Advanced Business Writing
Presentation and Graphics
Again, to keep graphics and data interesting and clear, use three steps:
1. Choose the right graphic.
2. Support it with words.
3. Keep it simple.
Choose the right graphic (and do the graphic right).
To show contribution of parts:
use a Pie Chart
• Use no more than 6 sections.
• Arrange clockwise from the top.
• Order by size or importance.
• If there are too many sections, combine less important ones.
To show contribution changing over time:
use a Subdivided Column Chart
• Use no more than 5 components.
• Position the most important component at the base.
• Use different shadings to distinguish the components.
Support it with words.
• Make labels easy to read.
Place them horizontally, even if you must shrink a graphic. When possible, use full words instead of abbreviations
• Make the headline refer to the graphic.
Write the chart headline as if it were the heading of a newspaper article. Use dynamic words to summarize the main message of the chart, which should be about, or supported by, the graphic.
Keep it simple.
• Make one point per chart.
Omit extra data, graphics, or fonts that might distract the audience.
• Omit superfluous details.
Trim numbers to 2 or 3 significant digits. Avoid unnecessary grid lines, colors, and decorations.
Module: Presentation and Graphics
Course: Advanced Business Writing