Photo by: kitsu
Aside from a good story and content structure, one of the main components of a great presentation is of course the imagery. A couple of years ago I read Presentation Zen (not an affiliate link) and have implemented many of the presentation tips and ideas from the book. One of the key concepts that made a huge impact for me was the minimal slide design, which resulted in fantastic audience feedback and new speaking leads.
So, consider dropping clip art and bullet points and spice up your presentations by using great images. But let’s face it… sometimes you just don’t feel like paying for stock photos. Lucky for you, I assembled 5 great free stock photo websites:
Stock Xchng – To access the service, you’ll have to register but that only takes a minute. Keep an eye on the permissions section under every image and make sure the artist allows use in presentations (standard licence). There are lots of high quality images to be found on this site. [link]
EveryStockPhoto – Basically works like a giant search engine for free photos. This service pulls from a variety of sources and links directly to the source. It’s a bit outdated looking, but still works well. [link]
StockVault – Very similar service to Stock Xchng. I really like the user interface and there are over 30,000 free images. Quality-wise, it’s no ShutterStock, but you’ll find many great, high quality photos you can freely use in your presentations. [link]
WikiMedia – Powered, in part by Wikipedia, all photos on this site are licensed under Creative Commons. The user interface is a bit clunky and tends to be awkward to quickly find what you’re looking for. There are some weird category sections and such, but just scroll down once you’ve selected one and you’ll be able to browse. [link]
Flickr – Use it while it’s still around. I have some concerns about this websites longevity as it’s become a bit of Yahoo’s red headed stepchild. However, there are TONS of really great photographers both professional and amateur that share their photos. The secret to using this website legally, is to go to the Advanced Search tab, scroll to the bottom and click “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content“. Anything you find is free to use in presentations.
Those are my top few websites I often refer to when looking for images for my slide decks. A very important note here is to be mindful of the licence. Creative Commons allows you to use an image in media, presentations and so forth but they CAN NOT be used as part of a product to be sold. Read up more about the licence terms here.
Hope that was helpful! Do you have any other websites you like to use for stock photos?