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Don’t use dorky clip art

You cannot use dorky clip art—especially dorky animation clip art—even if it comes with your app; if is does come with your app, your app is probably old because the clip art has been getting phased out, fortunately. There are a number of terrific places to get free or inexpensive professional-level illustrations and photographs (see the Resources page in the last chapter), or let your information stand on its own.

Don’t believe someone who tells you that you must have a graphic on every slide. That’s baloney. Having silly or random art on every slide only lowers the quality of your presentation.

The text on your page is the most important element. Images can be terrific and can add hugely to the emotional impact, but if their point is to add to the emotional impact, why use goofy pictures? Do they add to the clarity? Are they relevant? Probably not. Probably just the opposite. So be careful of the images you put on the page—make sure they enhance and support your text.

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I’m really quite astounded by how many slideshows still use random and silly clip art on their slides, especially their already overcrowded slides.

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Fortunately, dorky clip art is getting more difficult to find and the current trend is to use full-screen photos, which can create another problem because too often the photos do not relate to the text or they are misplaced (as above), misused, or misleading. Be conscious.

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The arbitrary clip art on these slides is not relevant and it does not clarify the information. It adds visual interest, but not the positive kind.

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Really, it’s okay to eliminate the clip art! These slides have enough visual interest without distracting little pictures. Without the clip art, you can make the headlines bolder and bigger; you can also make the bullets smaller. Emphasize what is important, tone back what is not. (I would personally get rid of that little doodad under the headlines.)

Remember, everything in and around the presentation reflects on you and impacts the perception of the value of what you are presenting. If a picture is worth a thousand words, think of how extra brilliant you have to be to make up for one goofy clip art image.

See Chapter 15 for some resources where you can find high-quality photos or illustrations—and ideas.

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