Give your graphics a test run

Before you spend a lot of time refining a particular visual aid, make sure it reproduces well in your visual medium. Sometimes a chart or table doesn't look the same when it is copied into presentation software.

At times a graphic may look good on a small computer screen, but be too detailed when projected. Remember, if you present too much information, people won't understand any of it. Ideally, test your visuals on a sample audience. What looks clear to you may be confusing to others.

Pay attention to details. Is your graphic of an appropriate size? Remember, it must be large enough for the room in which you'll be presenting. Are all the axes and parts labeled? Does the graphic itself have a short, clear informative title?

Don't expect the audience to know what to look for. Point out the important features with appropriate indicators such as type of a different color, use of bold type, highlighting, or arrows.

Finally, if the material is not wholly your own, include a reference stating where you obtained this information. A simple author and source citation will usually suffice. Use a smaller font size than other text.

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