Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Making numbers easy to understand

In chapter five of my book "The Visual Slide Revolution", I emphasize how important it is to create a visual that has context for your audience. Context for your audience means stated in a way that is familiar to their world. What if you have a really large number that most people would have trouble understanding because it is so much bigger than what they normally consider?

Last week's newsletter by Daphne Gray-Grant gave excellent examples of how to do this. She has graciously posted the newsletter on her web site (she doesn't always do this and did it as a result of my request) at http://www.publicationcoach.com/free-articles/numbers.php. I encourage you to use the link to go read her comments. And while you are there, sign up for her weekly newsletter. I often find valuable writing tips in her newsletters.

You can see how I apply this sort of an approach in the first of my slide makeover video podcasts. In showing how the organization could not possibly adequately manage the risk across 140 data centres, I broke it down to a weekly number and talked about how it would be impossible to conduct that many audits every week. And then I used a visual of a calendar to emphasize the point. You can watch the podcast video at http://www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com/podcasts .


Blogger Jenny said...

Thanks for the great link to Publication Coach - I so loved the article you pointed out that I have just subscribed to that newsletter myself.

6:24 PM  

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