3. Hire a professional to create custom graphics for you- there are tons of talented professionals who would be happy to help you out. I have used sources from www.crowdspring.com and www.elance.com both are excellent places to find talent, but Crowdspring lets you try before you buy. You give them a budget and a project description and artists will submit entries hoping you will choose their design and award the funds to them.
I decided I needed more professional pictures so I hired someone to create illustrations for my slides.
This is one concept: "The banker is watching you more closely than ever."
Pro: You get some gorgeous images
Con: You have to keep your presentation consistent. So if you need to add something at the last minute or change a concept, you need to hire the designer again to keep the same look. And once I had these, I realized that the fact that they are so professional actually doesn't fit with my persona. One of the things that has bugged me about Microsoft's presentations over the years are that they are so obviously professionally done and corporate, they don't reflect anything about the presenter. I love these drawings and the creative person who did them for me, but this approach didn't work for me.
I tried this approach for a presentation called "17.5 ways even a nerd can be heard". Here's one of the slides.
Con: No one else would want a picture like this in their slides. Can you tell this is a mirror? I don't think so.
This is my new favorite way to present. So here's how it happened. I presented a topic to the CALCPA Napa group last week and they don't have a facility for sllides. So I bought a table top flipchart and took it and pens with me. I created my complete presentation in PowerPoint and printed the handouts from there so people could look at them later and see what I had been trying to draw. But then I went through the whole presentation by drawing each of my 10 points.
Did I mention I can't draw at all? That made it even better.
Con: You might end up with marker on your hands, it's a little hard to see if you have a really large crowd, but otherwise it works. And did you know these little table top flip charts with 20 sheets run $30? Mine was 3M's Post-It brand.