Inspiring Speaker Friday: David McCandless

Lately we’ve been discussing the use of visual aids in presentations. So today I want to share a TEDTalk titled “The Beauty of Data Visualization” by David McCandless, a London, England–based author, data journalist and information designer.

In his talk, McCandless discusses the importance of visual information. “It feels like we’re all suffering from information overload or data glut,” he says. “And the good news is there might be an easy solution to that and that’s using our eyes more – visualizing information so that we can see the patterns and connections that matter, and then designing that information so it makes more sense, or it tells a story, or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important.”

McCandless’s talk has great applications to the world of presentations, in particular about how to present information so that it is most easily and effortlessly absorbed by the audience. “The eye is exquisitely sensitive to patterns and to variations in colour, shape and pattern. It loves them, and it calls them beautiful. It’s the language of the eye,” he explains. “If you combine the language of the eye with the language of the mind, which is about words and numbers and concepts, you start speaking two languages simultaneously, each enhancing the other.”

I wonder what Guy Kawasaki would think. While McCandless’s presentation involved more then 10 slides (23 to be exact) they were quite readable, and he did manage to get through everything in under 20 minutes. But still, the presentation didn’t quite fit with Kawasaki’s 10-20-30 Rule of PowerPoint.

Regardless of what Kawasaki might think, I guarantee that McCandless’s talk is sure to inform and inspire you. Enjoy! Till next week.

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