Painting with Numbers (ISBN 1118172574) is a new book of advice on making numerical presentations.
The book is very elementary. It contains no math beyond arithmetic, and it focuses almost entirely on financial data in Excel spreadsheets. But it does have useful tips. A lot of presentations would be easier to understand if the presenter had read this book. Think of it as a sort of Tufte-lite.
One of the themes in the book is a list of 18 “deadly sins” of presentation. Here are the first three.
- Not right-justifying a column of numbers.
- Basing column width or row height on the length of the caption.
- Using visual effects for any reason other than clarifying, distinguishing, or adding meaning to information.
I like #17: “I know most of you can’t read the numbers on this slide, but …”