Visual Diagram : Topic of Managing Email

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In this article, we will convert a text based slide into simple powerful visual diagram. You can see the obvious and significant difference in impact between the two formats. We will use the example of a business presentation on dealing with emails effectively.

The text based slide we will convert is:

Visual Diagram Example 1

Issues with this text based slide:

  • Large amount of text is taxing for audience to read.
  • Once they finish reading, they get bored and stop listening to the presenter.
  • In the example above, even though the information is organized as bullets, the slide looks messy due to excessive amount of text.
  • There are no visuals. This makes it difficult for audience to understand and retain the message.

There are also scientific reasons why your presentations should be visual to make an impact on your audience.

Let us convert the slide into a visual presentation.

Step 1: Isolate the core words

These are the only words that may need to be there on the slide. The rest can go into the speaker notes.

Visual Diagram Example 2

Step 2: Plan the aspects to be visualized

The three aspects to be visualized are:

  • The randomness in the way emails are received
  • Proper organization of the emails
  • Categorization of emails based on pre-decided criteria

Step 3: Visualize using an animated diagram

We can use a simple document icon to represent emails. We can capture the randomness, organization and categorization using custom animation.

You can learn to create your own custom icons in PowerPoint here.

This is how the visual presentation looks when presented:

Here is how the above slide will be presented with narration:

(Click for next animation)

You get a number of e-mails throughout the day. You really can’t control the order in which you receive them. But, you have complete control in the order in which you act on them.

Instead of dealing with the emails as and when they hit your inbox, take a little time to organize your inbox.


Quickly glance through the subject line, the person who sent the mail and whether it is sent to you directly or marked as copy to you.

When you do this, you can categorize your emails into three types.


The first type is the one you can ignore: For example, there may be emails sent from mail groups or jokes or forwards sent by your friends. You don’t have to open these emails during your work hours. You can ignore these emails.


The second type is the one you can Postpone or Delegate: For example, there may be emails marked as a copy to you, just to keep you informed. You can read them later.


The third type is the one where you need to respond immediately: These may be urgent emails which require your views or inputs. Or they may be emails from your customers. So, you act on these emails immediately.

So, by organizing your emails well, you can avoid wasting time and be in control of your inbox.

End of slide.

Point to note:

The key to converting a text based slide into a visual diagram is to understand the relationship between the different objects in the concept. For example, the relationships we needed to capture in this diagram were – randomness, organization and categorization.

The best way to capture the relationship was to use custom animation. See the difference in impact when we visualized the concept:

Visual Diagram before and after makeover presentation example


The process of visualization is quite easy to learn. The trick is to identify the objects and relationship between the ideas quickly and correctly.

There is a simple 3 step process to identify the objects and their relationships accurately. The process is explained in our ebook – Visual presentations. When you understand and practice the simple process you can represent any concept as visual diagrams.

Imagine the kind of impact you can make on your audience when you can explain your ideas with simple visual diagrams on a flipchart or on the back of an envelope. Your presentations will never be the same again!

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