How to Make a Viral PowerPoint Infographic

Making a PowerPoint infographic is relatively easy. Making a viral PowerPoint infographic is difficult. The five steps listed below can help:

STEP 1: Start with a popular topic that is in the news or trending on social media. If your subject is not highly sought, find a way to connect it with one that is popular. For example, if your subject is about file sharing technology, perhaps you link it with keeping files safe from hackers, such as “Stop Hackers with Safe File Sharing Solutions.”

STEP 2: Choose a provocative headline that mentions an in-demand topic. This becomes your title. The title should give your target audience a reason to care about your infographic. They must quickly know the benefit(s) to them for reading it. If there is no benefit, why would they want to share it? (The benefit can be implicit or explicit, but I recommend the latter). Sharing a specified number of tips, tricks, or secrets is a popular approach to get more “likes” and “shares.” Here are a few examples:

  • Retire 10 Years Earlier with this 1 Life Hack
  • Conor McGregor’s Top 3 Fitness Secrets
  • 20 Websites for Free PowerPoint Graphics
  • 5 Ways to Win Proposals in the Trump Administration

STEP 3: Write or find supporting data and content that can be chunked in your infographic. (Chunked means breaking your information into bite-sized, digestible pieces then assembling them to tell a story.)

STEP 4: Render and export your infographic. Start by changing your page layout. Select dimensions that are optimal for the amount of content you include. (To change the size of your PowerPoint document, select Slide Size and then Page Setup in the Design tab. Enter your new height and width.)

Next, use a grid. Depending upon your version of PowerPoint, you can show your Gridlines under the View tab or make a grid. A grid ensures your content is evenly spaced, aligned and easy to read. The following is a sample layout using a grid guide. I made the grid by drawing one horizontal line that was the width of my page. Next, duplicate and move the copies of the original line so that they are roughly evenly spaced and fill the page. Next, select all of your lines and click Arrange/Align/Distribute Vertically under the Home tab. Group all your lines using Arrange/Group. Copy your line group and paste a duplicate. Now, rotate the duplicate line group 90 degrees. Scale vertically and add or delete lines as needed. Be sure to delete your grid when your design is complete.)


To download the grid as a template, click here.

Arrange your words as needed as placeholders. Below is an example of an infographic that has an alternative layout using the same grid guide.

Next, choose your color palette. I recommend using a website like color.adobe.com to select a visually appealing color set. Pick colors that complement and echo your subject matter or target audience. For example, if you are talking about the United States Army, use their colors. If you want to communicate danger to a Western audience (color has different meanings in different cultures), consider a palette that uses red.

Next, look online for PowerPoint graphic elements. These are my two favorite websites to find and download PowerPoint graphics:
GetMyGraphics.com
PresentationLoad.com

For high-quality, affordable photographs, I search these stock websites:
iStockPhoto.com
Shutterstock.com
Dreamstime.com

Alternatively, you can build graphics within the software using PowerPoint’s Shapes, Merge (or Combine) Shapes, and built-in charts. If you know how, you can make professional icons, symbols, and graphics quickly and easily, because basic, simple shapes comprise every graphic. Follow the step-by-step instructions below to better understand how to use PowerPoint’s built-in tools to create graphics. Give yourself a project to practice. Explore and play around.

Tip: Use this Graphic Cheat Sheet to help you pick the right graphic type.

Next, using your grid, color palette, content, and imagery, arrange and format the elements to tell a story. Here are three examples of PowerPoint infographic templates I made using this process.

Finally, export your graphic as a JPG to make you file easy to share and protect the integrity of your design. (JPG “flattens” your infographic and is not easily edited.)

Tip: For print resolution (on Windows), use PPTools.com’s Image Export to save your file at 200 or 300 dpi.

STEP 5: Upload your infographic to social media, your website and blog. Include it in your newsletter. Share it wherever your target audience will find it. Remember to include hashtags on social media that highlight the subject matter and benefits. When posting it, tag organizations and individuals in your field that may be interested in the content and will likely share it. For example, if your infographic favorably mentions a company, tweet it with the company’s hashtag (e.g., #powerpoint, #applecomputer, #urbanoutfitters)

Contact online news websites and ask them if they would like to share your infographic. (They are likely to do so because it is free content for them presented in a popular format.)

