Have you ever tried to watch or listen to a presentation that had absolutely zero images? Not every conference presentation or boardroom catch-up can be a theatrical masterpiece or blockbuster movie. But there are still ways to make this content more engaging. Different innovative strategies, like using infographics, can take your presentations to the next level. Creating an infographic for your presentation can not only show off your creative side, but it can also help you boost your audience’s reception of the material. In this article, we discuss:
Image via Unsplash by @wointechchat
You already know your presentation needs media. You wouldn’t be reading this article if you didn’t. Who wants to look at slide after slide of bullet points and walls of text? Nobody. It doesn’t matter whether you’re presenting at a conference, talking one-on-one with a potential client, or sharing data with your team. If you don’t want people falling asleep in front of the screen, you need something to capture their attention. But why infographics?
Infographics are unique to your brand and the content you’re sharing. You could get by with data tables and stock images, but your presentation is too important to be that forgettable. They share the same information as your standard charts and graphs, but they make it interesting. Infographics allow you to condense a large amount of information, so your audience can easily understand and digest it. Plus, they’re memorable. If you want people to walk away from the presentation and actually remember what they saw, making an impression is key.
And the use of your infographic doesn’t have to stop with your presentation. Use it on your website, or within other pieces of content. Repurpose that information to share it with a wider audience. This is a good use of your resources and a way to spread a consistent, valuable brand message across channels and touchpoints.
When deciding how to make the right infographic for each presentation, use these tips as a guide:
Before you make an infographic or even prepare your presentation, you start with research. Sift through your findings and identify the core points you want to share with your audience. These become the primary sections of your infographic. Then, match supporting details with those core points. This process helps you find the key data and statistics to include in each section of the infographic.
The goal behind research organization is to find what information to keep in the infographic and which you can ditch. Let your presentation goal guide you. As you evaluate each data point, ask yourself how it contributes to your goal. For example, if you’re creating a presentation for a conference, your goal might be to collect 15 qualified leads by the end of the conference. Which data points are going to help you reach that goal? Doing this kind of analysis can help your infographic and your overall presentation capture people’s attention by providing information that matters the most to them.
If you do your research and organization right, developing the outline should come naturally. Start with the core topics as your main headings and the supporting details as sub-points. Then, decide the order for your core topics to make the flow as smooth as possible.
While working through this crucial prioritization process, always keep your audience in mind. What do they need to know first to make the next point make sense? What’s going to convince them that this presentation is worth their time, and push them to complete another action when it’s over? If your audience is less familiar with the fundamental ideas of the presentation, you may need to start by summarizing key terms. If your audience is full of peers and colleagues, you can skip summaries and go into presenting statistics and groundbreaking information. Consider what will benefit each unique audience the most.
You’re using infographics in your presentation to make the information more interesting for the audience. But they’re only going to make things interesting if you do it right. It’s tempting to try and cram as much information as possible into an infographic so that people see it all and remember it all. But it doesn’t work that way.
Too much data, no matter how useful you think it is, overwhelms your audience. Instead of making things easier to understand, you’re making them more complicated. Establishing a clear hierarchy in your design keeps you on track for only sharing the most relevant data points. It also helps signal to the audience what their key takeaways from the infographic should be. Use bold lettering or larger font sizes for your core points, and make the sub-point information smaller.
You can prevent overwhelming your audience by establishing a clear hierarchy in your design. Make your most important points big and bold while making auxiliary information smaller. Just make sure everything is readable, which also means avoiding crazy fonts. Keep it simple. Don’t be afraid of white space, either. Your audience will appreciate you giving their eyes a break, and white space can also help emphasize importance by drawing the eyes to the next big subject.
Remember, infographics aren’t the only kinds of media you can use in your presentations. From static images to video, and even interactive content, there are plenty of options. An infographic might not be right for every presentation, or it might be just one tool of many to include. Understanding the different types of infographics available helps you decide if this is the right choice for your visuals, and which will have the biggest impact on your audience. Some common infographic options for presentations include:
Timeline infographics are great for sharing information and data that take place in sequential order. Sharing the history of your company or the way a product or service changed over time are two examples of content that fit this template. As long as you create them the right way, it’s easy for your audience to follow a timeline and understand every data point from beginning to end.
Be sure not to make your timeline too long. This type of infographic is only effective when it shows the key years and dates to share the big changes within your data. For example, if you were sharing the history of your 25-year-old company, you wouldn’t put an event for every year on the timeline. You would share points like the year you founded the company, when you made your first big sale, and when you introduced your most popular products or services.
Comparison infographics are great for presentations, especially when your overall goal is to convince your audience of something or convert leads to clients. With this type of infographic, place information and data side by side to see how one company, product, or solution is better than another. You can use this to compare your own products and services to each other to help your audience make more informed buying decisions. Another way to use them is to compare your company to the competition and show why your brand is the better value or solution.
You have the freedom to be flexible with comparison infographics. The visual design and information you present are up to you and your marketing team. Just make sure you’re sharing a clear distinction between the two main subjects. If you’re grasping at straws or have to dig too deep to compare the two points, there’s probably a better infographic model to use to share that particular data set.
Data visualizations take a particular numerical data set and make it easier to understand. That’s why this might be one of the most common kinds of infographics you use in your presentations. Data visualizations make use of tables, charts, and graphs to make large groups of numbers more digestible. You may use multiple types of data visualizations in one infographic.
Data visualizations, like comparison infographics, can be flexible as well. Get creative with how you represent your information. You don’t need to go crazy, but using creativity makes the information easier to remember. Say, for example, that you run an automobile dealership and you want to represent how many vehicles have sold in each model. You can use a bar graph to represent the information, but instead of black rectangles, the bar is a road with the model of the vehicle at the top of the bar. When getting creative, just remember to never sacrifice clarity and quality for pizzazz.
Related: Data Visualizations vs. Infographics
Process and how-to infographics are like timelines for procedures. Follow the line of progression from one step to the next. You may use this type of infographic to show your team the new steps in taking a custom from the top to bottom of the marketing funnel. Or, maybe you’re sharing a one-on-one presentation with a new client on how to install your software on their company-wide network.
These infographics take what could be a complicated process and condense it into an easy-to-understand list. A how-to infographic is a great one to use beyond your presentation. You can include it on your website, in email marketing, or as print material to further spread your marketing message without spending additional money or resources on a new project.
If the data in your presentation is location-based, consider a map infographic. You may use these visualizations to share demographic information from survey responses. You could also show things like store locations, countries or states with the most sales, or other geographically-specific data. When making location and map infographics, it’s always better to display only one set of data per image. Otherwise, you may overwhelm and confuse your audience with too much data.
Presentations aren’t the only types of content that benefit from infographics. You can use them anywhere you’d use another visual, like a stock photo or a video clip. They’re great to pair with any kind of content marketing that includes data. They’re engaging and use creativity to convey information that’s otherwise boring, but necessary to share.
But remember, visual content is important. But most infographics and other types of media don’t stand on their own. They work best when paired with excellent written content. That’s something businesses and marketing teams overlook, especially in our visual-driven content landscape. Not everyone wants to read a blog post, but then again, not everyone wants to watch a video either. When you combine content types, it makes it easier to drive your point home to any member of your audience, no matter their content consumption preferences.
Want to learn more about how every piece of content you create, no matter the medium, works with the others to bring you maximum marketing results? Download our free eBook about the content marketing pyramid to learn how to leverage pieces like infographics and articles both together and separately to see more conversions and success for your brand.
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