Are you using infographics in your presentations and marketing?
If not, maybe it's time to start. Infographics combine data and visual representation with analysis. As we'll see, they're a great way to enhance any presentation, using presentation infographic templates like the ones available on Envato Elements.
This guide explains what infographics are, and how you can use them to better reach and engage your audience, even if you're presenting complex information. You'll also learn how to create infographics quickly and easily. I'll also share some tips for creating better presentation infographics.
What Is an Infographic?
Let's backtrack again to get clear on what an infographic is. We often think of the term as being relatively new, but it isn't. People have used charts and graphs to present information for centuries, and those are effectively infographics.
Google's Ngram Viewer shows that the term "information graphic" has been around for centuries. People have been talking about "infographics" since the 1970s.
In answering the question "what is an infographic" these days, we usually mean graphics that group data and facts around a theme, and which are shared online. Those can be pretty complex to create, but there's an easier way.
You can create a simple infographic within a presentation by using a Google Slides or PowerPoint infographic template. Since you can export Google Slides to PowerPoint, you can learn more about how to customize an infographic PowerPoint template in the following tutorial:
- Google SlidesHow to Make a Great Infographic With Google Slides Using a Template (+Video)Sharon Hurley Hall
Benefits of Using Infographics
So, why does it make sense to use infographics in marketing? Here are a few benefits of using infographics.
First of all, people can be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of online information around. In the average internet minute, there are:
- hundreds of thousands of tweets
- tens of millions of messages via SMS, WhatsApp and other platforms
- hundreds of millions of emails
Infographics provide a way to cut through the overload and help people make sense of the data that's available online.
Design and marketing professional Dan Walker comments:
"The digital age has trained us to expect visual evidence by the constant presence of images at our fingertips. Thoughtful designers are aware that their mission is to communicate a message, to persuade an audience to think or act a certain way, not just to make something look pretty. The visual and verbal working together to form a stronger communication is exactly what infographics are supposed to do. The average person becomes distracted in 8 seconds. By creating a visual story and using numbers to validate our statements, we stand a better chance of holding our audience’s attention."
From a business viewpoint, using infographics brings a lot of other benefits. There's nothing that says you know your stuff like sharing some data-rich research and analysis. That's why using infographics in PowerPoint presentations helps you show your expertise.
Infographics are widely shared, which can help to increase awareness of your brand. DemandGen Report shows that:
- 56% of marketers use visuals in all their content.
- 37% of those visuals are original material like infographics.
- Infographics and original visuals drove more engagement than any other visual format.
Finally, infographics are great for SEO because they build inbound links. Most people who embed an infographic on their site link back to the original source. If search engines see your site as the online authority for that content, that can only be a good thing, right?
Why Use Infographics in PowerPoint Presentations?
Clearly, it makes sense to use infographics to market your business, but is it also a good idea to use infographics in presentations?
Absolutely! There are several reasons why it makes sense to use infographics in presentations.
Say you've got a public-speaking engagement, like a conference presentation. Instead of simply reeling off a list of facts, you can communicate business insights in an accessible way by using an infographic presentation.
Even better, using presentation infographics helps keep your audience's attention. In fact, the combination of text and data helps people visualize and retain key points in your presentation. Founder and creative director of Creamy Animation, Larry Mutenda says:
"Infographics, just like stories with a beginning, middle and end, have a message to get across and need a main detailed body to argue in its favor.
Group the related information pieces. Derive the central message. Introduce it, then lay out the details that support your argument and conclude with the final, more nuanced message. Use numbering if possible."
As our collection of free infographic PowerPoint templates points out, many of us are visual learners. That makes infographics the perfect tool for capturing and retaining attention and fostering engagement with the material you're presenting.
What's Included in an Infographic?
If you're going to create an infographic, and especially if you're going to us an infographic template, here are the elements you'll need to have ready in advance:
- Text. Although infographics are visual, you still need some text to provide information for your audience.
- Data. The research that you're presenting.
- Charts and graphs. These are useful to help people understand the data.
