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Say It With Charts: The Executive's Guide to Visual Communication Hardcover – March 15, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0071369978 ISBN-10: 007136997X Edition: 4th

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Frequently Bought Together

Say It With Charts: The Executive's Guide to Visual Communication + Say It with Presentations: How to Design and Deliver Successful Business Presentations, Revised & Expanded Edition + The Say It With Charts Complete Toolkit, Cd-Rom
Price for all three: $94.18

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 4 edition (March 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007136997X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071369978
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Today's most comprehensive, up-to-date business presentation guidebook

Easy-to-Follow Tools and Strategies for Creating Powerful, Interactive Business Presentations

As a professional, your career relies on reaching audiences, convincing them that your message is valuable, then making them remember that message. Say It With Charts, 4th Edition, walks you through the entire visual presentation process and shows you­­step-by-step­­how to create compelling, memorable presentations.

Business presentation tools have changed tremendously. A chart that once took ten hours­­and ten co-workers­­to prepare can now be produced by anyone with ten minutes and a computer keyboard. What hasn't changed, however, are the basics behind creating a powerful visual­­what to say, why to say it, and how to say it for the most impact.

Say It With Charts, 4th Edition, reveals time-tested tips for preparing effective presentations, then shows you how to combine those tips with today's technologies for sharper, stronger visuals. Look to this comprehensive presentation encyclopedia for information on:

  • How to prepare different types of charts­­pie, bar, column, line, or dot­­and when to use each
  • Hands-on recommendations on lettering size, color choice, appropriate chart types, and more
  • Techniques for producing dramatic eVisuals using animation, scanned images, sound, video, and links to pertinent websites

"When well-conceived and designed, charts help us communicate more quickly and more clearly than we would if we left the data in tabular form."
­­From Chapter 1

Business is about communication. Every day, scores of questions must be answered, and each answer must be communicated quickly, completely, and with a minimum of confusion. Time has become our most valuable, irreplaceable commodity, and­­in today's rapid fire, ultra-competitive business environment­­delays or errors in communicating information are uncalled for, unaffordable...and unacceptable.

Say It With Charts, 4th Edition, shows you how to put your message in visual form and translate information and ideas into persuasive, powerful charts, visuals, and multimedia presentations­­holding your audience's attention as you communicate exactly what you want, with no confusion. The newest edition of this bestselling classic covers every important point from previous editions and, in addition, shows you how to use today's digital technologies to create professional-quality, attention-grabbing visuals on your computer screen.

Everything you need to know to make your charts and visuals eye-catching and memorable is in these pages, including:

  • Commandments for designing successful onscreen visuals
  • Techniques for conveying your messages using visuals and visual metaphors
  • How to decide when to use a chart­­and know when a chart could work against you
  • Graphic representations of ineffective, counter-productive charts­­with examples of how they could be improved
  • Time- and money-saving methods to make one presentation template serve multiple audiences
  • Hands-on practice projects and exercises to help you grasp each important concept

Over the years, Say It With Charts has become the standard guidebook for executives, sales managers, management consultants­­all those who want to make their points clearly and concisely, whether speaking directly to a packed conference room or communicating on computer screens across the globe. Now updated for today's technological communications revolution, it will show you how to translate your most compelling data and messages into even more compelling visuals, and hammer home your message every time.

About the Author

Gene Zelazny is Director of Visual Communications for McKinsey and Company, and has over 40 years of experience working with colleagues and clients to design powerful management reports and presentations. In addition, Zelazny frequently presents his ideas at the world's top business schools, including Chicago, Harvard, Columbia, Cornell, Wharton, Haas, MIT, Oxford, Kellogg, Stanford, Tuck, INSEAD, and others. He also is author of the how-to classic Say It With Presentations.