Tip: Click on the following link to get Piktochart’s “20 Websites You Should Leverage to Promote Your Infographic.”

Experience is the best teacher. Over time, expect to get better and better results the more you apply what you learn.

About the author:

Mike Parkinson (Microsoft MVP and APMP Fellow) is an internationally recognized visual communication and presentation expert, professional speaker, and award-winning author. Mike is one of 16 Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs in the United States. He regularly conducts workshops and creates graphics, presentations, and learning materials for companies like Microsoft, FedEx, Xerox, Dell, and Boeing as well as at learning institutions and organizations.

Mike owns both 24 Hour Company (24hrco.com) and Billion Dollar Graphics (BillionDollarGraphics.com). He authored a popular Do-It-Yourself Billion Dollar Graphics and is completing his latest book on PowerPoint for educators. Contact Mike at mike@billiondollargraphics.com now to learn more about how he can help you hit your goals.

The Effectiveness of Visual Infographics as Content Marketing Tools

Content marketing continues to be more “image-centric,” which is why an infographic is often the best way to visualize any data set and engage your target audience in a conversation about your message. It could be as simple as liking it, sharing it, or starting a discussion about it in their community. You get the buzz going for your content and enables you to visually present content so it is effective and not lost in an Excel “eye chart” so small it is not readable. You are looking for a way to stand out among your competition. And if your infographic is widely distributed via website traffic, social shares, backlinks, and more, then you have a strong case that its ROI proves it to be a great content marketing asset.

So, are you worried you might not have the budget to design an infographic? Or, creating one on your own might beyond your skill set? It is not. It is easier than you think. In his article this month, Mike Parkinson offers a great step-by-step tutorial on how to create an infographic in PowerPoint. He has a great tip, suggesting you follow the link to get Piktochart’s “20 Websites You Should Leverage to Promote Your Infographic.

Before you start designing and creating your infographic, you should create a social marketing plan that will maximize the number of impressions your infographic gets. Having it trending amongst social media targets will increase its visibility and see it trending. So how do we get there?

Do your homework. Spend time before you create your infographic to understand what your target audience likes. Is there a topic or a style of an infographic that seems to work better than others? Your content may be different but you want to appeal to your target audience.

Know your Data and its value to your audience. This is critical – your data must be relevant and actionable. If your audience doesn’t perceive that the data you are sharing has value to them, then they won’t share it. An infographic is a great way to tell your data story and control how it is presented.

Big Data

by wakeuptj. From Visually.

Source: Business.com

Be creative. Use out-of-the-box ideas to design a memorable theme for your infographic. Find a fun, innovative graphic to illustrate your information. You want to create that “aha” moment with your final infographic. Unusual facts such as (insert infographic themes). The best infographic designs are ones that are laser-focused on giving the audience what they need. Don’t be too generic for an infographic. Don’t lose sight of the fact that you want high-interest, high-value leads from your target audience. Remember that you are competing for people’s attention amongst a crowded and overwhelming digital world. When designing a persuasive infographic, tell your data story with the most important information first to get their attention. The litmus test for your information is to think about from your audience’s perspective. Can you answer: What is in it for them? If your information passes this test, you are moving in the right direction.

Be social and smart about it. Create a social marketing plan before you create your graphic. Mike’s advice on chunking your graphics is a great way to think about how you could use it for your social marketing. Let me explain. Your infographic is built on key messages. You can reuse and redistribute your infographic as one image or a series of images. For example, in the “Whistle While You Work” infographic, you can see that there are five key messages. You can focus on each one as a topic and do social marketing around each topic on this infographic.

By using each section as well as the whole infographic, you are gaining multiple impressions of your data. Chunking each section gives you a snapshot of each of your key facts. You link it back to the complete infographic which you have explained in your matching blog!

Check out this infographic from Feldman Creative. They use each letter in the word, HEADLINE in their YOUR CHEAT SHEET FOR WRITING HEADLINES. It is clever and very marketable as a complete infographic and focusing on the content of each letter.

