Marshall: Great Deliverables #MRIA


Welcome to the virtual MRIA 2011 annual conference! This post reflects my personal musings and interpretations of this presentation. It was written during the presentation and posted minutes afterward. Any inaccuracies and silliness are my own.


Seeing is Understanding: The Art of Great Deliverables

Alli Marshall, President, Strix Insights

  • Why did we choose this presentation? We have to consider how we say things, not just what we say. We need to see things quickly, we need to get a message across quickly. Need to know how to get people to retain your message. We don’t need a 60 page slide to pass on a message.
  • ‘The art of better decisions’ – Use visual approaches to communicate decision more quickly and efficiently
  • Three rules: 1) adding visualization will make you a superstar 2) less is more 3) grab a marker
  • 41% of a corporate worker’s day is spent managing email
  • 37% of working time is judged to be unproductive
  • 8 minutes – estimated amount of uninterrupted working time (e.g., no one bugging you midstream)
  • 45% of executives are overwhelmed by data and information
  • Visual images are processed 60,000 times faster than text information
  • Pictures are remembered twice as much as text
  • 3% of business communications contain visuals – This does not match up with the previous stats that people need visual information
  • Less is more!
  • Where is the sweet spot of not too few, not too many, just enough visuals?
  • Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Leonardo da Vinci. He drew one single picture to represent all the dimensions of the human body – the Vitruvius man. One picture is worth a thousand words and that is how many words were used to describe all the information in that drawing.
  • “A good sketch is better than a long speech” Napoleon. (Now we see the “greatest infograph ever,” the map of Napoleon’s march.)
  • Balance of function and form.
  • The infamous Afghanistan spaghetti chart – go search for it. It’s…. great. And it was actually used for organization communications.
  • Create visuals that make people say “Now what”
  • it doesn’t matter if you aren’t an artist, if people may laugh at you, if you haven’t got the tools, it you haven’t got the time.
  • If numbers are important, than give people a table. Highlight the two important numbers. Sort by importance of numbers. Use color gradients not rainbows. Reduce the number of scale points. Choose  ONLY the numbers that reflect your major point. (nice transition of horrid complicated to chart to  simple focused chart.) Strip away all the unimportant stuff. Remove the chart jump. Maximize the data  to ink ratio.
  • 3D pie chart was just stabbed in the heart and dragged from a horse through the streets.🙂
  • Different companies/roles will require the same set of data to be presented in a different way, different focus, different “now what”

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