As accumulating and presenting an excessive amount of data, and the business world struggles to present information in a rich, powerful, and stimulating manner without crossing the threshold of information overload. Remember when you were a child and were just learning to read? While reading was enjoyable and our minds processed a great deal of information from the words we read, weren’t the illustrations in the books more memorable? As the adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. While we can use words to describe a situation, a picture truly encapsulates the concepts we are attempting to convey.
This lesson can be applied to the business world. When presenting information to a group of business professionals in a conference room, we are eager to first capture and then maintain their attention. This can be accomplished through the use of images. Now, I am not suggesting that you incorporate your doodling into your presentation; rather, I am suggesting that you incorporate bar graphs and bar charts into your presentation. Business graphs are a necessary component of effective presentations.
Numerous types of business graphs, such as bar charts and bar graphs, can provide a straightforward but meaningful representation of the data you’re attempting to communicate to your audience. Bar graphs can make a stronger impression on your audience members than a slide comparing quantified data. For instance, when you see a bar chart, what is the first thing that jumps out at you? For the majority of people, the tallest bar is the first one they notice. Additionally, you may notice the shortest bar fairly quickly due to its prominence. Most likely, as a presenter, you’re hoping that your audience members’ eyes will be drawn to the bar chart’s extremes, either the tall bar or the short bar. After capturing the audience’s attention and directing it to the information you wish to discuss, you may proceed with your presentation.
Alternatively, you may wish to utilise your bar graphs in another way. Rather than emphasising extremely high sales or extremely low variable costs, you want to demonstrate an upward trend in sales. In this case, your bar chart would depict monthly sales over a specified time period. The bar chart would demonstrate to the audience that sales increased significantly each month from January to August. Again, by utilising bar graphs, you have painlessly captured the audience’s attention, directed it toward the topic you wish to discuss, and now you can make your points.
When incorporating business graphs into your presentation, keep the following points in mind. Clearly label the bar chart so that the audience does not waste time attempting to decipher what the bars represent. Make your bar charts vibrant – use bold colours to draw attention to important bars and soft, subdued colours to make other bars less noticeable. Maintain as much relevance as possible in the information represented by the bar graphs. Simply having an attractive bar chart does not mean it should be included in your presentation. If you’ve created bar charts that will enhance your presentation, include them; otherwise, leave them out. Most importantly, be creative and have fun with your visualisations. Thanks to your excellent business graphs, your audience will enjoy your presentation more and will walk away having learned everything you hoped they would.