[Video] Dishing on Presentations with Adam Tratt, Haiku Deck

In this month’s “Dishing with Presentations” interview, we chatted with Haiku Deck co-founder, Adam Tratt. Adam is an entrepreneurHaiku Deck logo with start-up experience and as a consultant with the Microsoft Office team. Haiku Deck is a free app that makes presentations simple, beautiful, and fun.

10 Tips to Transform Your Presentations – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires;

Adam shared his insights on how all things presentations and the presentation industry trends he expects to see in the next five years. The growing applications using Artificial Intelligence (AI) has impacted their product plans.  Haiku Deck Zuru is a powerful new application that uses artificial intelligence to instantly transform your ideas into beautiful presentations. Haiku Deck Zuru beta is available exclusively for Haiku Deck Pro subscribers.

Haiku Deck has set up a special price just for PXpert readers.  You can get a 15% discount on a yearly subscription.  Just go to their website.  Use the code MPC15.




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

NEWS: Prezi Announces Acquisition of Infogram


It has been a busy month for Prezi, the visual presentation platform that helps people connect more powerfully with their audiences and customers. They just acquired Infogram, a leading, web-based data visualization company as their first wholly-owned subsidiary. Infogram specializes in charts and infographics for customers who need to quickly and effectively convey complex ideas. This is Prezi’s first acquisition and financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Prezi was inspired to unite with Infogram because of our shared mission to help people make better decisions by providing more effective tools for visual communication,” said Peter Arvai, Prezi’s CEO and co-founder. “If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the data that backs it up makes it credible. And without a story, data falls flat in effectiveness.”


“Joining forces with Prezi means our mission to bring beautiful and informative infographics and other data visualization technologies to more users will happen even faster,” said Mikko Järvenpää, Infogram’s CEO. “With Prezi, we will continue our work as a world leader in data visualization to create more powerful, delightful and useful products than ever before.”

Founded in 2012 and based in Latvia, Infogram has exploded in popularity and emerged as an innovator in the area of data visualization and has over 3 million users, who have created over 5 million charts and infographics that have been viewed over 1.5 billion times. Infogram conveniently offers multiple data import options. Users can create a variety of charts, maps, and infographics by simply uploading a file, connecting to various cloud services, or taking advantage of Infogram’s API.

Infogram has been adopted by a wide variety of customers, including media companies, key businesses, and educational institutions. Infogram is also the most successful startup that has originated from Latvia–just as Prezi is the most successful startup that incubated in Hungary and bridged that success to create a global company with offices in San Francisco, Budapest and Mexico City.

What’s Next?

Infogram will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Prezi and will remain in Latvia. Prezi will continue to invest in research and development of Infogram and will create a Data Visualization Center of Excellence in Latvia.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, click here.

NEW: Microsoft’s Presentation Translator Translates Presentations in Real Time

Creativity and ingenuity have fostered some great ideas that drive our lives today. Microsoft continues to challenge its community to find innovative applications for its products. At the recent Microsoft Build 2017 conference, the focus was on using Microsoft AI to “amplify human ingenuity”. Harry Shum, Executive Vice President, Microsoft AI and Research spoke to the audience about how the ever-changing landscape of technology innovation. He said, “Thanks to the convergence of three major forces — increased computing power in the cloud, powerful algorithms that run on deep neural networks and access to massive amounts of data — we’re finally able to realize the dream of AI.”

What is inspiring about Microsoft’s approach to AI is how easy they have made it for all levels of technical skills from that experienced designer to students in a classroom. Fostering innovation is one of the cornerstones of Microsoft’s out-of-the-box projects coming from “The Garage”, an internal resource that supports and encourages problem-solving in new and innovative ways. This is a worldwide initiative with a community of thousands of employees who push the envelope of technology, creating new and exciting solutions to every-day problems. A robust product management process and team back it.

One of the most exciting new releases is an Office add-in for PowerPoint – Presentation Translator. Using Microsoft’s Translation API for real-time translation in multiple languages during any PowerPoint presentation, presenters can display translated subtitles in one of more than 60+ supported text languages as they speak. Additionally, up to 100 audience members in the room can follow along with the presentation in their own language, and on their own phone, tablet, or computer.

