Communicate your message with text and more

To communicate your message effectively in reports and presentations, consider using both text and non-text elements. Non-text elements can include graphics such as photos, drawings, diagrams or maps as well as tables.

If you want to break up a long text-heavy document with some images, make sure your images support or enhance your key message. A message can be undermined by poor choice of images. For instance, in a document to convey that a new transport project will improve the walking environment, use an image of people walking, not empty streets.

Think about how best to present your information clearly – text in paragraphs, lists of dot points or perhaps a table. A table may replace some text or complement the text.

Make sure any non-text elements are well-labelled and as properly identified and referenced as in-text references. Images may need the date and location in the captions, and tables often need explanatory footnotes.

The aim is for people to remember your message for the right reason, so think about what that is and use the most appropriate text and non-text elements to convey it.

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