Pro Tip: Create a Silhouette Using PowerPoint Tools

Silhouettes are a creative way to represent a person or object in a presentation while maintaining anonymity. By filling a shape with a solid color and placing it against a contrasting background, you can create an artistic silhouette effect. PowerPoint has built-in tools that make creating silhouettes easy.

What is a Silhouette?

A silhouette is a drawing consisting of the outline of something, especially a human profile, filled in with a solid color (typically black). Silhouettes rely on strong shapes and outlines rather than intricate interior details to depict a subject.

Silhouettes have a variety of uses:

  • Anonymity – They allow a subject to be represented without revealing their identity. This can be useful for privacy reasons.
  • Artistic effect – The high-contrast and solid color creates a dramatic, artistic look.
  • Focus on shape – With details stripped away, silhouettes draw attention to the basic shape and form of a subject.

Why Use Silhouettes in Presentations?

Including silhouettes in a business or academic presentation can:

  • Help visualize concepts without revealing private details
  • Add visual interest and artistic flair
  • Draw attention to the form/shape of subjects
  • Represent broad demographics anonymously

For example, a silhouette could represent a generic customer, employee, or user without identifying specific individuals.

Techniques for Creating Silhouettes in PowerPoint

PowerPoint 2013 and later contain tools that make creating silhouettes easy, without needing an external image editor. Here are step-by-step instructions:

1. Insert an Image

Add the image you want to convert into a silhouette to a PowerPoint slide. This can be any photo or illustration containing a subject you want to represent.

2. Remove the Background

On the “Picture Format” tab, click “Remove Background” to delete the area around the main subject:[1]

  • Mark areas to keep and remove using the tools
  • Adjust boundaries if needed
  • Click “Keep Changes”

This will isolate the subject from the background.

3. Reduce Brightness

Right click the cut-out image and select “Format Picture”. Reduce the brightness to -100% to fill the subject with black.[1]

The silhouette effect is now complete! The subject will appear as a solid black shape against the slide background.

Alternative Silhouette Techniques

If the built-in PowerPoint tools don’t fit your needs, here are a couple alternative options:

Trace the Outline

Manually trace the outline of your chosen image using PowerPoint shapes:[2]

  • Insert image
  • Add shapes like ovals and rectangles
  • Arrange and size to match key features
  • Fill shapes with solid black

While time-consuming, this allows for customization.

Use an Online Silhouette Generator

Tools like allow you to upload images and have them automatically converted into clean vector silhouettes. The SVG files can then be inserted into PowerPoint.

Silhouette Design Tips

  • Choose images with strong outlines and shapes
  • Simple, clean silhouettes are most effective
  • Make facial features/expressions very simple
  • Fill human silhouettes with a slightly darker shade of black to prevent glowing effect.[3]

Examples of Silhouettes in Presentations

Silhouettes can be incorporated into presentations in many creative ways:

  • Show demographic data using anonymous silhouettes
  • Use a silhouette of a historic figure when their visual identity isn’t relevant
  • Show silhouettes “interacting” to represent concepts
  • Incorporate colorful silhouettes for visual flair

The simplicity of silhouettes allows them to be adapted to many different contexts.

By leveraging PowerPoint’s built-in tools, you can easily convert images into eye-catching silhouettes to use in your business presentations. They allow you to represent people or concepts without revealing identities.

Be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with silhouette designs to best visualize your ideas! Let silhouettes introduce artistic flair into your slides.