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Wake up Your Back Pew–for Free!

Mark Thompson December 10, 2013

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Please read the following true, but dull, statistics:

  • 65% of people are visual learners. 35% of people are non-visual learners.
  • Your brain processes visual input 60,000 times faster than it processes non-visual input.
  • Of the nerve tissue in your brain, 40% of it is connected to your retinas.

What’s that? Your eyes are complaining about the pain? They say it was like walking over a gravel driveway in a pair of thin socks?

Well, then please click the image below and let them stroll barefoot across the velvety softness of a cool, green lawn.

infogram

They’re intrigued and want more? I thought so. Then click the link below and let them soak in the warm, inviting, bubbly, Epsom salty relief of an interactive infographic:

http://wiki.acstechnologies.com/display/realm/Infographic

Your eyes love you now, don’t they? The part of your brain responsible for eating my bad metaphors is leaning over the closest porcelain receptacle. Eyeballs in Epsom salts–what?

But your eyes LOVE you. And I suspect your church members could too the next time you have a report to deliver.

Graphics work. Odds are, you clicked on the graphic above even before you read the associated text. And if WordPress only included a way to embed the code needed, you’d probably still be clicking on the interactive brain-speed meter instead of reading this.

But you know all this instinctively, don’t you? What you may not know is how easy and cheap ($0) it is to convert your list of numbers into more digestible eyecandy.

There are several free web services that do this, but, by far, the best is infogr.am.

Make one yourself and you’ll see:

  1. Enter infogr.am in your browser’s url box.
  2. Click Start now, it’s free.
  3. If you’re an English teacher, fuss about their improper use of commas. The rest of you are exempt.
  4. Click Create.
  5. Click a theme that you like.
  6. Click Use design.
  7. You are presented with default chart that you can customize. Play with it. After about 20 minutes you’ll get comfortable with the interface (that’s what programmers call…well…everything that’s not food).
  8. When you’re ready to premier your creation, click Share. Enter a name/description, and click Publish. Don’t click anything that says Pro unless you want to buy.
  9. Make your selection:
  • Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest publish to your existing social media accounts.
  • View on the web creates a temporary web page where you can direct people to view your charts. No idea how long this remains active; that’s why I linked you to our company’s website, using the method below, to view mine.
  • If you know a little something about web publishing, copy the code below Embed and paste it on your church’s website.

I haven’t found a way to export the graphs as a graphic. I suspect you have to buy the full version. So I just captured them as screenshots with my graphics program.

And just so it doesn’t look like I’m advertising for Infogr.am, here are some other free graphics programs you can use to “visual-up” your presentations.

www.easel.ly. Can do some amazing things, but not nearly as easy to learn as infogr.am.

gimp.org and paint.net. These are generally considered the most reliable free alternatives to expensive programs like Photoshop.

 

Mark Thompson is a senior writer for ACS Technologies.

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