The 3 steps to creating a PowerPoint Diagram

When you see that a diagram might be useful to explain the concept you’re talking about – don’t go straight to PowerPoint. Doing this is as bad as trying to design your whole presentation in PowerPoint.

Two things can happen:

  1. You try and squish your concept into an unsuitable diagram type.
  2. You get caught up in creating the technical aspects of creating the diagram without having a big picture view of how it’s going to work.

I know because I’ve done it. Now I storyboard first on paper.

That way the diagram will be designed to fit the concept, rather than the concept squished into an already existing diagram type.

Here’s an example of the process that I went through for a slide make-over I did recently for a client. First here are the original bullet-point slides:

Step 1 : Visual analysis

The first step is to study the written material to work out how it could be presented visually.

I identified the following ideas which could be presented visually:

  • the difference between owning a job and owning a business
  • if you own a job, the impact on you if you can’t work
  • moving from doing it all yourself to putting in place systems and people

The key visual concept that I came up with was to show the business and the person as virtually the same entity for “owning a job” and to show those entities separating as the person moved to “owning a business”.

Step 2: Storyboard

My next step was to sketch out my ideas for how to show these concepts visually.

Step 3: Create in PowerPoint

Finally I went to PowerPoint and started creating the diagrams. Below is a screencast of the animated slides with my narration:

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://speakingaboutpresenting.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/business-owner.swf” height=”300″ width=”550″ /]

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