272 pages, colour illustrations
Whether you are a university professor, researcher at a think tank, graduate student, or analyst at a private firm, chances are that at some point you have presented your work in front of an audience. Most of us approach this task by converting a written document into slides, but the result is often a text-heavy presentation saddled with bullet points, stock images, and graphs too complex for an audience to decipher – much less understand. Presenting is fundamentally different from writing, and with only a little more time, a little more effort, and a little more planning, you can communicate your work with force and clarity.
Designed for presenters of scholarly or data-intensive content, Better Presentations details essential strategies for developing clear, sophisticated, and visually captivating presentations. Following three core principles – visualize, unify, and focus – Better Presentations describes how to visualize data effectively, find and use images appropriately, choose sensible fonts and colors, edit text for powerful delivery, and restructure a written argument for maximum engagement and persuasion. With a range of clear examples for what to do (and what not to do), the practical package offered in Better Presentations shares the best techniques to display work and the best tactics for winning over audiences. It pushes presenters past the frustration and intimidation of the process to more effective, memorable, and persuasive presentations.
"If you are a scientist or scholar who doesn't care about designing beautiful slides for your presentations, you are doing it wrong. Elegance, clarity, and good visual composition make your messages understandable. In this concise book, Jonathan Schwabish outlines simple but essential rules of design and data visualization that anybody can benefit from. Apply them, and I guarantee that you will never again see a bored face in your audience."
– Alberto Cairo, University of Miami, author of The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication
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Jonathan Schwabish is a senior research associate at the Urban Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center. He is also a member of the Institute's communication team, specializing in data visualization and presentation design. He has published widely in economics journals, including the National Tax Journal, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Journal of Economic Perspectives. He is the coauthor, with Robert Haveman and Andrew Bershadker, of Human Capital in the United States from 1975 to 2000: Patterns of Growth and Utilization (2006).