Social Marketing Tips to Promote Your Infographic
  • Share it each one on social media.
  • Send it out at multiple times using hashtags and multiple channels.
  • Create a blog that tells the story of the infographic and allows readers to share it.
  • If you use an expert in this field, then use their social network to expand the reach of your information to their network.
  • Use the aggregators that you find on Piktochart’s “20 Websites You Should Leverage to Promote Your Infographic.
  • Use the right tags for Social media so your infographic is widely distributed.
Checkout http://hashtagify.me/.

Think of it as your Twitter Hashtag search engine – they have both a free and a pro version. You can identify the value of a hashtag by searching to see how it is used. They have both a free and a pro version. Is it is trending? Are any of your industry influencers or target market using it?

Let’s do a search using #presentations. And look who we found: Nolan Haims and the Presentation Guild.

 

In the pro version of Hashtagify, you have a great analytics dashboard. This gives you actionable results on the impact of your hashtag campaign.

Now you have the power of knowledge and resources to create an infographic on your own using PowerPoint and now you know what to do with it so have fun. Let us know your hashtag and we will social share it.

[Presentation] Dapper Design for the Non-Designer

This week, I was at ON24’s Webinar World 2017 in San Francisco. It was packed full of tips, tricks, best practices, and case studies, presented by marketers from both ON24 and their customers. I took over forty pages of notes so it was rich in content and well done.

One of the sessions was around slide design and I will admit to being skeptical about the content but I shouldn’t have been.  Kate Schmeisser, SendGrid, told us upfront that she was not a designer but she believes that design is your secret weapon.  She told us that she believes that the right design gives you and your message more creditability. And that content is king. She has the right eye and the right instincts to be a designer and the added bonus of being a content marketer.  She told a story of design, balanced with effective marketing content that resonated with the audience of marketers.  She has made her slide deck available to download – click here

She divided her presentation into three sections:

  • Why
  • Strategy
  • Design
Why

Think about how your slides make people feel

Does this slide make you believe she cares about this presentation? It looks like what it is. Just text on a slide with no thought to her audience – good thing she did on purpose to make her point.

This is a better option, don’t you agree?


It is not what you say but how you say it. Which one of the next two slides works? A or B?

or

 

The second one is a great example of how you say it.

Design is your Secret Weapon

Here are two pictures of jeeps. Which one would you take a ride in? What do they mean?

Yikes, I would be very hesitant to take a ride in this beat-up jalopy. But the one below looks well cared for. Kate made the connection that it looks like this Bronco owner cares about their vehicle. We need to care about design.

She told us that she believes that the right design gives you and your message more creditability. Think outside the box both in design and how you share content.

 

Strategy

Kate stresses that content is king. If you don’t bring value to the content than it doesn’t matter how it looks.

Her favorite strategy and a good place to start is to “Keep Your Design Bright and Tight”. To keep it “bright”, it must be “lively, engaging and smart”. Then you marry that with “tight”, organized, strategic, and targeted. Makes sense? Do your slides measure up?
We know about working with the Brand Police and why branded templates give life to themes.

Kate shared some great examples of how using a theme or analogy could be a great way to tell your story in a fun and creative way. One of the campaigns mentioned above, Stellar eMail Marketing, used the analogy of space and the stellar theme to deliver key messages. They were clever and make an impact.

She shared another one around a baseball theme – see below. They are clever and stand a better chance of appealing to a larger audience because they are interesting.

And another one about Good Taste

Tactics and Tools

Stock Photos are your Friend – Learn how to use them.

Good advice. Kate is a huge fan of stock photos. She said, “I think that they give energy, complexity, and beauty to slides.” I agree with her.

Utilize Design Basics such as using white space, sticking to a color theme, don’t use more than two fonts,lLook for natural lines on an image slide where you could add text, and many more.

Kate shared her “Quick and Dirty” formula for getting your slides done fast and efficiently. So, take thirty minutes and do the following:

The takeaways she shared offer great advice:
You need great content first
Limit the amount of text you put on a slide

Keep your strategy bright and tight (one of my favorites)

A little extra design effort goes a long way

Start small with the quick and dirty formula

Believe you can do it!

