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Applying the Rule of Thirds to Your PowerPoint Presentation

The rule of thirds is one of the most essential photography techniques. By dividing images into three vertical and horizontal lines, you create a grid with four intersecting points. These are called “power points.”

This guideline isn’t just for professional photographers, graphic designers, or artists. When applied properly, this principle allows for stronger visuals in your PowerPoint design.


Image Credits: Conca

What Makes a Good Presentation Design?

The good thing about this rule is that anyone can do it. Since visual communication is just as important as verbal communication, applying this to your presentation design can make it more interesting and striking especially when you’re conveying your message visually.

Where did it come from?

As mentioned by Conca’s Nico Simpson, the first mention of the rule of thirds appeared in the book Remarks on Rural Scenery (1797) by author and painter, John Thomas Smith.

Smith mentions the rule of thirds as a guide for good nature paintings. This principle works by dividing visual elements into three vertical and horizontal lines.

How Can You Apply This Rule To Your Slides?

Here are three ways to incorporate the rule of thirds in your deck images:

1. Look for Images Which Follow the Rule of Thirds

With a simple Google search, you can easily find free-for-use photographs that already obey the rule of thirds.

2. Crop and Position Images to Follow the Rule of Thirds

If you can’t find an existing image, you can crop your own photographs so that they follow this rule. You can use any photo editing software, such as Photoshop and GIMP, to edit your images.

3. Combine Images with Texts so that One or Both Obey the Rule of Thirds

Prioritize images that have large areas of uniform color. You can also select those with a solid color background. If you’re doing business presentations, white works best in contrasting against images and text.

The example below shows how the blue piece is placed in the upper left focal point to make the layout visually striking.


Image Credits: Six Minutes


Placing images or texts over one of the intersecting grid’s power points creates balance to your presentation slides.

Once you successfully achieve this, your audience will be more interested in looking and appreciating your visual presentation.


About Rick Enrico

Rick Enrico is the CEO & Founder of SlideGenius, Inc., a graphic design agency servicing over 1,000 global customers. Rick currently oversees an experienced team of talented graphic designers, software engineers and support staff that specialize in creating high-end custom presentations and marketing collateral for business executives and corporations. Mr. Enrico and our team of PowerPoint design experts contribute to this blog frequently. If you have any questions or just want to drop us a line please forward them to admin (@)

About SlideGenius is your PowerPoint specialist for business. SlideGenius services customers all over the globe and has helped enhance the presentations of more than 1000+ clients including J.P. Morgan, Comcast, Mastercard, Facebook, and Reebok, among others. Let us help you with your presentation design needs!

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