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How to Create Organizational Charts in PowerPoint With Templates

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The way that you put together your teams matters. Creating a properly structured organization chart ensures that you've got the right people as supervisors, and the right teams configured to get work done.

An organization chart, or org chart, helps you illustrate how your company is structured. Showing "who reports to who" gives outsiders a sense of how the structure and decision-making process works.

One of the best ways that you can build and document an org chart is with a PowerPoint diagram. With a documented PowerPoint organizational chart, employees can reference how your company is put together and who to contact for subject-area knowledge.

In this tutorial, you'll learn to build an org chart in PowerPoint. We'll use a combination of SmartArt for flexible org charts and custom PowerPoint templates to create great-looking organizational charts.

PowerPoint Org Chart

What Is an Organizational Chart?

Organizational design is an art. How do you put together your company so that the most work possible gets done? Who needs to report to who to best enable them to move effectively and accomplish work?

Much of this comes down to organizational design. Every company has a different way of thinking about this, but the most important part is that they actually do the thinking about structure.

The way that you document this is with an organizational chart (org chart). An org chart is simply a graphic that shows the reporting structure of a company. It's organized as a hierarchy, showcasing the reporting structure. The top of an org chart shows the highest-ranking manager, with each box under it

Check out the organizational chart example below:

Org Chart PowerPoint example
An org chart shows "who reports to who" in a company and explains the structure of how the company has organized its people.

Org charts can be used by practically anyone within a company to understand the reporting structure. Frequently, employees in other areas of the company may start by checking the org chart to determine who to speak to about an issue. Let's learn how to build our own.

Use SmartArt to Create Organizational Charts

SmartArt is one of my favorite features in PowerPoint, and I'll show you why in this section. Think of SmartArt as a way to build out interactive charts. While you might have used graphic design apps like Photoshop or Illustrator to build graphics in the past, you can actually build impressive graphics with PowerPoint alone.

SmartArt is a feature that you can use for a variety of graphics, including building an org chart in PowerPoint. Let's take a look at how to do just that.

To get started with SmartArt org charts, jump over to the Insert tab on PowerPoint's ribbon. Click on the SmartArt menu option to open up the SmartArt builder.

On the SmartArt window, you've got a variety of chart types that work well as org charts. Go ahead and select the Hierarchy category to browse the choices that work best as organizational charts. For this example, let's try out the basic organization chart.

Org Chart Insert in SmartArt
On the SmartArt window, choose one of the PowerPoint organizational chart options from the Hierarchy section to insert the blueprint for an organizational chart.

Once you press OK, you'll see a new chart on your slide. You'll also see a text box on the left side in outline form where you can build out the structure of the company and see it auto-populate the SmartArt chart.

Simply type in these boxes to fill out the PowerPoint organizational chart. Each bullet point in the list will show as a box on the chart. A second level bullet point will show underneath the higher level bulleted item.

Filled out SmartArt outline chart
Use the text box on the left side to add your own employee names in a bulleted list to the org chart.

For most org charts, it's ideal to list not only the employee's name but also their role in the organization or job title. You can add a line break with Ctrl + Enter to create a second line with the job title beneath the name.

If you've never used PowerPoint for charts and illustrations, you might be surprised by its flexibility. Thanks to its easy-to-use interface and drag-and-drop design tools, you can build out practically any visual in PowerPoint. Check out this example of 15 templates that you can use to build infographics in Excel to tell stories with data:

How to Create an Organizational Chart Using PowerPoint Org Chart Templates 

How can you get ahead on building presentations of your own? The answer is to start off by using templates from other graphic designers to skip the work of designing new slides from scratch.

One service that I subscribe to is Envato Elements. If you haven't already heard about Elements, it's one of the most cost-effective solutions to build out practically any type of creative project. There are over 600,000 assets included, and PowerPoint presentations are just one category of them.

In Elements' lineup, there's truly a PowerPoint template for everything. You use these templates instead of starting from a blank slate to save the time involved with designing slides.

The advantage of Elements is that it's a flat-rate service. One subscription nets you all of the assets for that single flat-rate fee. And for me, one of the single largest values is the ability to build PowerPoint presentations using starter design slides that are built into premium templates.

