Business presentations have become synonymous with boredom, but they don't have to be. Ditch that boring old clipart or PowerPoint template for a major upgrade. Here are some of our top suggestions for sourcing great business presentation images.
We'll assume you're starting from scratch. You don't have brand standards or guidelines, or a template presentation that your company keeps up to date with great images. You don't have designers or analysts at the ready to meet all of your business presentation needs. You simply want to produce something that looks great and you want to include professional visuals or images (be it pictures, icons, charts/graphs, etc.) that are appropriate for a business setting.
Do yourself a favor... before you start sourcing images or visuals for a business presentation, take five minutes to put a little thought into the theme and style of the presentation.
Get inspired. It's a business presentation, so it doesn't need to be over designed. At the same time, it's important to set a direction.
Will it have your brand (and/or a customer's brand) throughout? Are there standard headers and footers or other print considerations? What colors and style will drive the presentation? Will it be more data heavy or more text heavy? What types of images are appropriate for the audience of the business presentation? Here are some tools that can help.
Don't know where to start? Scan a gallery like Dribbble to build inspiration for a certain presentation aesthetic. Save images or links to the site. It will help you as you get into the details of the presentation. It can be helpful for scanning specific visuals and images as well, like inspiration for charts.
There are lots of color pickers out there that are all well-designed. We just prefer ColorSlurp's functionality and ease of use. Use the color picker to grab colors from some of those inspiring designs. These hex codes can be used to quickly build a small color palette to drive the theme of the presentation.
You can a well-designed color palette to drive the consistency of images in your business presentation. The art of sourcing stunning presentation images is ensuring they are consistent with your overall theme and with other images. Having a color palette defined will help you stay within a theme.
Ok, now for creating and sourcing the presentation images.
Once you have a general idea on the brand + theme aesthetic, you can begin sourcing different images. One of the most common is business presentation icons and logos. If just starting grabbing images off of websites or from other presentations, it can ruin the consistent look and feel and they may render poorly. Try to source them consistently.
Logos are common in business presentations. Clearbit is an awesome source for logos if you're comfortable giving them attribution as the source. Clearbit allows you to search, select, and find some of the most popular company logos. Generally, using a PNG with transparent background is the best bet for consistency. Make sure you don't screw up the aspect ratio (like adjusting width without height or vice versa) and ensure that you're using the highest quality image you can find.
Again, there are a lot of choices for sourcing icons. Flaticon makes it easy to choose from a library, change the color, and download the appropriate size and file type for your presentation. I't's rare that you'll ever be using only a single color or style, so this is where you'll be glad you generated a color palette. Flaticon can be helpful to ensure that the icons used are consistent in style and complimentary in color.
Pictures are the b-roll of business presentations. It's not the main focus, but they can be used to trigger an emotional response or a connection with the material presented. Too many and you lose the thread. Too distracting and you lose the audience entirely. When used just right, images can compliment the presentation content.
The internet is filled with pictures. The tough part is finding images that are unique and that you have license to utilize. Unsplash is a great source for images you can use freely. You can easily find images by search term and can also filter down by color.
Sometimes a static picture is not enough. Videos can be cumbersome and lead to technical issues. When you want to capture a short segment of a tool or process, GIFs can be very useful to provide visual explanation and make all the difference. There are similar tools for a PC, but Gyazo has an awesome desktop app for Mac users. The files are a manageable size and the quality is great for a business presentation.
We used the free version of Gyazo for all of the GIFs you see in this post.
This is a pretty deep topic within business presentation images. First off, you'll want to scan through some of our other content on using colors in presentations and the rule of thirds to ensure you're laying out information in a manner that is easy to consume. You can also review tips at Numerro to ensure you're picking the right visualizations for the job.
You can customize colors and some styling in Google Sheets or Slides, but it may not get you the quality of image you're looking for in presentation form. If you're willing to put a little work in and ensure quality, try one of these tools.
Figma is a super approachable design tool. If you search for chart UI kits on Figma, you'll notice quite a templates that can be used as a starting point. Figma is not a BI tool, but can be used to create a chart or graph that looks amazing. With a little data and elbow grease, you'll output something far more impressive than the standard PowerPoint chart.
Canva is another very approachable design tool. They have a graph maker that is very useful, mainly because it considers design first but is specific to presenting data. With a little effort, you can output something that is far more visually appealing than Google Slides.
We've thrown a lot at you with over 10 tools to use in your next business slide deck. Don't settle for unattractive out-of-the box designs. Give some of these tools a shot to level up your presentation designs today.
If you want to include Airtable visualizations or charts on Google Sheets data in your next presentation, be sure to try Superchart for free.