There was a time when a PowerPoint presentation was just a virtual stack of slides crammed with text which the presenter then read to the audience. Eventually, someone realized that short phrases were easier to read and bullet points came into their own. Then pictures started to appear, which illustrated those points. But like every other presentation innovation, once everyone began to do it, it’s value was reduced.
Now there’s a new kid on the block. It’s called an infographic, a word that combines two of these characteristics: information and graphics. But instead of one working alongside the other, the information itself is presented as a graphic.
Let me use an example to explain what I mean.
In the early 1950s, the bar code was developed. It was first used about 10 years later, but it didn’t come into widespread us until the mid-1980s. What could the bar code do? Primarily, it was a means to “ring up” the sale of products more quickly and to manage inventory. As products were sold, new ones were ordered. But that’s all it could do.
A few years later, the QR code was developed, but it didn’t become popular until just a couple of years ago. Even so, it’s far from ubiquitous. The difference between the two is that the QR code enables you to transmit hundreds of times more information to your customers in less space than the bar code. It can take viewers directly to a web site, an audio or video, and can enable them to buy your products as well.
What does this have to do with infographics?
Simply this: It is much more than just an interesting picture. People know that just by scanning it with their smart phones, they can learn a great deal more than what that little symbol suggests.
When you make infographics a part of your design, your suddenly have great PowerPoint presentations that pack far more punch than they ever could have with just a few bullet points.
By superimposing words, pictures or symbols on top of the other, you can communicate your entire message clearly and concisely. And that means that your audience can see immediately how your products can solve their problems.
Below is an example of how great PowerPoint presentations can look when infographics are used well:
While infographics can be a powerful means to disseminate information, that doesn’t mean that it’s always the best choice. That’s why great PowerPoint presentations never overdo a good thing.