From eLearning Brothers by Brother Shawn
We’ve all heard the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” However, just because you have some open space on a page, that doesn’t mean you can get lazy and plop some meaningless image down. We always recommend finding a way to create an image that engages learners and effectively communicates a message.
Instructional graphics are great training aids and can make the difference between a so-so course and a great course. Graphics come in many shapes, sizes, layouts, colors, and complexities. They are more than just a simple picture of a person or an office. Graphics can portray steps in a process, pieces of a concept, interaction between people, emotions, and much more.
The true test of an instructional graphic: Can we look at it and understand the concept without reading the supporting text?
The challenge is, to create effective instructional graphics can be time consuming and costly. To help with this, we provide over 9000 premade PowerPoint graphics and offer them within our PowerPoint Graphic library. The graphics are 100% editable within PowerPoint and can export to nearly any software. Let’s take a quick look.
Notice that when the graphic is scaled, the fonts start to look a little odd. To fix that, go to the “Home” tab, and choose “Decrease Font Size” until the font is to your liking. If we wanted to bring this graphic into another application, group all elements together, right click and save the graphic out. (Note: To maintain a transparent background, choose the .png file type.)
Let’s take a look at another graphic. As with the previous, we can change every aspect of it. So for example, to highlight a specific region on the map, click on it and simply change the color. We can change any of the styles, lines, weights, shadows or other aspects of it because it is vector artwork. This means it can be scaled to just about any size and maintain its image quality. We can also change any aesthetic aspect.
This is a dashboard graphic. We can change the data associated with quantitative charts. As we change the quantity in the Excel popup, watch the pie chart to the left adjust. Change it by simply modifying the Excel popup or editing the data from within PowerPoint.
Another graphic is a pipe graphic. We’re going to quickly edit the style. To edit the style, we need to change aesthetic elements associated with it. For example, instead of having a gradient fill, we can change it to a solid fill. We can outline it and change the line weight. We can also change shapes. So if squares aren’t your thing, you can simply change the shapes to circles.
We can change every aspect. We can change the style, look, and feel within seconds. If you wanted to get rid of an element, simply click on it and hit delete.
Here’s a pyramid graphic. With some graphics, we get a lot more elements than we need. For example, let’s say we only need 8 layers on the pyramid graphic. We would simply ungroup the graphic and delete the elements we don’t need.
Let’s say we only need 2 segments at the bottom. To do this, I would click on the separators and and text boxes and delete those which I don’t need.
Here’s a little trick. Everything is grouped logically. Ungroup this pie chart, or stacked graphic and notice how each layer is grouped as one unit. If we wanted to isolate just one of the pie wedges, simply ungroup it one more time and pull the pie wedge out.
Here’s another trick. So lets say we want to change all of the spirals to be the same color. Select the colored element you want, and use the Format Paint brush to apply the same color treatment to each element.
As you can see, our PowerPoint graphics are unbelievably easy to work with. With over 50 categories of graphics, you’re sure to find some for your next project.
Check out this complete video tutorial for a dynamic presentation with screen captures of what we’ve been talking about today!