With infographics the flavour of the month, charts can often be seen as the poor relation.
And sometimes you can see why. We’re all familiar with ‘death by PowerPoint’ – presentations that are too detailed, too full and too numerous.
No-one ever grabbed their audience’s attention with slides like that.
But there are times when an infographic just won’t cut it. If you need to present performance data, fund management statistics or other complex information, you need a chart.
The secret to creating engaging graphs
The good news is that it’s easy to make your presentations attractive and easily-understood.
PowerPoint will automatically create graphs in its default style – but they can be underwhelming. With a few simple steps, though, you can transform them into something a lot more visually engaging.
Read on for our 7 ways to make your powerpoint charts better and your presentations more compelling.
1. Make use of all PowerPoint’s features
Like many software programmes, PowerPoint has lots of helpful cheats and shortcuts. Knowing what they are can be a huge help when it comes to presenting data effectively. Invest some time in taking a quick tutorial – there are lots available online – to familiarise yourself with some of them.
2. Think about the best way to present your data
Bar, pie or line? How many colours should you use? There is a wealth of options – make sure you pick the most appropriate one. Your information should be easily-understood at a glance. If the style you’re using doesn’t achieve this, change it.
3. Go beyond the basics
Once you’ve created your chart, there are lots of little tricks to make it clearer and more visually appealing. Make sure your data is centre stage by making it stand out. Play around with some of the options until you get what you want.
4. Get rid of ‘clutter’
Remove unnecessary detail; delete duplicate labels; get rid of gridlines. Remove anything that isn’t central to your story. It just clutters up your graph and makes your message harder to read.
5. Use colour wisely
Colour can make or break your graph. Use enough to make the key points stand out. Want to highlight great performance or increased AUM? Don’t be afraid to use strong, bold colours. But be restrained. Less is more when it comes to the number of shades you include.
6. Make sure you’re on-brand
If your firm has a library of slide templates, brilliant. You can create presentations confident that your colours and styles will automatically be in keeping with your brand guidelines. If not, check and check again that you are sticking to brand standards.
7. Make it compliant
If you work in a regulated industry, getting presentations Compliance approved is a vital step in the process. A slide library that locks down frequently-used visuals – along with other content, like corporate data and performance statistics – can be a huge help. If you don’t have this luxury, double-check to make sure your content is accurate and complies with FCA regulations on financial promotions.
There’s a step-by-step guide to creating better, more visual slides – with screenshots for every step of the way – in our free guide, How to create graphs and charts in PowerPoint. You can download your copy here.
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