Presentation graphs are key to effective visualisation, and can demonstrate data in a really engaging way. But with so many graphs to choose from, how do presenters know which one to choose? And how can they make the most of basic graphs to create engaging, truly visual slides?

Allow us to present the m62 guide to presentation graphs. We talk about the different types of graphs, and how best to use them in different situations. All of the graphs listed below can be produced quickly and easily with Microsoft PowerPoint live charts (Insert tab > Chart), but combining these with animation and other PowerPoint tools can produce even more effective graphs that will really engage your audience.

### Bar Chart

Bars can be vertical or horizontal. Vertical bars work well to demonstrate data such as cost and value. Horizontal bars are a fantastic way to present an absolute value of time, for example the length it takes to complete a particular task.

For a more advanced effect, you can move bars, or sections of bars, around the graph to show a redistribution of the data. See the slide set further down the page for an example of this.

### Line Chart

Line charts are wonderful in their simplicity, and can really be manipulated in PowerPoint to produce engaging, creative graphs. While it is not possible to animate the points if you’ve used a live graph to create your chart, there are certain things you can do to emphasise your point in PowerPoint. For example, you could extend the trend over longer periods of time, using animation to build the future projection. You can highlight the difference between different lines by creating a shape to appear in the space between them.

If you created the lines of your chart manually, you can really manipulate the data. Lines can be animated, and the motion will make them much more engaging. This emphasis will really help to create an impact.

In the manually-drawn example further down the page, we demonstrate how line graphs can be used to demonstrate performance quality over time, and how PowerPoint animation can be used to help tell the story.

### Pie Chart

*X *has a 75% market share, whilst company *Y *only has 10%. The pie chart is a really good comparison tool, but it never shows absolute value – just proportional value.

Pie charts are often viewed, rather unfairly, as being the boring chart, but with a little creativity they can be made truly exciting. If you were to use some animations, you could really bring a pie chart to life and use it to tell a story. For example, you could change the portion sizes by adjusting the angle, to demonstrate how these percentages change over time. Or you could use a grow-shrink animation to increase the size of the pie chart, to show that while the percentages may stay the same, the size of the data set itself can grow.

### Bubble Chart

### Scatter Chart

There is still plenty that can be done with a scatter chart you have produced using live charts – you can highlight points and draw trend lines, and compare two sets of data to look at accuracy. As with other graphs, there are plenty of opportunities to make it exciting!

### Radar Chart

### Which Graph?

The best advice we can give on presentation graphs is to choose the one that is most suited to the data you are presenting, as well as the audience you are presenting to. You want to present your data in a simple, engaging way that will really help your audience to ‘get’ your point.

For more information on the technical side of producing these graphs, check out our PowerPoint Graph tutorials.