Key Features

  • Real-time subtitling: Speak in any of the 10 supported speech languages – Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish – and subtitle into any one of the 60+ text translation languages.
  • Customized speech recognition:  The accuracy of speech to text and then, the translation of the content is critical for the add-in to be effective.  Using Microsoft Cognitive Services’ Custom Speech Service,  the add-in will use the content of both your slides and your notes to learn any jargon, technical terms, names of people and places, or acronyms you may be using in your presentation so that they appear correctly for the audience. It also transcribes audio streams into text suitable for display to a user. Transcription includes adding appropriate capitalization and punctuation, masking profanity, and normalizing text.
  • Translate PowerPoint Text: Translate the text of PowerPoint while preserving the original formatting, including translation between left-to-right and right-to-left languages
  • Audience Participation: Share a QR or five letter conversation code and your audience can follow along with your presentation, on their own device, in their chosen language.
  • Open up to multi-language Q+A: Unmute the audience to allow questions in any of the supported languages (10 for spoken questions, 60+ for written ones)
  • Inclusivity through Accessibility: Give the deaf and hard-of-hearing the opportunity to join the presentation without the need for a physical interpreter with closed captions.

Powered by Microsoft Translator live feature, the audience can use their own device to follow what the presenter says, translated into their own language.

Which languages are supported with Presentation Translator?

In its current iteration, the service supports Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. While the focus here is on translation, you also could use the same service to caption a presentation for audience members who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The list of supported speech recognition (presenter) languages and translation (subtitle, slides translations and personal device real-time translations) languages include:

Afrikaans Filipino Klingon (plqaD) Serbian (Cyrillic)
Arabic Finnish Korean Serbian (Latin)
Bangla French Latvian Slovak
Bosnian (Latin) German Lithuanian Slovenian
Bulgarian Greek Malagasy Spanish
Cantonese (Traditional) Haitian Creole Malay Swedish
Catalan Hebrew Maltese Tahitian
Chinese Simplified Hindi Norwegian Thai
Chinese Traditional Hmong Daw Persian Tongan
Croatian Hungarian Polish Turkish
Czech Indonesian Portuguese Ukrainian
Danish Italian Queretaro Otomi Urdu
Dutch Japanese Romanian Vietnamese
English Kiswahili Russian Welsh
Estonian Klingon Samoan Yucatec Maya
Other Language Lists:

To learn more about  the other language lists – Conversation (speech) Translation, Neural Network (NN) Powered Languages, and all-text translations – click here


Presentation Translator opens communication channels to wider audiences where joining the conversation is possible, regardless of their language. If you travel abroad for work and need to present to local country audiences, this could change the way you communicate. Breaking that language barrier enables everyone to hear your message and understand it in their language, whether it is your content or just instructions on how to participate. You make that connection with your audience in their language which makes them more comfortable. In today’s world, our diverse audiences are multi-lingual and having the option to share the content in multiple languages at the same time is a key for our future.

We can’t wait to see what’s next!

Prezi Launches “Prezi Next”, Offering Real-Time Audience Feedback and Analytics for Presentations

Did you know that 90% of the information we take in comes to us through our eyes¹?  The growing demand to add visual storytelling and engaging interactivity to the presentation experience has triggered innovation and focus in the presentation industry over the last year. Capitalizing on insights from their 85 million users, Prezi has created a groundbreaking, interactive, and robust next-gen visual presentation platform with the launch of Prezi Next.

According to Peter Arvai, CEO and co-founder of Prezi², these insights drove the creation of Prezi Next, so presentations will be “transformed from a typical ‘one-way’ dialogue to an interactive conversation that supports immersive storytelling.” “Prezi Next also sets the foundation for us to adopt, support, and implement emerging and future technologies, such as the augmented reality preview we’re sharing at TED 2017,” he continued.

Building on the storytelling elements of the original Prezi product, the new product offers a more flexible intuitive editor with customizable designer templates and an interactive format which lets presenters move freely between topics and adapt on the fly, without having to flip through slides. Through this approach, called “conversational presenting,” presenters can focus on what interests their audiences most, a method that is proven to be more engaging and effective.

Role of Analytics

Understanding how your sales targets interact with your content is a key indicator of how to personalize their experience all the way through the sales funnel. Previously only available to teams, this feature enables you to polish your presentation based on real-time analytics. Personalization is the key to success in demand-gen so using this tool will enable you to tailor your presentation to what is most important to your target and drive more defined and effective sales funnel.

In their knowledge base online, they have great tutorials on analytics including viewing a presentation’s statistical data, page view summary, breakdown by viewer, and editing a link’s analytics.

What’s New in Prezi Next?

It is built on the latest HTML5 technologies and includes the following features to help users more easily create, present, and analyze their presentations.

