[…] on a slide, you want to convey one message. your graph must NOT carry any information that can be interpreted differently than the point you are trying to make. the corollary is that in virtually all cases, you should display as little data points as possible: 1 if possible, 2 but no more than 3. If you need more than 3 data points, use handouts. […]
which is very much in line with what Seth Godin said in his famous post about Chart Rules:
No, the reason you put a chart in a presentation is to tell a story. A single story, one story per chart
Why should a presentation display as little data as possible? Why should a slide contain only one chart? I demand More Information Per Pixel. Why not have a data-rich chart in a slide – no, even a couple of charts to support my message?
My friend Rolf Hichert has a totally different design philosophy.
Components of good presentations slides:
- A clear message
- A clear title (should be a complete sentence, including units like K$)
- Each slide to conveys only one message
- More tables and charts to support the message
- Choose the right chart type
- Use arrows, color etc. to highlight the message
Look at this sample taken from Rolf’s web site:
The slide has a clear title that conveys one message: "Further positive Development in Frankfurt, Vienna and Graz – Action needed in Lausanne and Linz".
The slide contains small multiple charts to support the message, where Rolf has chosen a line chart to emphasize trends or patterns. The problematic regions mentioned in the title are colored in red; those that made the CEO happy in green.