Saturday, March 17, 2007

Graphics for the jury

This morning's newspaper had a story on the upcoming trial of Conrad Black in Chicago. He is accused of a variety of charges related to complex financial transactions. The prosecutors have a challenge. How to explain complex financial dealings to a jury of regular folks who don't deal with those type of corporate terms or ideas? The story this morning tells of how they plan to use graphics, including pictures and charts, to illustrate these complex ideas in simple form. This is yet another example of good presentation practice. First, the prosecutors evaluated their audience, the jury, and looked at their background and level of knowledge of these matters. Second, they realized that visuals work better than reams of text, so they figured out how to represent complex ideas in simple visual forms. Lessons for presenters: 1. Always start with where your audience is now when planning how to get them to where you want them to be at the end of your presentation, 2. Start using visuals instead of numbers and text, it works better for almost everyone. Need help with creating visuals instead of the normal text you use? Get my "Transforming Text Slides into Visual Slides" ebook by clicking here.


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