Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Son of presentation landscape

In July, Nancy Duarte created a great visualization she titled Presentation Landscape. I really like her diagram, but as I showed to a few people there were questions about the X axis, particularly the slideument-preso continuum.

I thought about my own experience helping non-designers deal with the world of documents, slideuments, and presentations. The way that good visuals often start life as sketches on napkins or whiteboards, and the way those ideas often need to flow back and forth between different forms over the life of a project. (And the way that once something gets into Powerpoint, it often seems to get trapped there.)

Son-of Landscape PresentationWhen you think about the journey of an idea and how projects often evolve, it seems like it’s difficult to resist using existing slides that may have been fine for a working thinkpiece, but are really not up for the important presentation or executive briefing. And sometimes PP is not the right tool for making documents. And sometimes (gasp) no documents or paper are necessary at all (yikes, what am I saying?). Picking up on Nancy’s original point, the same slide or deck may not be worth fighting for one day, but may be ill-suited for a higher stakes presentation later in the project.

Anyway, this little diagram is trying to visualize what I was thinking, maybe build on Nancy’s brilliant original. I hope she’s not offended.

(Geek alert: you can hide the path layer to just see where different forms map.)

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