Chart of the Month – August 2006 – Connect-the-Dots Technique
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Connect the dots
This month's chart illustrates a way to assemble seemingly random points into something meaningful. The points can represent people, ideas, functions, or any number of concepts. The lines represent an infrastructure, relationship, network, or other types of connections. The masterpiece can be any image you wish: graphic, photograph, proprietary material, etc.
To build this chart, start with your image and work backward.
- Place your image on the slide.
- Draw lines over the defining edges of the object (use the polygon tool instead of lots of individual lines). You will probably need to use several polygons. Once you have the lines you need to outline your object, group all of the polygon lines together.
- Place dots (use a graphic circle, not a text element) at the corners of the lines. Each time a line goes in a new direction, place a dot at the junction. Group the dots when you have all you need.
- Decide whether you want a boundary around the picture. We used a frame in the example because it helped convey the concept of a masterpiece painting, but boundaries are optional.
- Animate with your text message. Group your text and corresponding graphic group (dots, lines, image, etc.) and animate the reveals on clicks.
This chart never fails to engage the audience, but don't overuse or it will become gimmicky.