A checklist for editing your charts

The last step in presentation design should be to double check your work with one last round of editing.  Editing can be a daunting task, especially if you’re the only pair of eyes on a document (We all know how it feels like when you’ve been staring at the same document for so long that it blend together).  We go through this much more thoroughly in our classes, but cover some high level themes.  Here is the beginning of a checklist based on that class content to help make your editing process more systematic:

  • Message elements:
    • All page titles are either topic titles (simple factual summaries) or message titles (synthesized messages that include your insights for the page)
    • Everything is spelled correctly, especially client names
    • All information is properly sourced (aka anything not originally from you)
    • Everything on your page supports the core message of the page
    • Your data charts are correct for your message (check out chart types in the Solvate webinars, Chart Selection)
    • All math is correct
  • Design elements:
    • All graphics are within the grid (clear white space all around, objects are lined up properly.  Take a look at the Anatomy of a Chart post for a visual)
    • Titles are properly sized to your information hierarchy (page titles largest, subtitles medium, content bullets smallest, etc)
    • All colors on the page are from your template and are uniform throughout, using your brightest color for any key points you’d like to highlight
    • All page numbers are uniform.
    • No titles are “bouncing,” they’re all in the same place
  • On-screen elements sorted:
    • If it’s an only on-screen presentation, anything that should be spoken to instead has been removed (remember that YOU are your presentation, not the text on the page)
    • If it’s an only on-screen presentation, all fonts are at least 18-20 point font

One way I go through edits is to pick one element from the list, then do that to every page in the deck, then pick the next one.  For example, I’ll go through and check that all the page numbers are in the right place.  Then I go back to the front and make sure all of the titles are in the same place, etc.  This way I can stay more focused and can ensure that nothing has been missed.

Happy editing!

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