PowerPoint Tip: Identifying Possible Visuals
One of the biggest obstacles I hear to creating visuals instead of text on PowerPoint slides is that people don't know what visual to create for the point they are making. They think that you need a degree in graphics or need to be a really creative person to come up with the appropriate graphic for different situations. I disagree.
I suggest you listen carefully to the language you use to describe the point that you are making. The words or phrases you use will give you all the clues you need. No degree required. Anyone can do it. Let's look at some examples.
Example #1: The product features slide "The ABC widget can be used in 14 different applications, while competing widgets can only be used in 5 or 6 situations." The key word to listen for is "while". This indicates comparison and suggests that a visual such as a diagram of photos showing the number and type of applications would show both numeric advantage and scope advantage.
Example #2: The financial update slide Typically, these slides include imported Excel tables of numbers and the presenter talks about how the current results indicate a potential trend in the marketplace or in operations. The key word here is "trend". The numbers may show a trend to the trained person, but most executives would prefer to see a graph that shows the direction and magnitude of the trend so they can decide whether it is important or not.
By listening for the words or phrases that explain the point we are making, a visual will become clear almost every time. When you are struggling to find the right visual in your next presentation, go back to how the point is explained. The words and phrases will usually provide all the clues you need. In the upcoming book, I will include an extensive list of key words and phrases to look for and what type of visual they suggest.
In the upcoming weeks, I'll be sharing more of the current thinking that is going in to the book and will let you know when it is ready.
My workshops are now including all of this new material, so now is a great time to contact me and book the session that will help your staff create persuasive visuals. E-mail me at Dave@ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com or call me at 905-510-4911.
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