Customer Reviews

There is little to none explanation given so I tend to consider these pages as plain and simple book page filling.
GUNTHER SEGHERS
I'd recommend this book, along with "Information Graphics" by Harris and "Digital Diagrams" by Bounford, to anyone interested in learning more about charts.
Robert G. Barnwell
I'm told Steven Few is the new Zelazny when it comes to data visualization - just picked up his 3 books and looking forward to comparing the two.
Jeremey Donovan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Robert G. Barnwell on April 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're interested in getting ideas on how to present ideas graphically, this is a good little book. As many other reviewers have pointed out, several of the articles were prepared by graphic designers (some by hand in fact) and not computer graphics packages. If you're looking for suggestions on how to present ideas graphically, this is perfectly fine,... even useful. However, if you're looking for information on how to prepare graphics using Excel, you're out of luck (however, there are dozens of other books that can help you). That's just not what this books is about. Instead, the book gives you several suggestions for expressing the relationship between various activities (flow charts, diagrams, etc) illustrating performance timelines (bar graphs, area graphs, etc), and other information. However, where this book really shines, is in showing you how to incorporate various illustrations into your graphics to make them truly unique and informative. The benefit of this book is in teaching you how to conceptialize and develop unique graphics -- not in telling you how to produce generic off-the-shelf graphics. I'd recommend this book, along with "Information Graphics" by Harris and "Digital Diagrams" by Bounford, to anyone interested in learning more about charts. Overall Grade: B+/A-
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter Keusgen on March 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As an equity analyst, consultant, and communication specialist, I saw - and made - dozens of colorful presentations with the best charts that excel can draw that simply didn't work.

After the failed presentation, a consultant or analyst who knows how to get his point across will draw a simple diagram or chart on a white board that will be far more convincing and effective than the entire PowerPoint presentation.

This book is for the person who wants to get point across.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "rfreeborn" on May 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure - I used to work at IBM and as an entry level consultant with an MBA there the first thing you are is the .ppt whipping post. That being said, the IBM training program covers many of the concepts from this book. Why?? Simple, they work. Is it the be all and end all? No. The only thing that can help you assemble good content is practice, practice, practice - with a healthy dose of constructive criticism from someone that knows what they are talking about. I just got through a days worth of presentations last Friday to one of the most senior technology people at a major government agency. All I can say is that I really, really, really wish that the people presenting before and after me had taken 5 mintues to review this book before getting in front of that crowd - it would have prevented some spectacular flamouts.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kong Hon Leong on July 19, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a good arsenal to every executive who need to communicate in the form of charts. It opens up the minds to possibilities beyond cut and paste from Excel.
However I do agree with one of the reviewer that most of the charts in the books are drawn by graphic designers. This mean that although we can learn the most appropriate chart to use from the book, the is no way of making those charts with our basic computer software.
The message in the book is clear; great charts are more of science than arts.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nick Kellet on November 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The first thing to say about this book is when it comes to presenting numbers McKinsey rocks. Nobody else is close.

I worked as a consultant in the UK at Safeway alongside a McKinsey team. Wow were those guys good at presenting numbers.

I experienced them again several years later at Business Objects - same thing. In my humble opinion they have a cookie cutter approach to problems, but that said, they way they user numbers is very impressive.

This book is written by the former communication guy for McKinsey and it shows.

It's a great book, quick and simple to consume.

Perhaps you won't find anything useful, but it's a small investment to make sure you aren't missing any tricks.

I used to run the Analytic Application development team at Business objects (now acquired by SAP). I made everyone on the team read this book.

Highly recommended.

Tufte is another great author on the presentation of data, but his findings are a lot harder to implement.

This book is highly actionable.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Easy Writer on June 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There's a lot of useful information in this book. The most educational for me is

1. Decide what your message is and THEN design your chart. Don't just generate whatever chart Excel will spit out for you, generate the chart that SAYS what you are trying to say.

2. Once you know what you are trying to say, there are TRIGGER WORDS that lead you to the correct chart. "Increasing" suggests a time series chart. "More than" suggests an item chart. Etc.

3. The author also shows how to highlight certain lines or bars in the chart to draw the eye to the point you're trying to make.

4. The exercises are useful for internalizing what you've read and feeling a sense of mastery.

As others have noted, the book ends at the halfway mark but the author fills up the last half of the book with pointless illustrations and visuals to communicate concepts. But how many pictures of process flows do you need to see to get the point? And what am I supposed to do with a page full of mazes? So the last half of the book is pointless. For this, I take off a mark.

The author has also added a few pages on how to create slides using PowerPoint. But the advice misses the mark by a mile, suggesting you use colored text on a black background, and encourages the use of animations. In fact, black on white has the best readability and animations are more often just self-indulgent play that doesn't improve clarity for the audience.

However, the first half of the book is excellent, practial and will give your charts purpose and your presentation clear meaning. These few simple concepts, accompanied by attractively hand-drawn examples, makes the book more than worthwhile.
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