In order to get your project ideas across and have them embraced by both your shareholders and team you need to create a visual impact and one way of doing this is by the use of graphs and charts. You may be tempted to use a large amount of written content but what seems like endless reams of information can lead to attention deficit and boredom whereas visual aids such as pie charts create a powerful punch; presenting concise and quickly comparable data.
When you are a PM; time is always a factor as is collaborative working so you need to orchestrate your presentation in such a way that data can be absorbed quickly and concisely. Courses for professional project managers can offer you the training to do this and this learned skill will then be an invaluable asset in your management tool kit.
Charts and graphs are visual tools that convey a lot of information quickly in a simple picture. The last thing you want to do is to make your audience work hard to understand you and the following 3 aids will help to impress your public and ensure you are a top notch communicator.
PM accreditation teaches that although the written word is important, people “get” succinct bullet points and pictures much more readily – it’s just the way the human brain works – so devising visual aids will quickly save you time, effort and money and gain quicker results. A greater first impact will lead to less explanation down the line and the more you create visual aids – the more proficient a communicator you will be.
So what are the 3 most common aids to use?
The bar graph
Pretty much everyone is au fait with bar graphs that provide instantly comparable information. Items can be quickly compared against each other with just a quick glance and the differences shown in the relative sizes of the different bars. Bullet lists can present the same information but the eye has to work down the list to absorb the data whereas a graph will ensure the same information has much greater impact.
The line graph
This is an invaluable visual aid when you want to present information that has changed over time meaning that the audience can literally see the history of the data and track significant points along the lines. A line graph can present one line of information or several instantly comparable lines. Additional information that explains the ups and downs of the graph can also be added to give the full story.
The pie chart
Everyone loves this visual aid because it really is as easy as pie to understand! They are best used when you need to present simple data to show the different percentages of a whole. However; a series of pie charts can be used to convey more information gathered over time or for different subjects.
Presenting your project well is essential to engagement from stakeholders and staff alike. Get it right and you should have all the enthusiasm you need from those involved to carry your project along.