Remember good old Euclid and his work on geometric algebra? Something magic happens to the ancient theorems when Oliver Byrne (1810-1890) applies some color and principles of visual design. Excerpt from Byrne’s introduction: “We do not introduce colours for the purpose of entertainment or to amuse […], but to assist the mind in its researches after truth, to increase the facilities of instruction, and to diffuse permanent knowledge”. And remember, we are talking A.D. 1847. I love it!
American statistician Edward Tufte introduced the now classic concept of data-ink-ratio. Should we always follow his advice and eliminate unnecessary ink? Not always, if adding some non-data ink helps telling a story.
Read here about his work.
Great stories by great speakers don’t need slides. Unless you believe ML King’s “I have a dream” would have been clearer with visuals. Or JFK’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” more effective with some graphs.
For the rest of us mortals, three elements will help us deliver a memorable presentation: story telling, visual design, and the speaker of course.