Take a Cue From Good Presenters: Allow Your Message to Shine With Great Design

I finally got to San Diego last night after a delayed flight and am now happy to be reporting from the Esri User Conference!
There are lots of topics I could blog on today but the one thing I want to focus on is an observation about how conference presentations relate to cartography.

The presentations made at the two plenary sessions today–and no doubt in the plenary still to come this afternoon–were, without a fault, presented “well”. What does “well” mean in this context? The presenters had strong voices, fluent speech without the dreaded “ums”, well-rehearsed content, and fast-paced, well-timed visuals. Because all the presenters were outstanding in their presentation delivery skills, the audience could focus entirely on the content of the talks rather than be distracted by poor speech delivery.

How does this relate to cartography? You guessed it: an outstanding map is visual perfection; it makes map readers focus entirely on the content of the map, and the message that it is conveying, rather than obstructing them with bad design.

We all have mental “gate keepers” that disallow information from being stored if it isn’t presented correctly. Get past your map readers’ mental gate keepers by creating the most visually compelling, strong-voiced, well-researched maps that you can.

  1. #1 by LeighH on July 8, 2013 - 5:08 pm

    The same principles that you apply to the map design should be applied to the rest of the presentation as well. Consistent use of fonts, colors, and type sizes, even on slides without maps, can really improve a presentation.

  2. #2 by Gretchen on July 12, 2013 - 1:33 pm


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