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Think back to the last PowerPoint presentation you saw. Did it have charts, graphs or other figures obviously from Excel spreadsheets? Were they good? It’s not uncommon to see presentations with weak graphs, which can lead to the audience losing attention. While it may seem hard to get a good-looking graph into PowerPoint, it actually isn’t.
Here’s how you can take data from spreadsheets in Excel and turn it into graphs and charts in PowerPoint.
Before you start
Before you can transfer data from Excel, you should take a look at the spreadsheet. If you have a ton of data and only want to take a certain chunk to make your graph, it would be best to copy and paste it into a new Excel workbook. This way, you can get the data from Excel to PowerPoint easily and turn into a graph or chart.
The key idea here is that you don’t want to do a data-dump – putting every single number, most of which could be useless – into a slide. You want to take only the most relevant information from the spreadsheet. It’s easiest to do this on a slide-by-slide basis, after you have setup the presentation outline. Copy the information only pertaining to that one slide. If you’re not sure whether it will be useful or not, it likely isn’t, so don’t take it.
Create the graph/chart
Once you have only the data you are going to need for the chart, you can switch over to PowerPoint and go to the slide where you will put the chart. This can be done by:
You can click back to the slide to look at the chart. Often times the data will be opposite. For example, the date will show on the X axis, when it should be on the Y. If you click on the chart, and select Switch Row/Column in the ribbon above the slide, you will be able to re-arrange the information.
Time to format
It’s highly unlikely that the graph you placed into the slide is formatted the way you want, or even optimized for your audience. Here are four tips to help you format it so it not only looks good, but can be seen when you give your presentation.
Having attractive graphs in your presentations can go a long way in keeping your audience engaged, and it could increase the chances of your message sinking in. If you would like to learn more about how you can leverage PowerPoint or any of Microsoft’s other programs in your office, please contact us today.
Published on 27th March 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.