Presenting data in Powerpoint and Prezi

Prezi Next users may be breathing a big sigh of relief at the moment because we now have the long awaited charts feature. This is the first example of the recent Infogram acquisition, the data visualisation company. Below is a very quick example of how the new charts feature works.

 

Whilst Prezi users will think this is the best thing since sliced bread, PowerPoint users are probably laughing at how simple it has always been to include charts in their slide decks.

BUTeven if you’ve been using charts in PowerPoint for the last decade, are you presenting your data in the right way? In a way that your audiences can engage with and remember!

As a presentation design agency we see PowerPoint files with insane amounts of data on them. It is a weekly occurrence to receive a slide deck that has several detailed charts on one slide! Every piece of important detail is to small to read and there’s no way any audience member is going to understand and retain the information. We’re delighted that this kind of thing keeps us in a job, but we do wish that people understood how they can present their data in a better way.

 

Try this technique

In the short video below you’ll see this technique being used in Prezi Next. The same technique can also be applied to PowerPoint very easily, especially if you are using MS Office 365 and have the great new Morph feature available to you.

To summarise, here is a breakdown of the above technique:

  1. Show them the whole chart
  2. Zoom into detail being discussed
  3. Reveal more content in or around that data point
  4. Zoom back out to remind audience of the whole chart
  5. Repeat for other important data points

The reason for presenting data in this way isn’t just to look fancy (although that does help) but it is to help your audiences brains see the connections between content, in our case data. It is well known that when we can see connections and relationships between content we can actually retain and recall that information much easier.

If you find this useful please give it a share. Lets try and educate as many presenters as we can and get rid of bad presentations!