In the era of big data, we're all trying to find meaning in information. The larger the dataset, the more time you're going to spend pouring through it to try and understand it, find trends, and convey that information to others.
Even if you can take a big dataset and find the trends or key information, the challenge begins when you need to share this information with others. Instead of sending big spreadsheets of data, your partners are often looking for a simple explanation.
One of the best ways to do this is to take data and prepare infographics. These are those helpful charts and graphs that you often see circulating on social media, explaining the complexities of a situation with well-presented graphics.
You can build those same types of visuals thanks to Microsoft PowerPoint and pre-built infographic themes. You'll learn how to create them yourself in this tutorial. We'll also take a look at how to use PowerPoint infographic templates, and how you can use them to skip the hard work of creating infographics from scratch.
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Why Use Infographics?
Simply put, an infographic is a visual graphic that shows information. Usually, the term infographic means several charts and graphs arranged together to showcase graphics that explain something.
In recent years, the term infographic has typically come to mean an easily shareable information visual with multiple illustrations in one graphic. These seem to have a way of going viral because they give the viewer that exciting feeling of understanding complexity in just a single image file.
Many learners describe themselves as "visual learners." This means that they would rather get a simple, concise image or chart that conveys information. Data means to the most to this crowd when there are charts and graphs that drive the message home.
While I personally prefer to get tables of data to review and digest, I also understand that I'm in the minority in my approach. In most of my ventures, it's important that I can take data and distill it to help a visual learner understand it. Infographics are one of the best ways to build a bridge to visual learners and drive understanding.
Get Inspired: 5 Great PPT Infographic Examples
In case you're still wondering what a great infographic looks like, I've rounded up some of my favorite examples of infographics below. Check out some of these infographics to get inspired:
- Songs Written by the Beatles. Track how the various members of the British band contributed to songwriting over the course of the band's history.
- U.S. President Infographic. This Gantt chart example showcases the timeline of presidents in office and the reasons they exited office.
- Clean Water Access Infographic. This beautiful infographic helps drive understanding on the importance of clean water and its lack of availability in some countries.
- The Evolution of Marketing Automation Infographic. This graphic highlights some of the technologies used to automate marketing activities.
- A Look at Blockchain Technology Infographic. Still trying to understand blockchain technology? I certainly am, and this infographic goes a long way to bridging that gap.
If you're wondering how to build out infographics of your own that match this quality, make sure to keep reading this tutorial. You'll see how you can create these infographics in a PowerPoint presentation.
Also, don't miss out on a round-up of some of the best PowerPoint Presentation templates that include infographic slides in the article below. You can use any of these to create infographics of your own without the hard work of building them from scratch.
- Microsoft PowerPoint15 Best PowerPoint Presentation Templates—With Great Infographic SlidesSean Hodge
How to Create an Infographic Using PowerPoint
In this tutorial, we're going to build out a presentation that is full of engaging infographics. Even if you aren't a data scientist, you might be surprised at how easy it can be to take information and put it into charts that drive understanding.
When you've got a lookbook of ideas, it's easy to be inspired with ideas. That's why I use PowerPoint infographic templates from Envato Elements.
If you haven't checked out Elements, this is an all-you-can-download service that many creatives are using to reduce the expense and time involved with building projects. With over 600,000 assets including graphics, web templates, and presentation templates.
Most importantly, the presentation templates included with Elements are a surefire way to spend less time developing a presentation slide and more time building the content itself.
Elements currently has more than 1,000 PowerPoint presentation templates that you can download, customize, and use to showcase your own data. If you just need a single infographic template for PowerPoint and you're sure you won't need more, you can find PPT infographic templates for one-time use on GraphicRiver.
Build an Infographic Presentation
I always like to use the "case" approach to build out an example of a presentation. It usually involves creating a fictitious situation and following it from start to finish.
For my example, we're going to pretend that we're responsible for recruiting new employees to the company. This infographic presentation is going to make a great impression on potential hires on why our company is the best at what we do. We'll use infographics to take data about the company and showcase it visually.
Big sets of information aren't everyone's forte. It's an ideal fit for portraying in infographics so that visual learners can easily understand the company's financial standing. With well-crafted infographics, it's easy to help the audience understand the scenario.
