Charts Are Sexy!

Lisa Sykes

I recently spoke at the 2011 Green Spa Network Congress on safety and toxicology and personal care ingredient resources. While I was giving my presentation, I referred to a chart on my PowerPoint and inadvertently blurted out, “Charts are sexy.” Such a weird, nerdy statement deserves an explanation.  

I’m a visual learner. If I lay eyes on something, I’m able to recall it later—in detail—very precisely. Therefore, when I am studying something that’s complex in nature, I create charts to make sense out of what I’m reading. Over the years, it has become standard procedure for me to include them in presentations. Cosmetic chemistry is complex, so explaining certain points to audiences via photos and/or text won’t work. What I need are sharp arrows, corpulent bubbles, and roomy boxes to illustrate processes.

My work space is covered with charts. They help me remember facts but also serve as works of art. Yes, I said it, “art.” And why not? Each chart is unique in purpose and features its own distinctive design. Some are very colorful, others demonstrate an intricate weave of lines that form a pattern, and a few of them are even pretty cool, in a mod sense.

Okay, so what’s the point of this? Interesting artistic diagrams that effectively communicate facts are more stimulating than mere words. Rather than expressing a point through text, or worse, Excel spreadsheets, try using a chart. It will more than likely help your audience retain the information you’re providing. Now, that’s sexy.



My desk (sigh)




2 Responses to “Charts Are Sexy!”

  1. Edie Morton Says:

    Visit Edie Morton


    I appreciate your expanding on the topic. I thought that was hilarious when you said Charts Are Sexy!at the GSN congress. I even wrote it down. One day I too want to be able to say “Charts Are Sexy!” My struggle is Excel, I’ve tried to embrace it but, let’s face it, excel is boring and acts very childlike at times.I have a MAC at home which has cool chart options. What would you recommend for PC’s (which I use at work)?

  2. Lisa Sykes Says:

    Visit Lisa Sykes

    Thanks, Edie! Excel is very. . .unsexy. Ugh. I like using the diagram functions in Word with a combination of AutoShapes.

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