Beef up your presentations with word clouds

friendshipThere's nothing like a good visualization to deliver your ideas over a presentation. Concise points and breakdowns can only go a certain distance before they become weary, and finally confuse your audience. It's better to keep them on their toes by spicing up the boring slides every 5 or so page turns.

I found that Word Clouds, a kind-of new visualization concept, have a good trait of focusing the attention over a single word's associative space. You bold your main word, center it, and scatter the associative words around it. This creates a powerful effect.

I found a nice tool to create these word coulds on-the-fly: Wordle.

The way I did was, get the Wikipedia value of my word, for example "Friendship", and go to the Edit tab. Copy all the textarea's contents, and paste it into Wordle's word cloud creator. Press "GO" and the results are immediate.

You can eliminate the "outliers" - those unrelated words that appear too many times, and layout the cloud as you like to fit your slide.

The down-side with Wordle is that it has no export ability, so I had to take an Alt-PrintScreen screenshot to get my cloud as a picture.