Today I am writing a speech for a group of university students, so I had the luxury of being able to"go all the way" with creativity, not having to worry about whether visual concepts would be appropriate for the audience.
Eighty slides later, I got tired of many of the images I used and cut back on a lot of them.
  • Page after page of yet another stunningly beautiful image takes the attention away from the presenter and gives the audience the impression of reading a giant coffee table picture book
  • There is only so many funny or shocking images an audience can absorb. One "pie in the face" can be funny, one aggressive guy might be OK, but not ten slides like these. People don't like to look at close-ups of spiders.
  • Metaphors get forced: "I knew he would use that squashed orange to show that we are being squeezed by the competition."
  • Cost: 80 pages with a few trial images per page start to add up.
What you can do to overcome stock image fatigue:
  • (I passed level 0 already: cutting out the cheesy image)
  • Have the courage to go even more minimalistic: use a few words on a beautiful background color (experiment with light and elegant fonts, short words with are extremely large fonts)
  • Re-color stock images so they look more similar
  • Use images that are similar in style, for example just "retro" black & white shots throughout your presentation
  • Use real images from sources such as Flickr (check the license)