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How Fresh Images Can Save Your Presentation

Nancy Duarte's path to a differentiated presentation.
COLLABORATORS Nancy Duarte
How fresh images can save your presentation
illustration by Todd Detwiler

During a presentation, “Nothing gets eyes a-glazing like a visual cliché,” writes Nancy Duarte on the Harvard Business Review blog.

To avoid deadening your audience’s eyes, Duarte recommends that you “brainstorm lots of visual concepts — and throw away the first ones that came to mind. They’re the ones that occur to everyone else, too. That’s why you’ve seen them a million times in other people’s presentations. Generate several ideas for each concept you want to illustrate, and you’ll work your way toward originality.”

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THE PLUS

Then there’s the matter of hue.

“The way we respond to particular colors is based partly on our culture,” notes Jon Hanke in “The Psychology of Presentation Visuals,” an article which originally appeared in Training magazine.

“For example, in the United States, the color green is often associated with money. In most other countries, green doesn't carry the same cultural association.”

Though the article came out in 1998, its insights about presentations still hold up today.

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