Infographic: The Aroma of Books


Since I’ve been spending so much time with my nose in library books, “Very Good” quality used books, and academic journals, this infographic hit me at the perfect time!



Have you learned anything new and interesting from an infographic this week?

Does A Story Have A Shape?


According to Kurt Vonnegut, stories do have shapes.  As presenters, it’s important to learn the traditional shapes of stories so that we can use those to our advantage when presenting information to others.  If you’re interested in learning more about storytelling and how to use story in a presentation, check out Garr Reynolds’ blog, Presentation Zen.

In his lecture on the shapes of stories, Vonnegut displays his signature humor and embodies Reynolds’ “naked presenter” philosophy.  Take a look:


The infographic below visualizes Vonnegut’s presentation:



The infographic is beautiful, and I love the designer’s icons, type, and color.  If you are interested in owning the data visualization for your home or your office, the artist sells copies on her Etsy page.

What is the most common story shape you hear in presentations?  What is the most common story shape you tell when presenting?

Now That’s How You Create An Infographic Map


March Madness is officially over, and we have a 2014 NCAA men’s basketball national champion: the University of Connecticut.  As a graduate of the University of Florida, I was heartbroken to see my Gators lose to UConn; however, I was proud we got to the Final Four this year and even prouder that our only tournament loss came to the best team in the nation.  Undefeated in the SEC and 36-3 is also nothing to frown about.

Despite my passion for college basketball (and also college football… thank you, Dad!), I was shocked to see how many athletic coaches across the nation raked in enough cash each year to be considered the highest paid public employee in their entire state.  Take a look at the infographic below:



The information is shocking, and it is beautifully displayed.  I can clearly and quickly internalize the data, the colors work well together, and the type is simple and easy to read.  The only thing I didn’t like was the logo in the bottom right corner.

Who is the highest paid public employee in your state?  How do you feel about it?

Beautiful Data Display: The Best Temperature For Your Home


My students, like most presenters, need help displaying data.  Instead of focusing on visually-driven information showing the meaning behind the data, I often see confusing slides like this:



Always on the lookout for a great infographic, I came across “The Best Temperature For Your Home.”  Although I wouldn’t display all of this information at once on a slide, this is a great example of how to show data in a visually driven, meaningful way.



What do you like most about this infographic’s display of data?

Practice Makes Perfect


Whether you want to be successful at public speaking, at cooking, or at building a birdhouse, practice grows your confidence and your knowledge base.  Malcolm Gladwell famously popularized the 10,000 hour rule which says 10,000 hours of practice leads to “expertise” of a particular subject.

Imagine your current level of public speaking practice, for example.  Let’s say you prepare an outline, prepare your slides, and never rehearse.  You aren’t putting in that time and effort to succeed, and you aren’t working toward those 10,000 hours necessary for mastery.  Most of my students need to learn that practice is a good habit to cultivate every single day – it isn’t something you can just pull off the shelf once a month when you need it.  Practice is something I rarely see enough of in my class; most students have a work ethic I would personally be ashamed of if I were them.  In this culture of laziness, practice takes a backseat to Facebook chat and posting Instagram photos.

I loved reading Body of Work by Pamela Slim (book review coming next week!), and she talks about putting in the time, effort, and practice for the things we care about.  She challenges us to increase our efforts.  What if we practiced a speech 100 times instead of 5?  Practice and effort in any area of our life will allow us to grow those skills.

Learn more about the 10,000 hour theory of practice below:



How much time do you spend preparing and practicing for the things you care about most?

The Science of Social Timing


As a blogger, I often wonder if there is a method to posting for maximum impact.  What time of day increases readership, and what day of the week is best for a post?  “The Science of Social Timing” seeks to answer those very questions:



Bloggers, do you find this infographic to be true in your experience?  Share with me in the “Comments” section!