The four main points of the work book for Say it With Charts, by Gene Zelazny are:
- Simpler is better
- More is better
- Different is better
- Creativity is better
These are then illustrated with a number of examples. The main points I got from all the examples are:
- Think about the message you want to convey, and eliminate all material that distracts from that message.
- It takes the same about of time to present five ideas on slide as it does to present five ideas on five slides.
- Sometimes the solution can be as simple as switching the axes.
- Sometimes just need to reduce the detail and highlight the most important element. Visualise the message not the mess.
- Diagrams: Try to reflect the title in the design, for example the title includes “differences”, then use two boxes with the information and the world “vs.” between them.
- Try to avoid having the user look back and forth, between different parts of the slide. Try use arrows or follow the natural left to right, top to down flow.
- Waterfall charts: Best to show increases and decreases, can use bars shaped like arrows to show direction.
- Simple is better: Reduce redundant labels where possible.
- If the message is complex, then divide it into smaller thoughts and use a number of slides to get the story across.