Then let your creativity flow. You can do it! The information was great and relevant to the audience in the room. But Kate sold it. She has personality, creditability and she made it fun. You wanted to listen. You can tell she is passionate about what she does. It came through in her presentation. She rocked it – content and presentation. I can’t wait to see what she does next. You can reach Kate Schmeisser via email.  Connect with her on LinkedIn. 

If you want to learn more about how to use imagery, watch Nolan Haims’webinar on Using Imagery to Create Powerful, Impactful Presentation Stories.

[Video] Dishing on Presentations and Infographics with Mike Parkinson, Microsoft MVP

It is always a pleasure to have a conversation with Microsoft MVP, Mike Parkinson. He is so knowledgeable and passionate about what he does. Infographics continue to grow in popularity and Mike has written an insightful article for us on how to create them in PowerPoint.  In his conversation with Editor, Sharyn Fitzpatrick, the Microsoft MVP shared his views on how to capitalize on the social marketing opportunities you can take advantage of in promoting your infographic. His nuts-and-bolts tutorial provides easy-to-understand instructions. For more information and to read his article, click here

 

 

 

Sharyn Fitzpatrick
Editor, PresentationXpert
eMail: sfitzpatrick@presentationxpert.com

[Webinar Recording] Using Imagery to Create Powerful, Impactful Presentation Stories

Try GoToWebinar free for 30 days, and save 20% on an annual subscription. Give it a try today.A picture is worth a thousand words and using imagery in your presentations does make an impact enabling your content to come alive. In this webinar, moderated by Editor Sharyn Fitzpatrick, we share tips on how to find the right imagery for your content and how to use it in a design. Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haims showcases several design options for

Register on Nolan’s site, Present Your Story.com to get access to the handouts.

each slide and why it works. This is a perfect tutorial for the non-designer.

Topics include:

  • How to identify a good image from a bad image in your searching;
  • Harnessing the rule of thirds;
  • Creating “image sets” for consistency;
  • The power of transparency and gradients in PowerPoint;
  • Why you should cut the heads off people yes, really!;
  • Advanced image editing, no Photoshop needed;

The right way to compress files As a bonus, we explore where you can find images to use including sourcing across a variety of stock websites for all budgets.

About Nolan Haims:
Nolan runs Nolan Haims Creative, a visual communications and design consultancy that help organizations and individuals tell more effective stories with fewer words. As a Vice President and Director of Presentation for Edelman, he created and ran a department dedicated to raising the bar on visual communications and ensuring the firm showed up differently at pitches. During his tenure with Edelman, he oversaw nearly 500 high-stakes new business pitches as the firm grew by 64%. As a designer and art director, he has created high-end presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, top foundations, and all the major television networks. Nolan trains organizations to think visually and to create and give more effective presentations. He speaks at national conferences and writes extensively on visual storytelling including at his own site, PresentYourStory.com. Microsoft has recognized him as one of only 11 PowerPoint MVPs in the U.S for his contributions to the presentation community. He is also one of three co-hosts for the Presentation Podcast.

Reader Questions: How Do You Bring PowerPoint Files Down to a Smaller File Size?

“by Nolan Haims, Microsoft PowerPoint MVP”

Bringing PowerPoint Files Down to Size

Hard drive capacities, cloud storage, and bandwidth keep increasing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we can or should let our PowerPoint files increase in size unchecked.

Text, vectors (such as .svg and emf content) and animation won’t add much to your file size—in fact, I’ve seen 100-slide decks without any images take up just a couple of megabytes—but photos and video can quickly balloon the size of your presentations if you don’t take care.

Images

You can begin to control file size by choosing smaller images, to begin with before inserting them into PowerPoint. JPEGs will generally be smaller than PNGs (but always use PNGs for logos and detailed illustrations), and presentations designed to be printed or shown on extremely high definition screens will want higher res images. I won’t go into all the technical details of pixel size here but will say that the easiest thing to do to make sure your image has enough resolution is to place it in your presentation and project or print it and judge quality with your own eyes. Unfortunately, this will tell you if it’s big enough, but not if it is larger than it needs to be.

