I added the book "The back of the napkin" to my Amazon wish list and hope to review it here soon. It reminds me how I always start the design of every PowerPoint chart I make: on a piece of paper. I guess the practice was hardwired in my brain when I started as an analyst at McKinsey that - in the early 90s - still employed graphics designers to create charts from paper.
- Step 1: think of the general concept you would like to show: a trend, that something is too complicated, the something is small, very big, that we want to change direction, that there is a tension we need to resolve, that we can stand up as David to Goliath, etc. etc.
- Step 2: Now think of a visual analogy that can make this single point. I often prefer using a page-filling picture to make a point (a hammer hitting a nail, cracks in a wall, a rope that is about to snap) , other symbols such arrows that show forces, a simple and clean column chart to show a series of numbers, a huge font number to show that something is indeed huge, etc.
- Step 3: Scribble the chart and put it in PPT. Lack of a good image, or graphical skill shortcomings (I am only human) often force me to go back to step 2 at this point.