Presenting Data and Information

Presenting Data and Information (a 1-day course by Edward Tufte)

I attended this presentation last Wednesday. If you ever do presentations for work, your MBA program, or anything else, attending this presentation is the best money you’ll ever spend. The fee includes a copy of all three of his books, and he refers to them often during the presentation. If there are two key points that can be summarized from the entire day, they would be:

1. Paper is a much higher-resolution medium for communicating information than a computer screen.

2. Only overhead projectors are worse for communicating information than PowerPoint.

Tufte does an excellent of substantiating each of these points. He illustrated the second point in hilarious fashion by showing us The Gettysburg Powerpoint Presentation, courtesy of Peter Norvig (and the Microsoft Powerpoint AutoContent Wizard).

I’ll include my notes from the course in a future post, but attending it in person is the best way to get the full effect.