And so, you may find yourself in a situation of wanting to reduce the size of your images after they have been placed in PowerPoint. The easiest solution is to select the image in question and then select “Compress Pictures” from the Format tab (or Picture Format tab on the Mac). Here you’ll find options for compressing the image at different levels of quality as well as checkboxes for deleting cropped areas of pictures and compressing ALL the images in the file or just the selected one.

You’re free to make use of PowerPoint’s built-in compression tools, but be warned that they’re just not very good in my opinion. In the words of my friends at SlideRabbit, PowerPoint’s compression tools are more like a hatchet rather than a scalpel. The compression results in clunky sometimes over-pixelized images. And once you compress everything, there’s no going back, so be sure you have made a backup of your file first.

NXPowerlite to the Rescue

If Microsoft’s tools are a hatchet, then the scalpel you want comes from a company called Neuxpower in the form of NXPowerlite—hands down the best compression software for Microsoft Office that there is. NXPowerlite comes in a few different forms for Mac, PC, desktop, enterprise, etc. It is not expensive and entirely worth the investment if you spend your days creating presentations. How it works I have no idea, but I can say that I use it all the time and the results are magical. The interface is drag and drop, and it is all very well thought out. I’ve seen 100MB files filled with images compressed down to 5MB with no visible loss of image quality. I should note that while it is compressing images, it is also compressing the PowerPoint file itself, removing old and redundant code and other items. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy here.

Video

While you can insert YouTube videos onto slides (PC-only) or even just hyperlinks to nonYouTube videos, in general, I recommend embedding videos as you never know when internet access will be spotty or unavailable. None of the above tools will help with compressing video, and unless you want to compress your videos outside of PowerPoint (by re-encoding them using video software), your only solution is to head to PowerPoint’s “backstage” File tab: Info and select “Compress Media.” Here you’ll be given options for levels of compression. In my experience, PowerPoint’s video compression is a bit better than the image compression, but you’ll just have to experiment and judge the results for yourself.

Final Tips and Tricks

Every once in a while, compression will still fail to reduce file size enough for your needs. In these cases, you can actually unpack a PowerPoint file by changing the file extension to .zip, unzipping it and navigating to the media folder to search through all the image and video assets used by the file. If you discover a 20MB image somewhere, you can target just that one item.

And if you find yourself expending time and energy trying to keep file sizes down, take a step back and ask if it is worth the hassle. If your file is too large to be included as an email attachment, you can always make use of services like WeTransfer, Hightail and Box to transfer large files to others. My typical workflow is to keep presentation files in Dropbox folders and then simply send a download link to clients for items that are too large for email.

Don’t forget to register for my free webinar on Wednesday, February 15 in which we’ll discuss much more about using imagery in your presentations.

About Nolan:

Nolan runs Nolan Haims Creative, a visual communications and design consultancy that help organizations and individuals tell more effective stories with fewer words. As a Vice President and Director of Presentation for Edelman, he created and ran a department dedicated to raising the bar on visual communications and ensuring the firm showed up differently at pitches. During his tenure with Edelman, he oversaw nearly 500 high-stakes new business pitches as the firm grew by 64%. As a designer and art director, he has created high-end presentations for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, top foundations, and all the major television networks. Nolan trains organizations to think visually and to create and give more effective presentations. He speaks at national conferences and writes extensively on visual storytelling including at his own site, PresentYourStory.com. Microsoft has recognized him as one of only 11 PowerPoint MVPs in the U.S for his contributions to the presentation community.

 

[Video] Dishing on Presentations with Microsoft PowerPoint MVP, Geetesh Bajaj

Editor Sharyn Fitzpatrick and Microsoft PowerPoint MVP, Geetesh Bajaj have a lively discussion about what are the latest trends in PowerPoint, tips for how to maximize your PowerPoint experience, and what features we hope Microsoft brings to Office 365.

About Geetesh Bajaj:

Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for over a decade now. He has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India. Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like concept, color, interactivity, and navigation–and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He has authored six books on PowerPoint and trains corporate clients on how to plan, create, and deliver presentations.  For more information on Indezine and Geetesh, click here.

