Reading from powerpoint slides is a heinous crime

POINT ONE: Presentations are about IDEAS, not TEXT.

POINT TWO: READING from SLIDES is a heinous crime.

POINT THREE: PEOPLE cannot COPE without some kind of visual STIMULATION.

Presenting the abstract pointillist powerpoint toolkit. 20 slides that can be used for any presentation. Cut, paste, copy, crop the slides to create an abstract of your ideas that you can then talk to and through.


Three maps on international business

A mashup of Google Maps with World Bank data that gives the reader a visual entry point to browse our projects, news, statistics and public information center by country.

Business Planet

It maps online databases of the World Bank Group that support private sector-led growth and financial market development in developing countries. It features more than 20 maps that cover over 190 economies across issues like How easy it is to do business, How often firms are expected to bribe tax inspectors, and much more.

Building a Better World

A way to track the UN’s Millenium Development Goals.

Visual literacy

It is as necessary to effective business communication as computer literacy is to effective business practice.


The Virtual Literacy website is an e-learning tutorial on visualization for communication, engineering and business. You also want to explore the International Visual Literacy Association (IVLA) website.


You cannot afford not to use the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods and this accompanying resource that documents each of the methods from the Periodic Table.

Related post: The guru of quantitative information display

The guru of quantitative information display

edward-tufte.jpgHis field is almost sui generis, containing bits and pieces of art direction, data-crunching, economics, historical research, and plain old expository writing. It’s often labeled “information architecture,” or “analytic design.” Tufte himself describes it many ways, but one is drawn from a classic piece of science writing: “escaping Flatland,” or using paper’s two dimensions to convey several more.

Tufte’s obsessions and coinages: Content-light splashy graphics, or “chartjunk,” are bad. Little repeated graphics displaying variations, or “small multiples,” are good. Microsoft’s PowerPoint software is an all-conquering monster of crumminess, a threat to life as we know it. Most of all, if you are making a presentation, you can probably say everything you need to on a single folded sheet of eleven-by-seventeen copy paper, and you ought to.

The New York Times Magazine has an excellent profile of Edward Tufte.

UPDATE 7-5-07: The Stanford Magazine also has a profile that nicely supplements the NYT’s.

Related: Presentations and that creature called PowerPoint