More than One Thousand Words – Pictures

Why does a powerful presentation include photos? Because a well chosen photo has more power than one (or ten) thousand words.

Take a lesson from one of the best known American newspaper editors of the 20th century, Arthur Brisbane, (1864-1936) who has been noted as saying “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.” Brisbane may have been trying to save space on the newsprint page, but it is sometimes the same when designing a presentation.

Often we are limited in the time we have to actually deliver our message. So instead of taking the time to paint the picture with words, a powerful visual can save us time. A picture can send the message at lightening speed from the audiences eyes to their brain. They don’t have to wait for you to say anything or get through your one thousand words of describing the context, the characters, the action, and the overall message.

Now there is a catch. Often the photos we use include text! Is that cheating? I don’t think so. Here is a great example of an emotion evoking photo that paints the picture with both text and context.


This is part of a powerful collection of photos curated by Jack Shepherd of entitled: 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity. I dare you to read the post and not be impacted emotionally.

It is a great example the following:

  1. A clear – single message: Restore faith in Humanity
  2. Powerful use of visuals
  3. Brief use of text only when needed

Challenge: How can you incorporate more visual representations of your messages into your presentation?