Creating effective presentations

Visual Communication Beyond Slides

Visualizing Data

A cluttered of overwhelming data slide can derail, so only show data in your presentation if the data helps you better illustrate your conclusions. Be sure to display it in a way that the audience can absorb easily. Use the following five principles to present your data in the clearest possible way.

1. Tell the truth

Be prepared to provide access to the complete data set, and be ready to answer questions about your conclusions.

2. Get to the point

To Communicate your data effectively, you first must come up with the conclusions you want your audience to adopt.

3. Pick the right tool for the job

Now that you know which results you want to display, you will need to choose the most appropriate tool for displaying your data. The most frequently used graphs for business communications are pie, bar, and line graphs.

Sometimes the best chart is no chart at all. If you only have one key message for your slide or the big message is just a number, eliminating chart may increase the impact of your slide.

4. Highlight what's important

Design rules for showing data on slides are different from the rules of displaying data on paper. Keep in mind that the purpose of slides is not to show all the data, but to communicate conclusions and insights.

6. Keep it simple

Simplicity is more important when displaying data. Since the data itself can often confuse the viewer, it's equally critical to keep your data slides free of unnecessary clutter.

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Nancy Duarte Slide:ology