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A timeline is a visual representation marking all major events over a period of time. Timeline slides have many versatile uses—everything from project plans, to status updates, to “next steps” can be communicated using a timeline.  They are most often used for business purposes, but can also be useful for better illustrating scientific and other highly technical processes.

Timeline slides help us to conceptualize past, present and future events. If you want to give your audience confidence that a plan or a process has been thoroughly vetted and is well-articulated, a timeline is very effective.

More great uses for a timeline include:

  • Keeping teams up to speed on project deadlines
  • Arrange nonlinear events in chronological order
  • Reflect historical data visually

Pro Tips for Timeline slides

Here are some things to remember when developing your timeline slide:

Be efficient with space

Timeline projects often space multiple data points on a single line. This requires thought organization and perfect content placement. If thoughts overlap, your audience won’t be able to distinguish them from one another.

Use timeline slides for projects with a history

Timelines are meant to depict an order of events. Projects which are brand new, or information without precedent or background, don’t yet require a timeline.

Explore different types of timelines

There are multiple types of timelines, such as horizontal, vertical, interactive, and chronological. The one you choose depends on what you’re trying to express to your audience.

Use colors that create impact for your audience

Timelines slides often have smaller fonts than those with fewer points of data. This requires a bold, easily visible font type and color choice. Yellow, for example, might get lost in translation.

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