For creation:
  • A new editor: Prezi Next is built on a completely new editor, which is easier and more intuitive to use, and enables customers to create presentations more quickly.
  • “Smart Structures”: To help users more easily structure, modify, and move information in their presentations, Smart Structures allow you to easily expand on your messages to show context. Information containers behave in a smart way and make it easy to expand your content with one click.
  • Designer templates: Prezi Next includes 100 new designer templates that can be easily customized to fit any brand or topic. Even new users can quickly create professional-quality presentations that set them apart and make them more memorable.
For presenting:
  • Conversational Presenting: Through a new dynamic, flexible format, users can more easily navigate a presentation from point A to point Z, or go straight to point M, without flipping through slides.
  • Zoom Reveal function: Allows presenters to tell their story and reveal information as they go, adding excitement to their narratives.
  • Prezi Viewer for Android and iOS devices: Users can present anywhere at any time.
For analytics:

In the Premium package, Prezi Next includes analytics features which allow:

  • Real-time view tracking: Users can see who is viewing their presentation, and when.
  • Real-time sharing: Users can see who is sharing their presentation, and with whom.
  • Content optimization: By providing data on view times for each part of their presentation, users can see which content is resonating best with their audience, where they spend most of their time, and where they drop off.
Getting Started with Prezi Next

Learning a new or updated technology is certainly easier with a tutorial. Prezi has set up a quick start knowledge base with clear, easy-to-digest tutorials. There are seven topics including:

  • Installing and logging in
    • Supported browsers:
      • For editing: Prezi Next presentations can currently be edited using Chrome, Firefox 64 bit, and Safari 10.
      • For viewing: Presentations are best viewed with the latest versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, Edge, or Internet Explorer.
  • Working in your language
  • Starting a new presentation

If you want to learn more about “Conversational Presenting”, download their free eBook here.

Take the time to go check out “Prezi Next” and then take it for a test drive.  It is free to download. Prezi Next is available now worldwide. For more information on Prezi Next premium pricing, please visit  https://prezi.com/pricing/.

Let me know what you think of Prezi Next via email.






  1. Hyerle, D. (2009). Thinking Maps: Visual Tools for Activating Habits of Mind. In Costa, A. L. & Kallick, B.(Eds) Learning and Leading with Habits of Mind: 16 Essential Characteristics for Success (pp. 153). Retrieved from:http://www.thinkingschoolsinternational.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Habits-of-Mind-and-Thinking-Maps-chapter-copy-2.pdf
  2. Prezi Press Release on PR Newswire: 

[Webinar] PowerPoint Presentation Hacks for Business with Nolan Haims

Nolan Haims
Microsoft PowerPoint MVP

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
11 am PDT/ 2 pm EDT

Special Introductory Price $169


Effective and impactful presentations are integral to your job success. We use presentations to sell an idea or a product, both internally and externally. How do yours stack up? We all know the kinds of presentations we like to see: those with less text, fewer bullet points, and more visuals. And yet time pressures and habit too often lead us to break the “golden rule of presentation” when we have to create our own slides. Join presentation expert and Microsoft PowerPoint MVP Nolan Haims for a 1-hour special PresentationXpert webinar on creating better presentations through more efficient use of PowerPoint and by implementing time-tested techniques for eliminating the major causes of tiresome slide decks in the corporate world.

Nolan will show you how to:

• Work faster and more efficiently using the best unknown PowerPoint tricks & hacks
• Customize your Quick Access Toolbar to reflect your working style
• Reduce text with the “three-word challenge”
• Eliminate bullet points through “chunking”
• Avoid creating slides destined to be cut later through “bumper stickers”
• Easily create handouts by exploiting PowerPoint’s notes page design features
• Write effective headers
• Source and choose effective imagery

Managers, supervisors, graphic and PowerPoint professionals, administrative assistants, sales professionals, marketers – anyone who uses Microsoft PowerPoint and wants to save hours and save hours of productivity.

You’ll get a list of sources for imagery – both paid and royalty-free, access to Nolan’s magic list of corporate brand logos, a cheat sheet for hacks and shortcuts, and more.

