Making Numbers Visual

By April 8, 2011Presentation Skills

I have written before about giving numbers bite, getting big figures across without producing glazed expressions.

The FT had two brilliant examples yesterday on the ‘shutdown’ of the US federal government. $7 billion, the amount in dispute, was alternatively:

1) dollar bills laid out, stretching as far as the moon, three times over.

2) the amount of money the government spends in seventeen hours.

The first feels like a big deal. Imagine collecting that many dollar bills and putting them in your pocket. But the second sounds trivial – less than a day out of an annual budget. Great framing costs nothing.

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