Become a PowerPoint Guru
By: David Tracy
Date Created: July 27th 2010
Last Updated: July 27th 2010
This exclusive Indezine excerpt is from Become a PowerPoint Guru, a book that details how management and strategy consulting firms develop business presentations. The book is authored by David Tracy, who has worked as a management consultant for 12 years.
Here are couple of excerpts, reproduced here with permission from David Tracy.
Charts & Uses
In representing quantitative data, it is best to use charts. Not only are charts intuitive for your audience to quickly grasp, but they’re also a lot more pleasing to the eye then just a table of values.
However, it is equally as important to know what charts work best for what types of messaging. If you use a chart incorrectly, it may be misleading and lead your audience to draw inaccurate conclusions.
The table below breaks
down the most common forms of charts mapped against different types
of data comparison. Use this as a reference guide in selecting a chart
for visual enhancement.
Now, let’s discuss each data comparison type (i.e. the columns) in more detail.
There are 4 commonly used charts to depict composition:
- Stacked Columns – These are bar charts, where the segments/bars for
each column add to the total height. The most important segment goes
at the bottom of the column. You can add dashed lines between segments
to emphasize comparison. State the absolute value at the top of each
- Pie Chart – Use a pie chart if you only have a single data series.
Unless your purpose is to show fragmentation, use a maximum of 5-6
segments. Lump the smaller segments into a catch-all bucket, such as
“Other.” Order your segments from largest to smallest, with the exception
of ‘Other,’ which goes last. Start at 12 o’clock and go clockwise.
Chart – This is one of the most graphic ways to demonstrate the change
from one position to another, to provide a breakdown of an aggregate
number into its components, or to show a change in position. It is
most frequently used as a descriptor of the causes of financial change.
However, it can be just as effective as a conceptual representation of
- Mondrian Graph – This is similar to the stacked columns, except it is stretched both vertically and horizontally to occupy the whole space in the chart. Its strength lies in the visual impact of the largest areas, which represent the most significant parts of the universe. Some great uses for a Mondrian include market maps, post-merger portfolio analysis, trend analysis, and substitution analysis.