How to Add Two or More PowerPoint Animations to One Object

Many people use PowerPoint animation sparingly—probably to make text animate while showing up on a slide or even for column charts, where individual columns animate. But did you know that you are not limited to the animation effects available in PowerPoint? You can actually combine one or more animations to happen at the same time for the same slide object, and thus create your own unique animation effect!

Follow these steps to learn more. We used PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, but these techniques work in most versions of PowerPoint released over the last ten years.

1. Select any object on your slide such as a shape. For our example, we selected a Rounded Rectangle shape, as shown in Figure 1, below.

Figure 1: Select any object, such as a shape

2. Now add an animation to this shape. We added a basic Entrance animation called Fade (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Add a Fade animation

3. Now deselect the shape if you want. Then select the same shape again, and now add an Emphasis animation called Spin (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Add a Spin animation

4. Now play the slide. If you click once, the Fade animation will play. Click again and the Spin animation will play.

5. Wouldn’t it be better if both animations played together? Yes, this is possible—to do so, access the Animation Pane and set both animations to Start with the With Previous event (see Figure 4).

Figure 4: Play animations together with the With Previous event

6. Now also change the Duration of both animations to match (see Figure 5).

Figure 5: Use the same duration for both animations

We showed you how you can make two animations play at the same time. You can similarly combine as many animations as you need.

 

 

Tip: PowerPoint has four animation types: Entrance, Emphasis, Exit, and Motion Paths. You can combine any of these animation types but you cannot combine Entrance and Exit animations. Why? Well, that’s because you cannot enter and exit at the same time.

 

About Geetesh Bajaj:

He is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for over a decade now. He has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India. Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like concept, color, interactivity, and navigation–and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He has authored six books on PowerPoint and trains corporate clients on how to plan, create, and deliver presentations. For more information on Indezine and Geetesh, click here.

[Video] Dishing on Presentations 2017 with Nolan Haims, Rick Altman and Ellen Finkelstein

 

In this latest edition of Dishing on Presentations, editor Sharyn Fitzpatrick has great in-depth conversations with Rick Altman, host of the Presentation Summit, and Microsoft PowerPoint MVPs, Ellen Finkelstein and Nolan Haims. Topics discussed include visual storytelling, iconography, flat design trends, the Presentation Guild,  using 3D with Office 365, and so much more.  Enjoy!

Sharyn sig - first name

 

 

 

Sharyn Fitzpatrick
Editor, PresentationXpert
Email me

 

Presentation Guild Releases its First Presentation Industry Benchmark Salary Survey Report

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As you recently read here in the PresentationXpert October and November newsletters, the Presentation Guild is now a part of the scene. And this week, a first-of-its-kind salary survey report makes its debut.

A bit of background, in case you missed it. The Presentation Guild is the new nonprofit trade association for folks like us. I’m Tony Ramos, one of the Guild’s twelve directors, and a presentation designer since 1993. Guild members are more often found behind the stage rather than behind the podium. We carry titles like presentation designer or small business owner or (perhaps begrudgingly) the slide person.

We officially launched the Guild in October 2016 during the Presentation Summit after nearly two years of planning and preparation. The board combined its strengths as professional presenters, presentation designers, trainers, authors, and software experts to connect people like you, elevate our field, and improve the world’s presentations. No small task. To this end, we’re offering traditional association benefits like education, networking, and communications. We’ve created live webinars, webcasts, social media, forums, newsletters, and online classes. Future projects are underway, including publishing industry standards based on board and member input, professional skills certifications, software discounts, job postings, portfolio showcases, and other ideas. Maybe it’s that one idea you’ve wanted to bring to life but had no network to activate. (All the presentation entrepreneurs and innovators reading this? You’re welcome.)

Picture10

Presentation Guild at Presentation Summit, October 2016

For now, achieving the right mix of community, training, and support is our daily goal. Long term, we want to help set the presentation professional in the public spotlight as an essential industry position. It follows that we need to see what that position looks like today. Time for a survey!

