Make Your Presentations Visually Appealing SmartDraw

Being a public speaker means that not only do need to be able to deliver a compelling message, but you also need to be visually appealing. Because people will be staring at you for sometimes up to eight hours a day (like Tony Robbins), it means that you be creative about how you keep your audiences attention. One tool that can help many speakers with their presentation is SmartDraw.

With SmartDraw, the world’s first visual processor all you need is a keyboard and a mouse to create professionally-formatted maps in a variety of scales.

“As a keynote speaker, what I love about this software is that you prepare the visual and then, with one click transfer it to, for instance, a slide in MS PowerPoint for presentation” says Dan Smith of Keynote Speaker.

The first thing you do is select a template from a list of ever-evolving possibilities. Take project management as an example. You can quickly produce:

  • a project chart- (see image) task names, assignments, start, end, duration and end dates (can be displayed in various styles- outline, chart, timeline)
  • engage in mind mapping by starting with a main topic and adding main and sub-topics.

Fields of Interest

The templates of SmartDraw are applicable in a multitude of fields. For instance:

  • Quality Management – easy to create diagrams for use in a lab setting;
  • Real Estate – plans and graphics for adding furniture and plants to help buyers visualize space
  • Law – producing jury exhibits
  • Engineering and Design – prevents having to reinvent the wheel (already-drawn components)
  • Healthcare – medical illustrations
  • Sports – polished looking play diagrams
  • Education – of particular interest to geographers with its map functions.

Map Templates

Have you ever created the text for a great presentation but fumbled with amateur-looking maps. Well, fumble no more. With SmartDraw the steps to polished-looking maps are simple:

  • Choose Maps category from sidebar;
  • Select World Region desired e.g. Canada;
  • Click on a sub-region e.g. Ontario (a work area with a sidebar appears).

The fun part follows because you can now edit the map, access a library of markers and symbols to add to your map, add text, import pictures, and capture webpages.

To use an example: Say you are showing the spread of the music genre, Acid Jazz which started in the posh clubs of Camden London England and spread to New York and then on to San Francisco. You could use the pin symbols in different colors to locate the cities, draw colored arrows to show the direction of spread and then add labels (see screenshot image).

Using Local Map Function

Using Google map tools one can obtain and edit large scale maps. To use the Acid Jazz example, a presentation can show London England marked on a small scale map and Camden on a larger scaled map (see image).

One can also go beyond this and create satellite images of local areas. For instance, SmartDraw is located on 9909 Mira Mesa Boulevard, San Diego California. Its zip is 92131. With this data one can obtain a satellite view, with overlays by typing in the address (see image).

These are just a few mapping applications that can be performed with this powerful visual processor. Certainly its use will allow your presentations to command attention no matter the purpose or setting.


I sometimes use Adobe Illustrator to trace maps. A sketch map can be made to look professional and a complex map can be simplified using its layers function and pen tool. There is even a library of diagrams. But the program takes considerable getting used to and is expensive for what it offers a cartographer. The SmartDraw software, on the other hand is more intuitive, the library far more extensive, and the cost per user under $200. Multiple-users bring the cost down.

SmartDraw also offers what it calls a Visipedia set up by categories. It includes step by step instruction, including videos on how to create various types of visuals. It describes an activity, suggests typical uses, and outlines best practices.