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!

http://publicdomainreview.org/2012/06/21/the-first-six-books-of-the-elements-of-euclid-1847/

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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.

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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.