Salary Survey Released

In August and September 2016, the Presentation Guild conducted a first-of-its-kind salary survey. It consisted of 18 questions designed to benchmark the compensation characteristics of the average presentationist (an individual who works in the presentation industry). We received 133 responses to our email and social media invitations to US-based presentationists. Our resulting analysis is a 26-page report available as a PDF.

Key Highlights
  • We are most likely to be between 45–64 years old
  • We are 1.4 times more likely to be female than male
  • Three-fourths of us have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • We are 4.6 times more likely to work in New York or California than any other state
  • We are 1.5 times more likely to work in-house for a corporation than other work environments
  • We have an average of 15 years’ experience
  • Average annual salary range? See page 16 of your copy of the report
Data Worth Highlighting
What is your job title?

One item that’s always piqued my curiosity is job title. For a decade, I supported a department of dozens of people, and they had almost as many names and descriptions for me: PowerPoint specialist, presentation guru, graphics guy, slide jockey.

The good news is that our professional field is still new enough that the world has not yet settled on a label to categorize us. Eighteen job titlepercent of respondents go by Presentation Designer. Nine percent are called Graphic Designer. But 39% go by titles which were not among the options offered by name in our survey. What does this mean? I think (and hope) it means we still have the latitude to define ourselves in words and aim it toward the future. I’m not saying you should suggest your boss promote you to Vice President of Words and Images, but keep in mind that Guy Kawasaki invented his own title and role (Chief Evangelist) at Apple way back when.

More realistically, however, the question of job title can get complicated. Add the survey finding that, for the majority of us, presentation work is considered an adjunct responsibility and is not considered our primary job even though a majority of our work hours are spent on presentations. To be working on a variety of tasks which are not 100% presentations may be ideal for you, or maybe not so much.

If you’re your own boss (and another survey page shows that a good many of us are), your options are even greater. President or CEO or consultant are easily understood and useful in a business context. Yet I would not downplay the potential conversations you could initiate by calling yourself PowerPoint Wizard or Digital Storyteller or even Presentationist. It has worked for me.

What is the highest level of education you have completed?

Smart set, we are. Three-fourths of us have a bachelor’s degree or higher. What this means depends on your situation.
Let’s say you’re self-employed, either as a solo practitioner or head of a small design studio. Your advancement is not tied to your level college eof formal education as much as it would be in a large organization, generally speaking. You’re more likely interested in highly specialized training that can be put to immediate and specific use, such as learning VBA coding.

If you’re an employee at a big company, though, you might read this survey with different purpose and urgency. That purpose may be to demonstrate that you might be fairly paid or underpaid commensurate with your education level. (If you are overpaid, well, I might direct you to the lovely Shopping page of our website.)

Either way, the majority of presentation professionals lack formal training in areas of presentation expertise. We clearly need more specialized training opportunities.

Conclusion

As a first-time survey, this was a rewarding endeavor for us at the Presentation Guild. We learned much about you, about the landscape we are in, and what is left to do. The last page features eleven points which plot out objectives we are embracing based on survey results. They include:

  • Establish clear and recognizable job titles
  • Develop and/or promote specialized training with CEU recognition
  • Develop a certification program
  • Encourage the inclusion of presentation design and presenting in college curricula
  • Promote the presentation industry
  • Survey those who hire presentationists so we can arrive at the table better armed, better trained, and ready to deliver a better value
Want a copy of the survey? Click here

Recognized and approved as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization, the Presentation Guild welcomes all to join, regardless of experience or location.

About Tony Ramos

Square of 9261 smallTony Ramos is a founding director of the Presentation Guild. He has been using presentation software since 1993, when he started making terribly wordy slides for the world’s largest management consulting firm for nearly a decade.

Since then, he’s learned a bit about the art and science of it all. He began writing about what he and others were doing with presentation software. That now-defunct blog earned him four consecutive years of Microsoft’s MVP Award for PowerPoint.

Today, Tony tweets as The Presentationist (@tonyramos), volunteers time and labor for the Presentation Guild, and earns a living using PPT, Photoshop, and Illustrator for Fortune 500 clients, government agencies, and neighborhood garage sales. If you see him outside running with the dogs or biking with traffic, please honk and wave hi.

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