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  • Michelle Law

The power of infographics

This post is all about my love for infographics, why they are so powerful and how to make them.

Why should we bother making our content more appealing?

We're all overloaded with too much to read.

An old boss said to me once - if you give me something that's more than 2 pages long I won't read it.

He wouldn't tolerate the laziness of giving someone too much information and it taught me how to cut to the chase.

Getting to the point is good, but making it look good is even better

Often people don't need to know all the detail - they just need the headlines.

They aren't going to read a long report or loads of text on a slide.

Boring plain text emails don't cut it, neither do PowerPoints full of bullet point text in tiny font.

Infographics get the main points across and are fun to read

I started producing infographics at work when I was Director of Strategic Planning. There's no point in a role like that sitting in an ivory tower - the information needs to get out to the company and people need to know where the company is headed. The senior team headed out for a national roadshow of meetings and at the end of the week I posted a "Top 10 takeaways" infographic that summarised the key points covered. It had a much higher level of engagement on the intranet than other standard text only updates.

Now, I obviously can't share that with you here but here are a couple of others I have produced.

I published this one recently to summarise my week at a major diabetes conference. See how much you can absorb from a quick glance? If you're interested in the detail it tells you where to find out more.

Here's another example of an infographic I prepared for a filmmaker.

I've noticed data visualisation and data journalism becoming more widespread online and these both tap in to our desire to engage with material in a more dynamic way. Examples worth checking out are The Pudding and Information is Beautiful.

How to make an infographic

If you are familiar with PowerPoint you are half way there. All you need now is a tool to help you put the elements together. I've used both Canva and Visme for mine (I like Canva best).

I usually sketch out on paper what I want to see first and make sure I have all the information and data to hand, then put it together. They are shareable across all sorts of formats and once you have a template you like it's easy to modify or update them.

A benefit of browsing sites like Canva is that it also helps with idea generation for communicating information generally. I've taken inspiration from infographics and used their layouts and styles for some of the documents I have produced for clients to make them more modern and engaging.

Say no to boring pages of text and get creative!

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