4 Ways to Leverage Maps in Your Presentations

June 18, 2014

Few people know that Earth is home to more than 200 different countries. Even fewer people could tell you the locations of more than a dozen or so nations, much less point them out on an un-labeled map. As a presenter, whenever you’re building a presentation that features cities, states, countries or other geographical features, this is a great opportunity to use maps to add context and further educate your audience.

Let’s look at a few of the ways you can use maps creatively to engage and inform.

1. A touch of humor

Humor can be quite an effective element in any presentation. But where do maps fit into the humorous equation? Well, let’s say you’re talking about a new or growing partnership with a business based in another country. You might highlight the news with something like this:

Source: http://slideshop.com/PowerPoint-USA-Map-illustrations

2. Strength in symbols

Maps aren’t just informative – they can also be high-impact, easily-recognized symbols. By cleverly combining a map with other graphic elements, you can quickly deliver a lot of message with just a little space.

Source: http://slideshop.com/PowerPoint-USA-Map-Segments-and-Symbols

3. Special effects and art

Despite what you might have suffered through in geography class, maps don’t have to be flat, tired and pastel-pale. Get creative, get interesting and get your message across. Here’s a simple example of how a touch of artistry can heighten your impact, and even generate some respectable wow-effect:

Source: http://slideshop.com/PowerPoint-World-Map-by-night

4. In lieu of boxes and bullet points

Even if your presentations have to stick to someone’s strict design guidelines, maps are almost always permissible. Any time your subject matter allows it, maps can add space and an element of orientation you simply can’t achieve with a bunch of boxes and bullet points.

Source: http://slideshop.com/PowerPoint-USA-Canada-Map-Bundle

Get started adding maps into your decks today!

READ MORE: How to Stand Out From the Crowd

About the author

Toke Kruse is a serial entrepreneur with more than 10 startups to his credit. He is the owner of Slideshop.com, a major provider of PowerPoint presentation templates. He’s also founder of Billy’s Billing, creators of small business accounting software in plain English.

Illustrations are courtesy of Slideshop.com.