Category Archives: Imagery

Bring PowerPoint Down to Size with Proper Compression


In advance of another webinar I’ll be doing for PresentationXpert on February 15, 2017 focusing on the use of imagery in presentation, I answered a quick reader’s question on how best to bring PowerPoint files down to size through compression. Take a read here to discover how the pros do it—and no, it’s not by using the built-in Microsoft tools!

And don’t forget to sign up for the free webinar: Using Imagery to Create Powerful, Impactful Presentation Stories.

Categories: Imagery, PowerPoint.

Open Vector Maps For Detailed Vector Maps



I just ran across a cool project called Open Vector Maps which provides detailed and free vector maps.

They do request donations for commercial use. Unfortunately, the map I needed was yet available, but they’re growing. Check them out!

And don’t forget that PresentYourStory subscribers get access to a whole page of goodies including my stock image and graphic resource list that I try to keep updated.

Categories: Imagery.

Camera Photographing Traveling Digital Tablet Map Concept

RawPixel is a new free stock imagery site on the scene. True to name, it’s a little raw at the moment with no search, limited selection and an unexplained hint at “premium” images that presumably will turn the site into a freemium model similar to DeathToTheStockPhoto. Like a lot of new small sites, the curation leans more to a hipsterish vibe (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) and a simplified user agreement basically letting you do what you want with the content short of reselling or otherwise exploiting it.

Take a look!


And stay tuned for an upcoming Presentation Podcast all about stock imagery. You’re all listening to and rating the Presentation Podcast on iTunes, right…?

Categories: Imagery.

Using Stock Imagery Like the Pros via Presentation Xpert



Before the internet and e-commerce sites, the world of stock photography was an intimidating and wallet-draining world of printed catalogs and rights-managed images with few suppliers— Getty Images and Corbis being the two biggest. Royalty-free imagery that could be bought outright and used in most any situation was a significant advance, although initially, it was still quite costly.

These days, there are hundreds of sources for stock photography at all price levels—even for free—so, you have few excuses for using low resolution, cheesy or outright stolen imagery.

Click here to read my whole article on Presentation Xpert…

Categories: Design, Imagery.

Shutterstock’s New Add-in for PowerPoint



Microsoft dumped their Clip Art gallery access from within PowerPoint back in 2014 in favor of a  Bing image search (which I often find better than even a Google image search), but now Shutterstock is helping them take a further step forward in improving the quality of imagery in presentations with the release of the Shutterstock add-in for PowerPoint.

Through the Microsoft Office App Store (found in PowerPoint on the “Insert” ribbon), PC users can now activate the Shutterstock Images add-in giving immediate search and insertion access to most of Shutterstock’s image collection.



The Office App Store is not well-known or publicized, but it provides a route for 3rd party developers to create add-ins for Office Programs which are generally free. There is still not all that much for PowerPoint to be found there now (and even less on the Mac side), but it’s relatively easy to use—for users of Office 365. The App Store is tied to your Microsoft account, so you can access it from within programs on the Insert Tab or online. In either case, you need to first add an add-in to your profile after which it will always be available to pull up in-program under “My Add-ins.”

Why Shutterstock is Getting in the Presentation Game

“This is the first dedicated plug-in [from Shutterstock] for any platform,” Janet Giesen told me in a recent conversation. As Senior Director of Business Development and Strategic Business Partnerships at Shutterstock, Janet knows that PowerPoint users have been using stock imagery for years, but that it wasn’t always the easiest thing to do—and do legally. The add-in is geared towards users of all types, but certainly makes it easy for graphic design novices to make use of Shutterstock’s collection. All from within PowerPoint, users can search for imagery, insert on a trial basis (with watermarks) and purchase/insert at appropriate sizes.

Users don’t need a Shutterstock account to “Try” images, but if they do want to purchase imagery, they will need some type of paid subscription. Shutterstock offers monthly subscriptions as well as image packs starting as low as $29 for 2 images, so if you really just need a single image for a presentation, you don’t have to spend a fortune. That said, the more expensive packs and subscriptions drop your per-image cost down dramatically.

Right now, add-in users have access to nearly the entire Shutterstock catalog with the exception of vectors. So, if you’re looking for easy access to icons, you may need to keep waiting. Additionally, Shutterstock does give you a few curated collections from the search screen such as “Backgrounds,” “People,” “Education,” etc.



As this is the first release of the add-in expect improvements to come (which are automatic and don’t require any user action.) My own wishlist includes access to Shutterstock light boxes, better filtering out of cheesy imagery, iconography, presentation friendly images (such as horizontal shots with lots of negative space to allow for overlaid content) and, of course, availability on the Mac.

To see the plug-in in action, take a look at the video below. And the first 25,000 people to install the plug-in get a free image from Shutterstock! Let me know if you install it and what you think of it.

Categories: Imagery, PowerPoint.
visual training presentation