not a distraction. Choose the colour carefully.

Where possible an image that bleeds off the sides of the slide – the image is the slide – has by far the most impact.  But it doesn’t have to be a full bleed – 3 sides can be just as effective. Check out these examples to see what I mean.



Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps FTSE 100 companies to sell themselves, and their products better. Speech writer, Prezi trainer and designer, coach and consultant, Jim also finds time to be a proud father and husband.
Jim Harvey
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