Tame the Information Glut in Your Business PowerPoint Presentations

Information glut is a big problem these days. Consider this staggering fact: 90% of the world’s data has been generated in the last two years.

Businesses generate a big proportion of that information. And this is where information glut becomes a severe headache: when you need to make magic out of all that data and turn it into a game-changing presentation.

To tame your information glut into one effective business PowerPoint presentation, start by asking yourself three important questions.

1. Who is my audience and what do they know?

Consider who your audience is. What level of knowledge do they already have on your topic: beginner, intermediate or expert? This will help you strip out anything your audience knows already and only use what’s applicable to them in this moment.

2. What does my audience want?

Decide what question you are answering for your audience. Your business PowerPoint presentation is not about your information; it’s about what your audience needs. Put yourself in their shoes. What would you want to know?

3. Why me?

No, we don’t mean this in a philosophical way. What we mean is: why are you presenting this information instead of one of your colleagues? What is your unique perspective on the information?

Once you’ve cut the content that isn’t necessary based on the above, you can start to organize what’s left into your business PowerPoint presentation.

Organize for Clarity

It’s generally agreed that there are only five ways to organize information, i.e., according to: location (i.e., space or place); alphabetical; time (e.g., timelines, directions, sequences); category (i.e., types of information); or hierarchy (e.g., newest to oldest).

Richard Saul Wurman named this categorization system LATCH. (Wurman is an architect, graphic designer, author and entrepreneur and he coined LATCH when he wasn’t busy coming up with other phrases like ‘Information Architecture’ and founding the TED Conferences.) In design circles, Wurman’s LATCH categorization is also known as the Five Hat Racks.

Wurman describes LATCH like this:

While information may be infinite, the ways of structuring it are not. And once you have a place in which the information can be plugged, it becomes that much more useful. Your choice will be determined by the story you want to tell. Each way will permit a different understanding of the information—within each are many variations. However, recognizing that the main choices are limited makes the process less intimidating.

Think of LATCH as the first step. You can use more than one of the LATCH categories at a time to further organize your information.

Visualize for Success

The second step is to determine how best to visualize the categories you’ve chosen.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that we often expound the benefits of using visuals in your business PowerPoint presentation. We believe that visuals are the most effective way to deliver your key messages. This is because the brain processes visuals 66% faster than text alone.

There are many options when it comes to organizing your information in a visual format, including outlines, flowcharts, graphs, videos, mind maps, animations, infographics… The list is only limited by your design skills.

Consider the example of infographics. They’re a great medium for categorizing data, as they allow you to use more than one category within the same graphic. Infographic design should be eye-catching yet simple, so that your audience gets the information they need quickly and easily.

Get a Helping Hand

Crafting perfect infographics or other visuals sometimes requires a bit of extra help. If you find yourself struggling, you can always give us a call. At eSlide, we have many years of experience transforming information glut into beautiful, effective business PowerPoint presentation design. We are the “go-to” resource for many executives at the top companies in the world and we’d like to help you too.


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