Visualising verbs

So, you need to depict an important concept in a slide. How do you do something more interesting than just writing a paragraph or 3 bullets on a page?

Here is how I start. That paragraph that you were about to write usually has one over-riding verb or action in it. Zoom in on that verb/action and use it to set up the overall structure of the slide:
  • We are better than an alternative: comparison, box on the left, box on the right
  • We stand out from the crowd: lots of elements in grey, one element in a bright colour, or clever 2x2 plot if you can find the axis definitions
  • We are squeezed, arrows pointing to a box in the centre
  • The inevitable conclusion: horizontal arrows at the left, pointing to a box on the right
  • There is a trade off: simplistic scales: box on left, box on right, tilted bar across the 2 of them, the preferred box is hanging down
  • The best of both worlds: overlapping boxes
  • We are the biggest: bar charts
  • It is complex: 25 factors written in font 10 all over the place
  • Etc.
This overarching visual movement sets the framework of your slide. Even if you cannot create an artistic master piece like a pro, your slide will be 10,000 times better than a list of bullet points. Good luck!