These days, many companies hire professional photographers to create a library of photos to use for various marketing purposes. One of those such companies approached me last month with a PowerPoint assignment. “Use all our photos” they said. We have them available for you and it will make the PowerPoint look more authentic. This was for a children’s museum, and I could understand their point. Their photos were of children of all ages actively engaged in what the museum had to offer. However, we have to remember that PowerPoint presentations, like every other marketing tool, need to communicate a point. A presentation that is filled with happy smiling faces has it’s merits, certainly, but too much of that can be perceived as “fluff” or lacking substance. This is a good opportunity to supplement “real people” photos with stock photography. The example title-slide below illustrates the theme line Growing Forward by showing a child’s outstretched hands. The predominance of the color green also says growth, as does the single tree in the background. Finally, the globe in the picture illustrates fun, but it also conveys learning, which is what the museum is all about. This is an example of how a stock photograph can deliver a clear and simple message as well as set the tone for what’s to come in the presentation.