I’m Sheila B. Robinson, owner of Custom Professional Learning, LLC and current Director of Education, Training, and Advocacy here at the Presentation Guild. I consult and give talks and professional development workshops on program evaluation, survey design, presentation design, and data visualization.
A few years ago, I had to explain myself whenever I mentioned “data visualization” in conversation. These days, most of us are familiar with the term and know that if we have to communicate with data, our visualizations have to be on point. So do we all need to get degrees in computer science, graphic design or data analysis to create stellar visualizations?
The good news? NO. Even better news? While there are great visualization software products on the market, you can create effective and visually appealing visualizations right in PowerPoint!
In a recent Guild event, dataviz expert Dr. Stephanie Evergreen, shared a handful of tips every PowerPoint fan needs in their back pocket in “Must Know Chart Hacks in PowerPoint.”
First, she demonstrated how you can build a simple bar graph, and with just a few clicks take it from PowerPoint defaults to a customized, on-brand chart that clearly communicates a particular story in the data. Next, she demonstrated how to save our design work as a template, so that we don’t even need those extra clicks next time we need that chart type.
Dr. Evergreen went on to demonstrate how to create two other chart types not found in Microsoft defaults – overlapping bar charts, and dumbbell dot plots. With a few clever hacks taking advantage of features often used for different purposes, she created these chart types in minutes.
Dr. Evergreen also shared expert advice about dual axis charts, using stoplight colors, how using an action color plus greyscale helps communicate a story, and why descriptive, headline-type chart titles are best. She closed with a bonus crowd-pleasing hack – how to quickly make a waffle chart using a table.
Look for “Must Know Chart Hacks in PowerPoint” in our webinar archive.