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Chapter 26. Preparing and Using Visual Aids > Charts and Graphs - Pg. 218

Preparing and Using Visual Aids 218 Class Act Use soft chalk to lessen the chance of squeaking. If possible, use a green chalkboard and yellow chalk. It's easier on the eyes than white chalk on a dark blackboard. No matter what chalk and board you use, be sure that the chalk marks are bold enough so they can be read easily, even by the people in the back rows. · Make charts communicate. Convey only one message per chart. (As discussed in the last chap- ter, it's much easier for an audience to grasp your message if you keep your visual aids simple.) This might mean that you have to pare down the ideas and simplify. While doing this, you might want to think about changing the chart form, perhaps switching from a line graph to a horizontal bar chart, for example, to communicate the message more effectively. · Watch chart labels. Often, a speaker makes the mistake of putting a label such as "Sales 1990­ 1995," at the top of a chart. The chart's heading should always tell people what you want them to look for on a chart. Use an action statement, such as "Sales Reverse Downward Trend except in West." · Check the verb. Once you have an action statement as a heading, look at the verbs in the statement to get an idea of the best chart to use to present your data. For example, if you want to show how college entrance test scores have changed over 30 years, you'll want to use a line chart. However, if you have fewer than five data points and you want to emphasize quantity at discrete times, use a column chart (vertical bars). People associate left-to-right with the move-