Information Visualization Makeover
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Discover 3 steps to visualize information better. Move from the usual text based slides to memorable visual presentations easily.
When presenting a process note,many presenters have the habit of copying text from process manual and sticking them onto slides in the form of bullets. Some go the extra mile by adding an image to the background to ‘beautify’ their slides.
Example of a Typical Slide:
If we take the example of a slide that details various steps in the processing of a Home loan, a typical slide would look like:
Slides like these put audience to sleep instantly for the following reasons:
- It is not easy to read those long sentences on the slide, especially when the presenter tries to compete with the audience in reading the text aloud.
Some presenters try to ‘involve’ the audience, by asking one of them to read the text aloud for the benefit of others in the room. This not only insults the intelligence of the audience, but also leaves the presenter in a fix when the ‘reader’ happens to forget to bring his reading glasses to the meeting.
- The image at the background not only distracts the audience attention but also makes it difficult to read the text.
Better Information Visualization:
It is time to move from the usual and boring text based slides to visual slides. Here are 3 simple steps you can follow to present your information better. To make it easy for you to understand the steps, we will make over the information presented in the example slide. Let us get started…
Step 1: Chunk paragraphs into smaller idea groups
If you want to do better information visualization, you should stop seeing text as paragraphs. Instead, start seeing them as ‘idea chunks’. When you chunk your information, your audience can follow your logic easily.
In our example case, the chunks are - the steps to be followed by customer and the steps to be followed by the processing team. Here is how the same information can be presented better:
This segregation of steps helps the audiences better organize information in their mind. A slightly improved alternative of the above slide with professional icons is:
Step 2: Use simple visuals to anchor your idea chunks
Studies show that people remember information better when words are combined with visuals. Use simple and relevant icons to anchor your idea chunks in your audience’s mind. For example, take a look at this slide:
The same information appears a lot easier on the eyes. The icons used in the slide provide context to the facts mentioned. You can use the same icons as guide posts to expand on individual points in subsequent slides.
Notice that we have differentiated the roles played by customer and processing teams by using different colored backgrounds. These subtle cues add even more clarity to your message.
Step 3: Use custom animation to reveal information in steps
The final step is to add custom animation to idea chunks. Present one idea chunk at a time and let the chunks appear on click. This allows you time to explain your points and build on your information in incremental steps.
Related: See Article on how to build Information with Custom Animation
Thus, by following the 3 simple steps you can present your information more effectively. Information visualization is not difficult. It just takes practice.
A useful option for business presenters:
Another useful way to present your information visually is to use diagrams and charts. A good diagram says a lot in very little time. However, creating good diagrams is a time consuming process.
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