How to make better presentations?
September 8, 2010 1:58 AM   Subscribe

What are the best online ressources on visualizing data, processes and strategies for great presentations?

I'm preparing a little series of workshops for my co-workers on making better presentations. I already have a solid base from my own experience to build on, but I'm looking for more inspiration. I'm looking for blogs, websites, forums, etc. on creative or functional ways to visualize data, processes and strategies coherently in Powerpoint (and KeyNote) without relying exclusively on the built-in SmartArt and graph functionalities (which are so limited and right out fugly at times).

I've found quite a few nice examples already, but often these require advanced skills with Photoshop / Illustrator, which most of the people in my department do not have (they are media planners, strategists, account managers, not art directors), so shiny infographics are not what I can work with.

Book recommendations are appreciated, too!
posted by starzero to Work & Money (10 answers total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Edward Tufte's website and the forum therein.

Tufte's forums often contain posts explaining how to achieve a certain look by tweaking Excel but most of the time it is Illustrator to the rescue.

Also, his books are very good resources on visualizing data. (Not a big fan of the last one, however.)

I also like these books to explain to students how to create good papers and presentations: Craft of Scientific Writing, and Craft of Scientific Presentations by Michael Alley.
posted by hariya at 4:53 AM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: A tour through the visualization zoo
This article gives a nice overview of lots of different kinds of visualizations.

This web site lets you create lots of different kinds of visualizations and then share them with people for discussion. NYTimes uses it for their visualizations. It also lets you export out to a blog, so that means there's some way of exporting to an image.

Tufte is a good start as well, though I find him far too dogmatic, and he doesn't seem to believe in empirical research.
posted by jasonhong at 5:13 AM on September 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Information Is Beautiful. TED talk by David McCandless, the guy behind IIB.
posted by lukemeister at 5:14 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Best book by far: Slide-ology by Nancy Duarte

Also, here is a great list of resources.
posted by smelvis at 6:05 AM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: This is a short comment, but I think these links'll be exactly what you need. You should check out Garr Reynolds' site Presentation Zen. There's also a book, if you prefer.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:10 AM on September 8, 2010

Prezi can be cool sometimes.
posted by leigh1 at 8:37 AM on September 8, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers, I'll go through them tomorrow, from quick browse some looked really useful. I'll also check out the books mentioned, Slide-ology might be a great resource.

I'll gladly take more suggestions, especially when it's the hands down tutorial mode like "I have these 5 bullet points of text that describe X, here's how to make them look better and mroe comprehensible and here's the best way to present them to an audience"
posted by starzero at 9:50 AM on September 8, 2010

A couple more books to add now that I looked up the correct names: Elements of Graphing Data, and Visualizing Data by William S. Cleveland, and Tukey's Exploratory Data Analysis. These are excellent books if you are interested in presenting statistics in a clear manner.

Also, some people find it off-putting but look at Steve Job's keynote presentations. It is similar in style to Guy Kawasaki's 10/20/30 which works well for business pitches.

Also, seconding IIB that lukemeister linked to.
posted by hariya at 11:12 AM on September 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Well if your handling large sets of data, Hans Roslings GapMinder might be interesting
TED Talk

Gapminder website

posted by radsqd at 8:57 AM on September 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Also little powerpoint humor Youtube link but very true things to avoid
posted by radsqd at 8:59 AM on September 9, 2010

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