Add a picture, that’ll make it better!

Progress along the artistic journey from Death by Powerpoint towards a more expressive and creative presentation usually starts with the thinking that addition of images will make it better. The (ironic?) clip art issue has already been addressed, even if only briefly but my assertion is that simply adding a picture will not significantly add to value of p2 or the the overall quality of the presentation (p3) but may in fact make things worse.

Accepting the issues of cognitive load the problem with this slide is that the viewer will attempt to interpret not only the text but also the two images. These are themselves complex, even understanding that the text provides clues to synthesis for the educated audience. As such, the audience will be listening, reading and interpreting images all at one time.

An alternative slide to be displayed whilst discussing this topic forces the audience to consider the image and specific fact under discussion. Once highlighted, this is annotated it. And the story moves on.  
Images should provide function and not simply be decoration.

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