Sticky Presentations bite size article: Ten ideas for exciting business charts

Ten ideas for exciting business charts

Aug 30, 2016

Break away from what you see everyday and make exciting business charts built on simple ideas. Making charts interesting in presentation slides can sometimes be challenging. We often end up with boring and complex charts generated by PowerPoint. Trying to change selected parts of the generated chart seems to be difficult.

Here are 10 design ideas for making simple and exciting charts for your business presentations. This manual approach using shapes in PowerPoint or Keynote helps us build simple and exciting business charts. Using the manual approach allows us to have control over how we want the chart to look.

Take a look at the 10 chart ideas below. It will get you started thinking of new ideas for your business charts.

Chart idea #1
Example of business chart 001

Use simple and direct methods for creating charts that are simple, direct, and focused.

The charting feature of PowerPoint or Keynote restrict your creative freedom. Draw rectangles and text boxes instead and build your charts manually.

Chart idea #2
Example of business chart 002

Decide on what is important before you start. Try not to have more than 5 segments for your PIE chart.

To further reduce clutter and make key data clearer, label only the key segments needed for the presentation. Use colours wisely.

Chart idea #3
Example of business chart 003

Use colours to highlight key data or to differentiate items that you want your viewers to focus on.

Add an image if you need for further emphasis on selected information. Don’t worry if your slide looks bare and simple. It is a good thing.

Chart idea #4
Example of business chart 004

Remove unnecessary information from the chart. This will bring out the clarity of key information.

More details can be added if necessary, but always ask yourself, "What is the objective?". Can the key information still be seen clearly with added details? Remember that less is more.

Chart idea #5
Example of business chart 005

Build your ideas on paper before you touch your computer.

Begin with clear objectives. Think of ways to show complex information clearly on your presentation slides.

Drawing charts using shapes is the best method to get what you want and how you want it shown.

Chart idea #6
Example of business chart 006

Line chart is a good way to show trend information. Do not pack your slide with too many lines.

Draw your lines thick and clear so that they are easily seen. Use direct labels for your charts. Try not to use ‘legends’ if possible.

Chart idea #7
Example of business chart 007

Using coloured background is okay. But make sure that there is good contrast between background and data you placed on your slide.

Shapes in PowerPoint or Keynote can be quite powerful. Combine shapes to build icons to create pictorial charts that are exciting.

Chart idea #8
Example of business chart 008

You can't do this if you use the charting feature of PowerPoint and Keynote.

Manipulate shapes and lines to create something different and exciting. Then add text, change text size and styles, and drag them to position.

Watch your contrast and colour usage!

Chart idea #9
Example of business chart 009

Not all charts have to be vertical. Some data are best presented horizontally.

If you need to add descriptive text to individual chart data, then a horizontal presentation is more suited for this purpose.

Try it and you'll understand why.

Chart idea #10
Example of business chart 010

Have multi-dimensional information to share?

Try the bubble chart. Besides the x-y axis, the size of the bubble also represents another set of data. Can be confusing if you are not clear what you want to show.

Again, be focused and decide what is the key information. Remember to start with clear objectives.

Stop using the standard and boring charts that you see everyday and start creating simple and exciting charts for your business presentations.

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Want more chart ideas for your business presentations?
Check out my book "Spinning I.D.E.A.S.", available in book stores in Singapore and Thailand (Thai language version).

The author, ANG Tian Teck is a coach, trainer, and speaker, specialising in inspiring organisations and business leaders to deliver high impact presentations. He has coached, trained, and infected over 10,000 individuals across the region with his Amazing Sticky Presentations approach. Tian Teck is also the author of two books, Sticky Presentations, and Spinning I.D.E.A.S.

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