Heatmap - visualizing complex trade-offs

Often the key page in a presentation is the one that makes the trade-off between a number of alternatives. Examples are selecting a new strategic direction for a company, or explaining why your product is better than all alternatives in the market. It is "easy" to write down this information in document: a big table with all the pros and cons explained. However this approach is too dense for a presentation slide. I often use a "heat map" in these situations. Options on one axis, criteria on the other, and use shades and tints of the same color to show relevance ("dark = good"). 
  • Select criteria in a smart way: group similar items that give similar scores (volume, revenue, profit) across criteria into one
  • Use minimal text to describe options, criteria. 
  • Group rows, columns in such a way that you create big "fields" of similar color
When presenting the slide, the point is not to discuss all the cells (that should be done in subsequent slides, 1 topic per slide), but rather to highlight the point that "option 4 is the best".