With more than 20 years experience in the field of visual communications, Nolan Haims helps organizations and individuals show up differently and tell better stories with fewer words. As principal of Nolan Haims Creative, Nolan leads a team of visual design professionals dedicated to all types of visual communications including presentation, data visualization, traditional print and identity design. As a designer and art director, he has created high-end presentations, keynote addresses, and pitches for Fortune 500 CEOs, leading financial institutions, top foundations, and all the major television networks. Most recently as a Vice President and Director of Presentation for Edelman, Nolan helped the world’s largest public relations company consistently win multi-million dollar pitches by communicating more visually. 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. For his continuing contributions to the presentation industry, Microsoft has designated Nolan one of only eleven PowerPoint MVPs in the U.S. As such, Nolan consults regularly with the development team on the industry standard software. In a past life, he was an award-winning magician and juggler and performed with the Moscow Circus and Vermont’s Circus Smirkus before turning to theatre. Nolan directed and wrote professionally, creating stories on stages in New York and around the country for a decade. He holds a degree in media writing and theatre from Northwestern University.

The Evolution of the Presentation Specialist Job Grows as Does Demand for Talent

The demand for presentation design experts is growing significantly as the role becomes a critical part of an organization or team. Why? First impressions can mean the difference between the success and failure of a product. Today, presentations are a critical part of how we communicate our business messages.

A text-heavy slide that is hard to read is not going to win you any business. Would you want to buy anything from someone who used any of these slides?

But, you are swamped with multiple projects and you really don’t have the best PowerPoint skills. So, what do you do? Organizations are realizing that they need to work efficiently and use their resources wisely. This is a perfect reason to work with a presentation specialist who can help your presentations be that strong visual message needed to close that deal. It can be an internal resource, often found working in marketing and sales, or an external resource.

Presentation Specialists are in high-demand both internally and externally. According to Artisan Talent Agency, there is a growing demand for high-end presentation design skills by their corporate customers. It is a job position that they have a high demand for qualified candidates. 

“What is driving this increased demand for presentation specialists?”, I asked. She explained that for their agency, it is the emergence of the infographic as a key information tool that has really been a driving factor. Health-care and consulting firms are the sectors that seem to be driving the increased reach of infographics as a messaging tool. Did you know that in the last five years, the use of infographics has increased 800% per year? Google trends research concludes the demand for mobile and visual learning are key factors to the continued growth.

End of the year financial data projects has also become a perfect project for a specialist who can create an understandable way of presenting financial and other analytics. Here is one example of a bad data slide which also happens to be one of Nolan Haim’s favorite for “Worst Chart Slide”:

Nolan Haims did a wonderful PXpert webinar on how to tell the story of your data. It doesn’t have to be hard to understand or boring. He shows us how to design charts that are both clear and beautiful. Here are two examples of how to show the story of data:

Having the ability to see the story of the data and how to present it is an important skill to have.

Who are presentation designers?

They go by many names or classifications. They are called PowerPoint experts, PowerPoint designers, Presentation Experts, Presentation Specialist and more. There is now a wonderful trade association, Presentation Guild, that is a great resource for this role. I am proud to be a member. One of my favorite descriptions of this job is theirs. Their job title is “Presentationist”.
In their 2016, Presentation Guild Salary Survey Report, they offered a great profile of a presentationist. Let me share it with you.

Another interesting detail is that 39% of the participants in the survey have “presentation” as part of their job title which is great news for the industry and a show of respect for this role.

The Salary range in the Presentation Guild report was between $51K and $75K. This is consistent with other salary surveys for this role. Glassdoor.com, a job searching site, has the salary range between $43K and $69K with the national average being $57K. Indeed.com also offered salary ranges but at $20.70 per hour or $43.6K per year, their information seems too low.

To get more details on the information provided in the Presentation Guild Salary Survey Report, click here. It is free for members. You can join for $99 per year and get it free. Or buy it for $59. Guild membership is a worthwhile investment in yourself. It is a great resource and community.

Experts, Recruiters, and Agencies all seem to agree that a presentation specialist needs to be a good business communicator with a creative visual eye. They should be proficient in Microsoft PowerPoint and use graphic tools like Illustrator, InDesign, PhotoShop, and others. In addition to PowerPoint, presentation specialists should also be proficient in Keynote, Haiku, and/or Prezi.

Where do you fit into this world of presentations? I am curious. Email me.

The Graphic Design Industry – Where Does a Presentation Designer Fit?

In the last decade, the emergence of Presentation/PowerPoint Designer roles has skyrocketed from the darkened corner of Desktop Publishing (DTP) to the heights of keynote speeches and world-viewed presentations as well as touched on practically every design discipline in-between. The niche lovechild of DTP and Graphic Design, Presentation Design, now sits on the precipice of becoming the newest specialization in Graphic Design.