Org charts in PowerPoint template
All of these PowerPoint org chart templates are included in the Organizational & Data Chart slide template.

When you start with a pre-built slide, you only have to fill in your own details to complete the design. Add employee names, titles, and headshots to show a finished organizational chart.

If your budget only allows for a one-time download, we've got you covered for that too. GraphicRiver has thousands of PowerPoint templates for you to choose from, including many great org chart PowerPoint templates. 

In this tutorial, we're going to use the Organizational & Data Chart presentation template that's included as part of an Elements subscription. This template has some excellent choices for PowerPoint organizational charts that we'll customize below. Let's walk through those steps.

1. Select the Slide to Use

In the Organizational & Data Chart template, you'll find a wide variety of styles for readymade PowerPoint organizational charts. Every organization is structured differently, so it works best if you choose a slide that's most similar to the structure of your own company.

Not all companies are organized exactly the same, so check out all of the slide designs to see the potential org chart designs that you can create in PowerPoint.

Org chart selection
All of these org chart designs are included in the same slide deck, and we'll work with customizing one in this tutorial.

No matter which slide design you choose, you can drop your own company's details into the PowerPoint org chart template. In this tutorial, I'm going to use slide design 10 in the original deck to customize with example details.

2. Build the Structure

Every organization is going to be organized a bit differently, and you need to customize the structure so that it matches your own.

Of course, many companies won't be able to fit the entire organization on a single slide. Consider building out a slide deck to break down a large organization, with each slide representing a different group.

For this example, let's use slide design 10. This is a pretty simple PowerPoint org chart template design that includes photo placeholders for the employees.

For now, let's keep it simple by filling in the names on this slide. If you need to, you can click on any of the boxes and delete them if the pre-built structure doesn't fit your organization.

Change org chart slide design
Click on the text boxes and add the employee names to update the org chart with the structure of the company.

At this step, focus on just building out the structure of the company to match your own. You might need to duplicate boxes as well to add more employees to the team.

3. Add Team Information

After you lay out the basic slide structure with the organizational structure, you'll want to add some more explanatory details. This is one of the advantages of using a completely custom template.

The slide template that we chose above has placeholders for job titles as well as photo thumbnails. Putting a name with a face on a PowerPoint organizational chart will help anyone who's browsing the org chart to know key team members when they see them in the hallways.

Be descriptive when it comes to titles. Many times, new employees will be browsing the org chart to learn more about what each person does. You can even use that title box to list out key areas of expertise to contact that employee about.

Just click on the job title description box to add your own job titles to the slide. Also, make sure to click on the photo thumbnails to browse to and add your own employee photos.

4. Publish and Share

Now that you've built out the perfect org chart in PowerPoint, it's time to publish and share the finished file with others.

First, make sure that the PowerPoint organizational chart is shared or stored somewhere that everyone can access it who needs to. That might be stored on your intranet or distributed periodically.

One recommendation that I want to make is that you save this file in a format other than a PowerPoint (PPTX) file format. In fact, saving it as a PDF is often the best way to ensure that everyone can open and view the org chart regardless of the device they're viewing it on.

To save a copy as a PDF, go to the File menu, choose Export, and then Create PDF / XPS to save a PDF edition of your org chart.

Save as PDF 2
Save the finished org chart as a PDF file so that anyone can view it.

Also, make sure that the PowerPoint version of the presentation is carefully stored and monitored for needed updates. Teams are always evolving and changing, and the org chart needs to stay updated to match. It's best if you've got someone assigned to keep the chart up-to-date with the current team structure.

Keep Learning

PowerPoint presentations can take a variety of forms. In this lesson, you saw the power of using PowerPoint to build an org chart that documents how your organization is structured. Sharing this with new hires or within your organization is an easy way to document how you've aligned the company.

Org charts in PowerPoint create an understanding about how the company is structured. Most importantly, you might even reconsider how your company is structured in the process of setting up your own org chart in PowerPoint!

Want to learn more about building beautiful slide decks with PowerPoint? All of the following tutorials and roundups have something to offer. Make sure to check them out to see more PowerPoint templates and techniques:

How do you build your own org charts? Do you use PowerPoint or another app to showcase how a company is structured? Let me know in the comments section below.

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