General Formatting Guidelines
Manipulating how you present your information makes you r visuals more affective. Specific color schemes, as well as simplicity make visuals successful. To read more, choose any of the items below:
All visuals should appear in "landscape" rather than "portrait" orientation. In other words, display your visual horizontally. When preparing transparencies for overhead projectors, turn the sheet sideways and mask off a 6" by 9" area. Use only this area for your material.
Maximum Text Readability
Help your audience read your visuals by:
- Using no more than three sizes of text.
- Limiting the size of your text between 24-48 pt. fonts.
- Avoiding ALL CAPITAL text and italics.
Clarity and Simplicity
Once you've constructed your visuals, answer the following questions:
- Are the visuals as simple as I can make them?
- Are my visuals appealing to the eye?
- Do my colors differentiate my various elements well?
- Is my text easy to read and absolutely necessary?
Each visual's title should be clear and concise. A visual's title is a short, declarative sentence similar to a newspaper heading. It expresses one main idea only. Generally, more than eleven words is too lengthy for a title.
While a title needs to be short and concise, it also should accurately describe a visual. For instance,
is probably not going to inform your audience as well as the following:
The accelerated electrons hit a target and produce x-rays.
is better depicted with:
Computer simulations aid evaluation of building system elements
If you are having problems creating titles, ask yourself "So what?" about a visual's overall content. Tell your audience what the particular visual is doing or represents.