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An Overview of the Different Types of PowerPoint Charts

Many presenters are often guilty of what young people nowadays call “TMI,” or Too Much Information. They tend to include too many details in their presentations, making the slides look cluttered and incomprehensible. Fortunately, there are several ways to present your data in a more organized manner. You can use images or other visual aids such as charts.

Below are the different types of PowerPoint charts that you can use along with some tips on how to maximize them for your presentations:

Pie Charts

These charts are commonly used to show percentages. For better visual impact, limit the pie slices to 3-5. Limiting the number of slices can keep the pie from looking really messy when you need to show a lot of different data points. Instead of showing every little detail, you can turn your pie chart into something like this:

powerpoint charts

Apart from making it larger than the others, contrast the most significant slice with the use of color.

Vertical Bar Charts

Vertical bar charts are useful for showing changes in quantity over periods of time. Limiting the bars to around 4-8 can make your vertical bar chart easy on the eyes. Vertical bar charts show how variables are affected as each of them rises or falls.

bar-chart

Horizontal Bar Charts

This type of chart is used for comparing quantities. One example is when you compare sales figures of your products on a given period. Horizontal bar charts can be used in the same manner as  vertical bar charts, although it uses the y-axis for labeling. It is usually preferred when the labels (the names of the cities, in the example below) are too long for the x-axis.

bar chart

 

Line Charts

Line charts are great for displaying trends. For example, you can use this to show how your company’s sales have gone up each year. You may also use an upward arrow to emphasize the positive trend.

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Most people would rather use tables instead of charts. After all, it’s easy to prepare them when all you need is a side by side assessment of numerical data. Tables, however, do not have the same visual impact as charts. You can even make your chart 3-D to increase its appeal. Regardless of how you present your data, though, make sure that they are accurate and relevant to your presentation.

 

Featured Image: by Chris Potter via flickr.com

Dilbert on PowerPoint: Serious PowerPoint Lessons from a Silly Comic Strip

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is one of those people who was able to take a personal setback and turned it into something awesome – he turned the inanity of his workplace experiences into a successful professional career. Currently, the Dilbert comic strip runs in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and printed in 25 languages. Adams has also published several books compiling the strips and a number of actual business books that feature his characters. Not bad for a former bank teller and failed entrepreneur.

To the uninitiated, Dilbert draws its humor from ordinary office situations. It pokes fun at the silliness of rank and file employees (at least in its own world) while throwing witty potshots at the self-importance and absurdity of the higher-ups.

One of the most common office-related topics that the comic strip has tacked is PowerPoint presentation. Some of the strips about it are actually funny. When you look beyond the ridiculousness, however, you will see that there are serious lessons in there somewhere. Here are just some examples:

Add Value to Your Slides (Make sure your audience will get something from them)

dilbert on powerpoint

Make Your Slides Interesting (Or risk putting your audience to sleep)

dilbert 2

Don’t Read From Your Slides (and avoid bullet points, if possible)

dilbert 3

Impress the Audience with Visual Aids (Such as Pie Charts)

dilbert 4

Use as Few Slides as Possible (But Don’t Over Do It)

dilbert 5

 

There you have it. Comic strips can make your day as you sit back and read the morning papers. But when you think about it, they do more than just entertain. Just take these Dilbert strips. Hopefully, these samples would inspire you to create or design PowerPoint presentations that won’t put your audience to sleep or make them think of harsh things to do to you. When in doubt, you may just leave everything to the professionals.

Dilbert on PowerPoint: Serious PowerPoint Lessons from a Comic Strip

Dilbert creator Scott Adams is one of those people who was able to take a personal setback and turned it into something awesome: he turned the inanity of his workplace experiences into a successful career. Currently, the Dilbert comic strip runs in 2,000 newspapers in 65 countries and printed in 25 languages. Adams has also published several books compiling the strips and a number of actual business books that feature his characters. Not bad for a former bank teller.

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To the uninitiated, Dilbert draws its humor from ordinary office situations. It pokes fun at the silliness of rank and file employees (at least in its own world) while throwing witty potshots at the self-importance and absurdity of the higher-ups.

One of the most common office-related topics that the comic strip has tacked is PowerPoint presentation. Some of the strips about it are actually funny. When you look beyond the ridiculousness, however, you will see that there are serious lessons in there somewhere. Here are just some examples:

Add Value to Your Slides (Make sure your audience will get something from them)

dilbert on powerpoint

Make Your Slides Interesting (Or risk putting your audience to sleep)

dilbert 2

Don’t Read From Your Slides (and avoid bullet points, if possible)

dilbert 3

Impress the Audience with Visual Aids (Such as Pie Charts)

dilbert 4

Use as Few Slides as Possible (But Don’t Over Do It)

dilbert 5

There you have it. Comic strips can make your day as you sit back and read the morning papers. But when you think about it, they do more than just entertain. Just take these Dilbert strips. Hopefully, these samples would inspire you to create or design PowerPoint presentations that won’t put your audience to sleep or make them think of harsh things to do to you. When in doubt, you may just leave everything to the professionals.

SlideGenius Blog Module One

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