When you create a visual aid for your audience, it is important to make sure it’s clear and concise. This can be challenging when it comes to presenting people in graphics because we are talking about people, not cars or widgets. Because of that, there are some common pitfalls that presenters should look out for when making a graphic about people. Here are some tips on how you can present people in graphics more effectively:
Be clear about who is who
When creating a graphic that includes people, try to be as specific as possible about who is being represented. In other words, don’t use ambiguous labels that could apply to many people. Instead, be specific in your labeling of the people in the graphic. For example, if you have three individuals in the graphic, label them as “Susan,” “Ted,” and “Frank” instead of “Employee #1,” “Employee #2,” and “Manager.”
Use colors strategically
Some colors are associated with different traits or qualities. You can use this to your advantage when making a graphic about people. For example, we associate “red” with “stop/danger” and “green” with “go/go-ahead.” Therefore, you could use red to represent a negative aspect of the topic or green for a positive aspect. However, there are no hard and fast rules about which colors go with which topics or characteristics, so use your best judgment. Another way to use color to represent a topic or person in a visual aid is to create a color-coded table. For example, if you are comparing two different types of businesses, you could use one color for one type of business and a different color for the other type.
In some graphs, size represents quantity. In others, it represents quality. In either case, be careful how you use size with people in your visual aid. In graphs that represent quantity (e.g., bar graphs), use the size of the figures to indicate how many there are of each type of person in the graphic. The larger the figure, the more of that type of person there is. However, if the graph represents quality (e.g., a scatterplot), use size to represent significance. In other words, the larger the figure, the more significant the person is in relation to the topic. Again, be careful not to confuse the two.
Watch your font choice
When it comes to fonts, there are some general rules and guidelines that can help you present people in graphics more effectively. – Avoid using handwriting or cursive fonts whenever possible. Handwriting and cursive fonts can be difficult to read, especially when projected onto a screen. – Stick with sans serif fonts. Sans serif fonts are easier to read because they don’t have the embellishments that serif fonts do. Sans serif fonts include Arial, Calibri, Tahoma, and Verdana. – Limit your font choice to two or three fonts in a single visual aid. Using too many fonts can make your visual confusing and difficult to read.
Don’t forget the context
Remember that people are more than just their names, titles, and job responsibilities. A name, title, and job description are just the surface-level facts about who the person is. There are deeper, underlying reasons why a person is doing what they do and has the qualities they do. You could create a very accurate, thorough, and informative graphic that doesn’t tell the whole story because it fails to include the deeper context. If you include the context, you will help your audience understand the people in the graphic more deeply and accurately. That can result in a more compelling and meaningful presentation.
Check for accuracy and legibility
Before you project your visual aid onto the screen, make sure you’ve checked its accuracy and legibility. Double-check your facts and figures to be sure they are correct. Next, look over your formatting to make sure it is visually appealing and easy to read. You can also spell-check your text and make sure there are no grammar or punctuation mistakes. Also, make sure that each figure is the appropriate size and has the appropriate amount of space around it so that it stands out from the rest of the figures but is still easy to read and understand. Once you’ve done those things, you will be one step closer to presenting people in graphics more effectively.
When you create a graphic about people, it is important to make sure it is clear and concise. This can be challenging because we are talking about people, not widgets. That being said, there are some common pitfalls that presenters should look out for when making a graphic about people. Because of that, there are some things you can do to present people in graphics more effectively. These include being clear about who is who, using colors strategically, sizing things appropriately, and making sure you don’t forget the context. This way, you will be one step closer to presenting people in graphics more effectively.