- Diagrams. These can provide another way to lead people through the data you present.
- Images. Depending on the subject of your presentation, images may be a useful tool for illustrating your topic.
Next, I'll look at how you combine these elements to create an infographic.
9 Infographic Creation Tips (+ Expert Quotes)
If you're ready to start creating an infographic presentation, here are some tips to help:
1. Do Your Research
Founder and lead graphic designer of Southpaw Grafix, Kathie Daniel says research is a key part of the infographic creation process:
"A good infographic conveys information accurately and correctly. A great infographic does this in a memorable manner, no mean feat in a world full of things competing for our attention. Before starting on your infographic, research what others are doing and find out what works and what doesn’t and try to understand why. Let this research guide your project."
2. Don't Forget the Info
Thinking about what's an infographic must-have? The "info" part is crucial, says Walker:
"This may sound strange, but make sure there’s real INFO in your infographics. And by that, I mean data and numbers. It’s surprising how many items labeled “infographics” are merely vague statements and verbiage without hard supporting data. People respond to numbers better than words alone. I’ve been given infographic assignments with zero numbers. As a designer that makes you think, “Why are we doing this?”
3. Work Out the Story Before the Visuals
OK, so here's how to create an infographic. One of the most important tips is not to get too hung up on the visuals at the start. That seems counter-intuitive for a visual tool but let me explain.
An infographic tells a story, and the visuals support that story. So, it's important to have an underlying narrative that leads readers from point A to point B to point C, and to your conclusion.
The best way to make sure you do this is to plan and outline your infographic in advance. It's just like planning a piece of written content. You'll need:
- a title
- the main points you intend to cover, in order
- the data
- a conclusion
"Remember to keep it simple. Good advice for all communication, but particularly important for infographics. Have a clear hierarchy and don’t overwhelm your audience, or you’ll lose them. Don’t be afraid to edit."
Let's look at these elements in a bit more detail. Like other content, a good infographic needs a strong headline or title. This is what will encourage people to read the rest of the infographic and to pay attention to the content. Daniel advises:
"The purpose of an infographic is to accurately convey information to the target audience in a quick, attractive and easy to understand visual format. Keep this top of mind. Ensure that your content is accurate and relevant. No "fake news" or "clickbait headlines." Your headline must always be relevant to the content."
You can use a tool like BuzzSumo to find popular headlines that you can use as inspiration. Learn more about writing headlines in our guide:
4. Focus On Your Main Points
Next, think of the main points you want to cover in your infographic presentation. Think of these as subheads in a blog post. Add the data that supports each point to the outline. You'll use the subheads to show people the different areas of your infographic.
Most people read on the web by scanning. The subheads you use to show different pieces of data need to keep your audience's attention. They'll be looking to see that your infographic delivers on the promise of the headline. So, they get what they expect when they keep reading. If they don't, that's a big turnoff.
"Keep the layout simple and attractive. Create "vertical interest" - a reason for the viewer to scroll down and access more information. This will depend on your topic and content. Infographics are easier to read than text alone, and more visually attractive. Make your fonts and colors easy to read, avoid visual noise."
Next, there's the data, which you'll display via charts, graphs, and some text. Daniel comments:
"Use appropriate graphs and charts to illustrate the data and statistics in your content. There are many options to choose from: pie charts, line charts, bar charts, flow charts, line graphs, maps, tree diagrams and more. Keep it simple: less is more."
It's worth repeating that the "info" part of the infographic is essential, and it needs to be right. Make sure the data you're using is up to date, and if you've got original data, that's even better. Outdated facts and stats won't help your reputation - or your business.
Good places to find data include:
- government data
- academic research
- research organizations and foundations
- Google Trends and similar sites
- company research studies
When selecting data to include in PowerPoint presentation infographics, think about what best supports the point you're trying to make.
5. Select the Right Fonts
Veteran web developer N'Delamiko Bey says it's important to pay attention to typography:
"Because there is usually a lot happening in an infographic, your choice of typography absolutely matters. Choose simple sans serif fonts, and never more than two or three (absolute tops). This keeps your reader’s eye focused and maximizes the retention of the information you’re trying to deliver. K.I.S.S. in effect always."
