Creating Compelling Visuals from Lists

October 13, 2020

Video Lesson

Creating Compelling Visuals from Lists

Too often people’s slides are simply lists of ideas that they plan to discuss.  While a list is an improvement over too much descriptive text, it should be taken further. Specifically, there is often a relationship among the ideas hidden within what we first thought was simply a list. Consider the following slide that lists “dos” and “don’ts” for visuals.

Now the challenge is finding a way to organize the list that can illustrate the relationships between the ideas. For the previous slide, I use this series.

How did I do that?

The solution is an easy 5 step process. 

  1. Create the list and associated ideas on a PowerPoint slide the way you normally would.  
  2.  Open and search the SmartArt function to find a visual which, when populated with your ideas, will create a visual representation of their relationships.
  3. Insert and populate the SmartArt. 
  4. Deprogram the Smart Art (“convert to shapes” and then “ungroup” remaining objects).
  5. Customize the visual that is now free from autoformatting control,  including trading out shapes or adding 3-dimensionality as well as animating and morphing slide transitions.

In order to walk you through these steps and show some examples of how this work can transform regularly formatted lists, I have done a quick video that you can access here:

And for more on morphing and other transitions, go here:

Future steps:

Next time you are putting together a presentation and have a list of ideas, find a visual that can help your audience better understand the relationship between your ideas.  As a bonus, this process will help you better understand the list as well, and therefore be better able to explain it!

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