In this tutorial example, I'm going to use the PPTx Infographics presentation theme. This is one of many PowerPoint infographic templates that are included as a part of a subscription to Envato Elements.
There are other options on Elements available for infographic templates if PPTx Infographics isn't your style.
1. Introduce the Company
When you're explaining a situation, it's best to start off by giving a top-down, holistic view of the job. Give a summary of the entire case so that the audience can center themselves and understand the overall message.
For this example, I'm going to open up with a pre-built slide that shows the global locations for my fictitious company. In this case, an infographic is simply more interesting than a bulleted list of locations.
In the example below, I've used slide 9 that includes pre-built map graphics with indicators. If these locations don't mirror your own, there are additional slides that you can pull other maps from. Just use the map and reposition the map indicators as needed.
An infographic like this one is a substantial step up over just text representations. And thanks to the PowerPoint infographic template that we're using, it's just as easy to add an illustrative graphic as it is to show a list.
2. Provide Financial Information
Numbers talk, and financial information is one of the best ways to show the size of the company. Not every employee wants to work for a company of any size, and the financial information slide can help them orient themselves.
Financial information isn't everyone's forte, and that makes it the perfect fit for representing as an infographic! I like slide 15 for this purpose. This is a fancy stacked bar chart that makes it easy to represent financial information with an infographic.
Another reason to use a stacked bar chart is that you can segment the data. In the example built into the infographic PowerPoint template, you can use these stacked bars to show different product lines or types of business within the company.
If you need to customize the data bars, make sure to select the chart and switch to the Design > Edit Data option. You can add your figures to the chart to supplant the placeholders.
3. Introduce the Culture
Why use simple bulleted lists when an infographic can add more visual appeal in a presentation? While your potential hires are going to know specifics about their role, the overall company culture matters more to applicants than ever before.
Slide design 30 is a nice, abstract chart that's flexible enough to be used for a variety of purposes. I think it works well as a culture slide, where you can list some of the key values and benefits to working for the company. Again, it represents a modest upgrade over a lengthy, text-based slide that could quickly lose attention.
4. Describe the Targeted Candidates
On slide 48, you'll find a neat slide design with a brain graphic. In a recruiting pitch, this slide could work to list the characteristics of the candidates that you're looking for.
Simply substitute the text placeholders with the characteristics that you're interested in. Different sections of the chart can be used for the different qualities that fit your job openings.
This slide could be used for plenty of other purposes, too. Imagine using it for an internal company presentation where you describe the thinking processes that a business analyst should use while approaching a challenge.
5. Showcase the Hiring Process
Have you ever been through a job hiring process? I would describe it as consisting of two stages: "hurry up," and "wait." Many times, that waiting stage creates anxiety and uncertainty for applicants who are weighing multiple opportunities.
So, it's much better if you can provide as many details as possible on your company's hiring process. For this, we'll use slide design 38 that has four steps linked together.
One form of an infographic is a flowchart that shows the many steps of a process. Seeing how those individual steps fit together can help the audience understand the overall process.
This flowchart could be used to describe practically any process. Just link the steps together and describe them in the text placeholders.
This walkthrough is just one example of using infographics to explain a situation. Even if your data isn't financial as my example was, you can use the infographic PowerPoint template I shared to take your data and show it in a more visual way.
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Recap & Keep Learning
in this tutorial, you learned how powerful infographics can be to drive understanding with your audience. When you need to take data and insight and convey it visually, there are few methods more powerful than a well-crafted infographic.
If you want to learn more about the art of infographics, check out the other tutorials below. You'll see different choices for creating infographics and learn more about techniques to create them:
- Google DriveTurn Your Google Docs Form Responses Into Beautiful VisualizationsMelissa Murphy
- Infographics15 Best Infographic Template Designs on GraphicRiverSean Hodge
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint With TemplatesAndrew Childress
For more great examples of PowerPoint templates (including many with PowerPoint infographics) and other helpful PowerPoint information, check out our Ultimate Guide to the Best PPT.
How do you create infographics in PowerPoint to showcase an abundance of information? What are your favorite PPT infographic examples? Make sure to check in with a comment below this tutorial to let me know more.