6. Use Gamification
Gamification is also a big part of creating an effective infographic, comments Bey:
"The human brain is hardwired for stories and games are stories you tell with your body and mind. Research shows we learn better if we gather and implement the information in gamified situations. If you can find a way to present your infographic with game-like or gamified elements, you're more likely to make an impact on the user and tie your info to their memories and provide value. Make it a game!"
7. Use Color to Reinforce Your Message
Careful use of color can make your infographic presentation even more effective, says Mutenda:
"When creating infographics, it’s important to pay attention to content based color variations. Go beyond font and background color contrast. Alternate background colors for different sections to set them apart.
Align colors with the section message. For instance, in a climate-related infographic, sky-blue can be used for a section about the ozone layer, while green can be applied to a section addressing forests and other vegetation cover.
Furthermore, colors induce certain emotions that help drive the point home. For example, using the color red, which is sometimes associated with danger can help to reinforce a statistical message about wildfires."
8. Remember Your Takeaway
Think about the key takeaway you want people to get from your infographic PowerPoint. This is the point you're leading towards, like a conclusion in a blog post or article. While you may not include this explicitly, knowing where you're going will help you to plan your infographic properly.
Once you've collected this information, you can start thinking more about how you'll support your points with visuals.
Let's talk design for a minute. While you want your infographic to be packed full of information, avoid clutter at all costs. As I said earlier, make it easy to navigate the infographic by using subheads to highlight different sections. This also works for visual elements. Mutenda says:
"Big font/number sizes can emphasize a key message or statistic and the same goes for positioning.
Make graphics evolve with the information e.g. when using a cartoon for effects of drug abuse, it can start off looking healthy and gradually wither."
One way to make your infographic work better for your audience is to create a visual identity. That means using the same visual elements for the same kind of information. For example, you can vary the icons used depending on whether you're presenting a stat, asking a question, or giving a warning. This improves both the user interface and the user experience.
9. Think Mobile
Consider where your audience will be accessing your infographic presentation, advises Daniel:
"Be aware of your target audience and their devices: are they viewing on a phone or tablet as opposed to a laptop or desktop? This is particularly relevant in today’s world of on-line meetings, as opposed to in person gatherings. Avoid fine print, i.e., small text that will be hard to read on a cellphone screen."
How to Include an Infographic in Your Presentation
Now that you know what's involved in creating an infographic, here's how you include infographics in your presentation.
First of all, create your presentation in PowerPoint or Google Slides. Read our guide on How to Create Great PowerPoint Presentations (With Top Examples) to help you to do that.
- Download the template.
- Import it into PowerPoint or Google Slides to create your infographic presentation slides.
- Customize the text.
- Customize the graphics.
Make sure you've got your text, data, icons and images ready to make the customization process simple.
Learn More About Using PowerPoint & Google Slides
Learn more about PowerPoint and Google Slides in the tutorials below:
- Google SlidesHow to Make a Great Infographic With Google Slides Using a Template (+Video)Sharon Hurley Hall
- Microsoft PowerPointHow to Make Infographics in PowerPoint Using Infographic Templates for PowerPointAndrew Childress
Find top-quality presentation templates in these articles:
- Microsoft PowerPoint25+ Best Free Infographic PowerPoint PPT Presentation Templates for 2020Laura Spencer
- Microsoft PowerPoint35 Best Infographic PowerPoint Presentation Templates: With Great PPT Data Slides 2021Sean Hodge
- Resumes30+ Best Infographic Resume CV Templates (Creative Examples for 2020)Sean Hodge
Download Our eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free PDF)
Need more help with your infographic presentations? We've got a helpful resource that'll walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully.
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Start Adding Infographic Presentation Slides to Your Presentations Right Away
Now that you've learned how to make infographics you can see how infographics can make your presentations even better.
Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in March of 2019. It's been comprehensively revised to include new information—with special help from Sharon Hurley Hall.
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