From corporate overview decks to sales pitches and beyond, Org Charts (or organization charts) are nearly universal features of presentations. And while they may seem standard or even forgettable, the reality is that they can convey a lot of useful information. But despite their ubiquity, there can be a lot of variation in how they are designed and presented.
To help you create an org chart that your audience doesn’t immediately click past, we’re going to look at what an org chart is, why they are useful, and explore a few of the ways you can make better ones for your presentations.
What is an org chart?
Org charts are visual diagrams that show the structure and relationships within a company or organization. At the highest level, they provide an overview of how an organization is set up, as well as putting a human face on otherwise vague job titles. Org charts can be a useful tool for communicating information about the roles and responsibilities of different people within the organization, as well as the relationships between different departments and teams.
How to create an effective org chart
While we’re partial to PowerPoint, we did some research into many of the other alternatives that you could use to create an org chart, and identified some Pros and Cons to each.
Figma (free version)
- Intuitive software with a very simple interface
- Ability to export to multiple file formats
- Easy to share with other people
- Not as customizable
- Better for frameworking
- Free version offers many features that can help with creating an org chart
- You can import your information Excel and LucidCharts will create an org chart for you
- Browser and Software options
- Hassle-free and manageable chart editing
- Lots of easy, customized changes at a click
- Similar to Figma
- Doesn’t provide as much customization as PowerPoint
- Org charts must be edited in LucidCharts
- Offers a broad range of features beyond just creating organization charts
- Real-time updates within ChartHop
- Can’t access without requesting a demo (paid)
- Focuses more on organizational data management, not just charts
- Free to sign-up
- Very user-friendly, similar to Figma or LucidCharts
- Visually appealing
- Allows you to import data
- Tutorial videos
- You can save your artboard as a template
- Not a lot of content on how to use the app
- Works similar to Google Docs
- Can export directly to GoogleDrive, DropBox, etc.
- Not a lot of content on how to use the app
- Built within PowerPoint
- Easy to access and edit
- Relatively intuitive
- Lots of videos and demonstrations on how to use Smart Art available
- Lots of customization available through PowerPoint itself
- Less of a ‘streamlined’ process as some of the other options
- Still requires some deal of editing
Our recommendation: create org charts in PowerPoint
There are a lot of great options out there, but for overall control and simplicity, we still think PowerPoint is the strongest option.
Creating an org chart in PowerPoint is a straightforward process. To get started, open a new PowerPoint presentation and select the "Insert" tab. From there, you can choose the "SmartArt" option, which will open a window with a variety of diagram options. Select the "Hierarchy" category and choose the type of org chart you want to create, such as a basic hierarchy or a matrix structure.
Once you have chosen your org chart template, you can start adding information about your organization. To do this, click on the chart and type in the names of your employees or departments. You can also use the "Add Shape" button to add new positions or groups to the chart. You can customize the appearance of your org chart by changing the colors, fonts, and layout of the chart.
Creating an org chart, whether in PowerPoint or another program, can be a great way to communicate information about your organization effectively and efficiently. It can be a useful tool for presenting information about your organization to others. You can use it in presentations, meetings, or as part of a company-wide communication strategy. It is also a useful for planning, as it can help you visualize the structure and relationships within your company.
Since most organizations likely have PowerPoint already, it’s a fast way to get an org chart going quickly. If you need something more specific or less complex, and can get alignment between your IT and leadership teams, there are a lot of other options that work great as well.