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Business communication building critical skill 6th module025

Using Visuals

Twenty Five

Copyright © 2014 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

Learning Objectives
LO 25-1 Identify stories for business visuals.
LO 25-2 Select visuals for stories.
LO 25-3 Apply principles for good design.
LO 25-4 Apply principles for effective color
and clip art use.


Learning Objectives
LO 25-5 Apply principles for accurate and

ethical visuals.
LO 25-6 Synthesize visuals with text.
LO 25-7 Prepare print visuals for use in


Using Visuals
In the rough draft use visuals to:
See that ideas are presented completely.
Find relationships.


Using Visuals

In the final draft use visuals to:
Make points vivid.
Emphasize material.
Present material more compactly and with
less repetition.
Focus on information that decision makers

What are stories, and
how do I find them?
Good stories may:
 Support a hunch you have.
 Surprise you or challenge so-called
“common knowledge.”
 Show trends or changes you didn’t know



What are stories, and
how do I find them?
To find stories:
1.Focus on a topic
2.Simplify the data
3.Look for relationships and changes


Paired Graphs Tell a Complex Story


Choose the Visual to Fit the Story


What design conventions
should I follow?


 Round off to simplify the data
 Provide column and row totals or averages
when they’re relevant.
 Put the items you want readers to compare in
columns rather than in rows
 Screen alternate entries or double-space after
every five entries to help readers line up items

Pie Charts
 Starting at 12 o’clock, go clockwise to each
smaller percentage or to each percentage in
some other logical order.
 Make the chart a perfect circle.
 Limit the number of segments to five or seven
 Label the segments outside the circle


Bar Charts
 Order the bars in a logical or chronological order.
 Put the bars close enough together to make
comparison easy.
 Label horizontal and vertical axes.
 Put all labels inside the bars or outside them.
 Make all the bars the same width.
 Use different colors for different bars only when
their meanings are different

Varieties of Bar Charts


Line Graphs
 Label both horizontal and vertical axes.
 When time is a variable, put it on the
horizontal axis.
 Avoid using more than three different lines
on one graph.
 Avoid using perspective.


Can I use color and clip art?
 Use no more than five colors when colors
have meanings.
 Use glossy paper to make colors more vivid.
 Be aware that colors on a computer screen
always look brighter than the same colors
on paper


Can I use color and clip art?
 Clip art
 predrawn images that
you can import into
your newsletter, sign,
or graph.

 Chartjunk
 decorations that at
best are irrelevant to
the visual and at worst
mislead the reader


What else do I need to check for?
To make your visuals more accurate:
 Differentiate between actual and estimated or
projected values.
 When you must truncate a scale, do so clearly with
a break in the bars or in the background.
 Avoid perspective and three-dimensional graphs.
 Avoid combining graphs with different scales.


Chartjunk and
Dimensions Distort Data


Truncated Scales Distort Data


Integrating Visuals into Your Text
 Refer to every visual in your text.
 Summarize the main point of a visual before
you present the visual itself.
 Spell out numbers that fall at the beginning
of a sentence.


Can I use the same visuals in my
document and my presentation?
 For presentations, simplify paper visuals.
 To simplify a complex table divide it into
several visuals
 Visuals for presentations should have titles
but don’t need figure numbers.


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