A Phenakistoscope

The history of graphic design has seen the development of three major disciplines each of which have various levels of overlap. Of the three key disciplines, the print-based design was the first and oldest. The next development was motion design with the earliest examples being the Phenakistoscope and then the animated flipbook in the early-to-mid 1800s. As the century ended, there was an explosion of interest in motion and animation design which then thrived for the next 100 years and now every time you turn on a TV, you are bombarded with motion design, everything from the intro reel of your favorite news channel to the credits at the end of a movie. The third discipline, Interactive Design, evolved broadly with the advent of computing. The user not only watched motion or looked at print, but could also interact with it by giving commands or prompts. The first broad use of interactive design was in the mid-to-late 1900s with early computer systems. As computers became more sophisticated and operating systems were designed and improved upon, the visual design became more and more important. This was the first boom in interactive design, with early operating systems leading the way. As the World Wide Web developed, this form of design branched out and exploded across the world, every website is an interactive design, every program on your computer (including PowerPoint) is an example of this design discipline. In fact, anyone reading this article either on a phone or on a computer is engaging in at least 3 levels of interactive design.

The development and emergence of these disciplines of design have been largely chronological, however, the big question that is most relevant to us today is: where does Presentation Design sit? After discussions with many people from these disciplines, there is a feeling that Presentation Design sits outside the scope of Graphic Design altogether. I’ve met many professional and highly skilled Graphic Designers across all these disciplines who will simply not touch Presentations. Why? Because there is a significant stigma associated with working within the programs available to create presentations (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, etc.). Some blame lack of features, some blame inexperience, some blame operability, but ultimately it stems from the elitism of specialist Graphic Design software and the ‘commonness’ of Presentation Design software.

I see PowerPoint a little differently. I see it as a tool that can encompass all of these design aspects. Admittedly, there are pros and cons of using PowerPoint as a tool to produce each of these designs, however, show me a program that allows you to display on one screen your design, which encompasses the principles of print design, then seamlessly integrates animation into the design all the while allowing the end user to navigate them, or allowing a pilot to navigate an audience through a non-linear presentation based on the needs of the audience, all whilst being a program that is included in the world’s most famous productivity suite of applications and on over 500 million computers worldwide. Nearly everyone with a computer has PowerPoint. Anyone can open the program, create some slides, some bullet points and press ‘Start Slideshow’. This does not make them a Presentation Designer. The hurdle we need to overcome is not introducing Presentation Design to the world, the hurdle is to show the world what Presentation Design SHOULD be.

The good news is that a Presentation Designer is always in relatively high demand. Industry demand will only ever grow for this service as pitches and inter-business presentations become so competitive many companies are moving from ‘getting whoever knows how to use PowerPoint in the office’ to ‘getting a professional with knowledge of audience communication and best practice in designing for these circumstances’.

The big question is, will the Graphic Design industry eventually accept Presentation Design (and by extension, PowerPoint) as a new specialization? What do you think? Let’s get the conversation started.

Email me and editor@presentationxpert.com with your thoughts.

About Tom Howell:
Tom Howell is a PowerPoint designer and the founder of Synapsis Creative, a boutique presentation design agency. Tom started his career as a designer for multiple disciplines and specialized in PowerPoint 10 years ago, and has never looked back. With a talent for animation and interactivity, his work has been featured on Microsoft’s webinar series on PowerPoint and in multiple online magazines and articles. He regularly speaks at conferences and seminars and is a key figure for presentation design in the industry. His clients come from an array of different industries. Tom loves the challenges and successes that are achievable in PowerPoint and lives to make presentations stand out for all the right reasons.


Don’t miss my “Dishing on Presentations” conversation with Tom Howell. It is engaging and packed full of presentation wisdom from “down under”. Click  here to watch


[Video] “Dishing on Presentations” with Tom Howell

In this month’s “Dishing with Presentations” interview, we went “down under” to speak with Professional Presentation Evangelist, Tom Howell in his Synapsis Creative office in Sydney, Australia. What comes across in the conversation with our editor, Sharyn Fitzpatrick, is how much Tom is passionate about PowerPoint and all it can do for his clients and our industry. He is enthralled with what you can achieve with presentations using skills and creativity and how it continues to evolve as a creative tool for graphic designers and presentation designers. His global client list includes Microsoft, Universal Pictures, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Goldman Sachs Investment Banking, Proctor & Gamble, Nestle, and the United Nations. All of which add credibility to his successes and his wealth of knowledge and experience. He shares his insights into how to become and grow as a presentation designer. Enjoy!

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

P.S. I use Zoom to record the interview and Power Director to brand it.

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:

For high-quality, affordable photographs, I search these stock websites:

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.

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