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3 Ways to Amplify Your Presentation’s Impact with Photographs

“Pics, or it didn’t happen.”

In our digital world we are increasingly immersed in photos, and we can’t get enough of them. Photo sharing is the most popular activity on Facebook and Google+, and an average of 350 million photos are added to Facebook and 60 million to Instagram each day. Through photographs we communicate our experiences and observations, capture treasured memories, and and evoke powerful emotions.

Of course, photos can mean business, too — many presentations incorporate photographs of some kind, though there’s an art to choosing and using them well.

Method 1: Deepen Meaning

The most satisfying presentations have a powerful central idea, and photographs can be an ideal way to bring that unifying theme to life visually, and vividly.

Thematic Imagery

For example, when we launched our Web App, the central idea was that we were bringing Haiku Deck to the cloud. In our Haiku Deck press release, I used images of clouds and water in various forms throughout to reinforce the message.

Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery

Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery Amplifying your presentation with photographs: Cloud imagery

Contrasting Imagery


THE HAIKU DECK WAY – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires
for a talk I gave on innovation, I used pairs of contrasting photos throughout to express visually how we break free from the confines of convention — for example, tiny, closed windows followed by open, colorful windows to illustrate different attitudes toward customer feedback.

Amplify your presentation's impact with photographs: closed, tiny windows to express a closed attitudeAmplify your presentation's impact with photographs: bright, colorful windows express an open attitude

Similarly, to illuminate our unique approach to brand ambassadors, I contrasted a photograph of uniform, monochrome lights with an artful image of one-of-a-kind lanterns.

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Presentation Inspiration: 3 Power Tips for Selecting Images

You know that Haiku Deck puts millions of beautiful, free Creative Commons licensed images at your fingertips to grab your audience’s attention and bring your words to life. Our built-in keyword search makes the searching part easy, but selecting the perfect one can take a little creativity (and sometimes patience, grasshopper). If you need a little presentation inspiration, these power tips will help you pick images like a pro.

Keyword Search Tips

  1. Don’t limit yourself to literal: There’s no need to get stuck on a specific search word or phrase—try zooming out and exploring different angles in to your topic. For example, if you’re making a “Summer Road Trip” Haiku Deck, try evocative phrases like “highway” or “scenic route” if  “summer vacation” or “road trip” isn’t doing the trick. Continue reading

Free Photos for All: How Haiku Deck Puts Creative Commons Images at Your Fingertips

The Internet is a bountiful place, full of information, wonder, and an endless supply of heart-melting puppy videos. But what may sometimes seem in short supply are fantastic, free photos to easily–and legally–use for your presentations or blog slideshows.

While Google image search is convenient, it’s up to you to make sure you’re using any images you find lawfully. Flickr is an incredible resource for Creative Commons-licensed images–as long as you apply the correct filters and include proper attribution, which requires a bit of legwork. We believe that Creative Commons images are an incredible cultural treasure trove, and they are central to the Haiku Deck experience. We want to make it as easy as possible to do the right thing AND bring your stories to life with beautiful, free photos that you are free to use, like these:


The Visual Gems Of Haiku Deck – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Finding Images

Every image search you perform within Haiku Deck taps into the millions of ready-to-use Creative Commons licensed images that have been posted to Flickr by photographers all over the world. We match keywords from your slide text to tags supplied by the photographers to streamline the process, but you can always search for any word or phrase you like, whether it’s “giant blueberry pancakes” or “bearded pirates.” We’ll even give you a list of related keywords to get your creative juices flowing. (Power tip: We have all found that allowing ourselves a little time to play with keyword searching often reveals fresh inspiration that leads to stronger slides and decks.)

Using the built-in image keyword search in the iPad App

Automatic Attribution

Once you select the perfect image, Haiku Deck magically embeds the image credit, so proper attribution is always just a click away. When you play a Haiku Deck directly from your iPad, tap the screen and then the CC logo in the lower right corner to view the photographer and the license details.

Free photos for all: Viewing Creative Commons image license info in Haiku Deck

Tap the Creative Commons logo to view the image and license details

You can even Click the “i” button next to the photographer’s name to view their Flickr photostream in a pop-up window.

Free Photos for all: Viewing Creative Commons image license info in Haiku Deck

Tap the photographer’s name or the “info” icon for more details

If you’re viewing a Haiku Deck on the web, look for the CC logo in the top left corner of each slide.

Free Photos for All: Creative Commons photo credit in Haiku Deck

Click the Creative Commons logo in the top left corner to view license and photo details

Click it to reveal a black bar filled with useful links. Click the photographer’s name to view their photostream, and click the CC icon for more details about the specific license. The image attribution is preserved even if you export your deck to Powerpoint or as a PDF.

The upshot: There’s no need to resort to lackluster clip art, or to act like a bearded pirate, if you want to add visual interest your decks. With the superpowered Haiku Deck image search, finding beautiful free photos has never been easier. And with the knowledge that every photo is licensed through Creative Commons and properly attributed, you can create rock-star slides AND sleep soundly.

P.S. Want to use your own images? You can just as easily upload photos and screenshots in a snap.

Telling the Full Story

One thing I particularly love about Haiku Deck is how I can tell a complete story by combining my personal photos with Creative Commons-licensed images. A couple weeks ago we took a family road trip to Ironman Canada, and I made this Haiku Deck to document our adventure.


Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that’s simple, beautiful and fun.

For most of it I used my own iPhone snaps, but there were a few things I wanted to include that I just didn’t end up with great pictures of (bad lighting, dead battery, missed the moment, etc.) With a few quick keyword searches right from the app, I could round out my own photo set with top-notch images of the swim start, the famous Penticton Peach, and even (unbelievably) the exact burger and beer we enjoyed at our post-race fuel stop, Burger 55 (highly recommended, by the way).

Katie Boehret commented on this, too, in her review of Haiku Deck for the Wall Street Journal:

When I used Haiku Deck to make a deck of my trip to Charlottesville, the app’s smart suggestions of photos that might go with keywords in my slides were entertaining to look at and I used several photos from Creative Commons to supplement images I didn’t have. For example, one night we wandered the University of Virginia campus, but I didn’t take any photos that came out well in the dark. Haiku Deck suggested a huge list of images related to the keyword “UVA,” and I typed “night” into the search box to get more specific images.

The best part, though, is how much fun it is create this kind of slideshow. As Katie put it, “I sat on my couch and watched TV as I made presentations. I really enjoyed the process; it was fun and it didn’t feel like work to me.” You can take my word for it: It’s far, far easier than competing in–or spectating at–an Ironman.

We’d love to see your Haiku Deck trip recap! Add a link in the comments below, or tweet it with the hashtag #HaikuDeck for a chance to be featured in our Gallery.

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