I see a lot of presentations with quotations on them and they’re almost always boring. Presenters use a blank layout, insert a text box, and type or paste the quote from some document.
Quotes are an interesting feature in a presentation, so make them interesting!
Here’s a slide that a client gave me.
It isn’t terrible, but not very engaging either. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at first but I decided to look up William Harvey. Remember, this is the year 1628!
Add a photo
Go ahead and look him up on Wikipedia. Lo and behold, there’s a portrait of him. Click it and you’ll see that it’s in the public domain. I hit the jackpot!
The ideal way to format a quotation is with an image of the person who said it. If it’s someone at your company, ask if you can take a photo.
PowerPoint has a whole Callouts section in the Shapes gallery and several of them are suitable for quotes. However, the callouts are sometimes frustrating to format. The secret is to:
- Insert the callout.
- Add the text.
- Resize the callout to fit the text.
- Drag the point toward the photo of the person.
Format the quotation marks
A nice touch is to “outdent” the first quotation mark. This makes the actual text of the quote look a little neater. You do this on the ruler. You just drag the lower triangle (not the lower square) slightly to the right. You can see this setting on the right.
Other formatting options
I made the border thicker, by choosing Format tab, Shape Outline, Weight. I also added a shadow to match the shadow on the painting image.
Here’s the final result.
Nicer, right? The photo attracts the attention of your audience and makes the quotation interesting, rather than boring.
How do you like to format quotations? Leave your suggestions or questions in the comments. And share with others using the Share buttons below.
In addition to a photo, I always italicize quotations.
Great enhancement. Thanks for the idea.
I like your makeover of the quotation slide. I love using pictures to provide some context for the quote and help make the idea more memorable. Here are a few samples I did that may give others some additional ideas to play with: http://valarywithawhy.tumblr.com/image/80176611171
Hi, Ellen. Great makeover for the quotation slide. I was wondering……could the quotation marks be omitted since the quote is inside the speech bubble, which is pointing toward the person who made the quote? There probably aren’t any rules about this in a grammar book, but I thought I’d see if you had any additional insight.
Great examples, Valary! I especially like the third one!
Does “outdent” mean moving the quotation mark to the left so that the first letter of the first word in the first line is directly over the first letter in the second line? I could not get the quotation mark to move by itself. When I tried moving the lower triangle, the whole line–including the quotation mark–moved.
Thanks, Valary. Your examples are really beautiful and engaging.
Nice makeover! It sure was lucky that the image is public-domain, as it really helps to engage people. In the original slide, the bright yellow text on quite a bright blue background certainly wasn’t easy on the eye. I do like that the quote’s font size was bigger than the attribution’s though. Here’s a different example I made a while back where the yellow text and blue slide are much more muted. See what you think. That post also suggests 6 tips for using quotes, such as a recommended length of up to only about 15 words. And it does… Read more »
Your examples are really beautiful.. Thanks a lot.