Charting new territories – dealing with data in PowerPoint – Part 2

Thursday, October 8th, 2009 by Simon Morton

We’ve already said that charts can be incredibly powerful and persuasive in PowerPoint when used correctly. However they can equally confuse and frustrate your audience if they’re not up to scratch.

So following on from our earlier blog, here are the final 3 tips to help you get the most out of your PowerPoint charting:

  1. Lead your audience to the point. Design the chart around the point you’re trying to make. The flexibility of PowerPoint provides a veritable smorgasbord of options, from big arrows pointing, circles fading in and out through to bits flashing (the slide, not you). Whichever method you choose, make it obvious to hammer home the point.
  2. Too much detail, too much going on. Limit the information within the chart itself and take out any unnecessary details such as grid lines, background colour and others. Simple is best – and easiest for your audience to understand.
  3. Belt OR braces. When putting a chart in, use either data points or an axis scale. Using both can look confusing and again takes away from the main point you’re trying to get across.

Chart - Framed - Part 2

So there you go – a total of 6 handy hints around the vagaries of charts in PowerPoint. Please share with us your ideas, experiences and frustrations – we’re here to help (or at least offer a shoulder to cry on!).

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