Harvard’s Dr. Mankiw highlights a spectacular presentation on the wealth and health of nations by Dr. Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor who studies global health and schools us all in how to use visual aids:

So how’s your slideshow coming along?

Rosling’s presentation epitomizes the proper use of visual aids. He condenses an enormous amount of data into a clear, memorable visual format. He doesn’t let the visual do all the work for him. He explains the visual format. He interacts with the graphics. And even amidst a really engaging and dynamic visual presentation, he keeps our attention with his own voice and enthusiasm. (A cool Swedish accent also helps. :-) )

You may not have the time, tools, or tech team available to put together a four-minute animation for your next speech. (Actually, Dr. Rosling may be able to get you the tools on his Gapminder website.) But even if you’re just working with a marker and a flip chart, you can take lessons from Rosling on clear, engaging visual aids.

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