We at The Presentation School don’t think that PowerPoint is the problem, a lack of visual communications education is the problem.  In our workshops, a taxonomy and deeper methodology of creating charts is taught.  But in each workshop, there is a section where  the learnings of the day are synthesized through analyzing poorly communicated slides and “fixing” them.  This is a hint of some of those “Before & After” sessions.

This first “before” slide was given to me by a fellow presentation designer named Teresa Lee, who did not design this chart.  (Check out here portfolio)  It was for a marketing presentation for a pharmaceutical client.


The key message of this slide is to illustrate “The Success Cycle.”  Something is really missing in this slide, yup, it’s the cycle.  Cycles are flows that show a succession of steps that repeat.  There are also 2 mindsets, note how one of them is orange.  This can be confusing to an audience that is wondering why there is an orange and a blue mindset.  Aesthetically, the black on blue font is difficult to read. In short, this chart is a mess.   Here’s my fix:


The mindsets are merged into one graphical element.  The colors are made a bit brighter.  The black fonts have been changed to white so they’re more legible.  The fonts were changed up to free available fonts that you can get on the Google fonts site.  (Not something I’d suggest for files you are sending to those who don’t have a lot of fonts on their own machines.  Unless of course you make it a .pdf)

Next week:  Pie charts versus Bar charts