Types of Graphs and Charts and Their Uses in a Business Presentation

Whether you’re pitching to a potential stakeholder or presenting quarterly gain to board members, presentations rest at the center of any growing business. Business presentations are a chance for presenters to showcase their expertise, reinforce the brand and influence potential people. Today, presentation decks have become a vital extension of organizations. Companies today are leveraging presentations and using the same as initial touchpoints with the audience. For a presentation to be a success, it’s imperative that the looks and feel of slides attenuate with the brand. Well-crafted presentations facilitate improved communication amidst the office.

Since presentations are a visual form of communication, these can have a vital impact on your audience. It is important for a presentation to feature user-friendly content and design. The presentation should explain the subject matter, be it facts, texts, or figures in a lucid manner. The goal is to utilize visual aids so that it gets easy for your audience to comprehend the message. It’s all about making the right impression to accomplish corporate goals. Including visual aids such as charts, graphs and infographics boost audience engagement and help your presentation in unimaginable ways.

Why include graphs and charts in your presentation?

The human brain processes visuals much faster than ordinary text. It just takes a 13-millisecond glimpse for us to process the whole visual. Visuals are a two-way win for a presentation. These are appealing and help bind the interest of the audience to the slides. Plus, visuals are self-explanatory. The right set of visuals be it graphs, charts or images will help your viewers digest the displayed data and draw conclusions.

Charts and graphs are an amazing set of tools to tell the story of your business. These enable you to present information precisely and consistently. One should note that not everybody sitting in the audience holds as much clarity as yours on the data. Providing clarity and bringing transparency in data through visuals can help potential audiences to understand different aspects of your business.

Charts and graphs provide another dimension to your data. This is where engagement is driven since you’re providing what people have been looking for. It is only then you can make your target audience grasp the meaning of data and make them excited about the opportunities. You can always create charts and graphs from scratch, or you can also include readymade SlideModel templates. The templates are your quick and easy escape to create professional visual aids for your slides.

One should understand that every business presentation has different requirements. Hence, chart and graph types will also differ based on factors. It all depends on the type of audience, the complexity involved in data, what kind of conclusion you wish to draw and more.

Let’s move ahead and explore different kinds of charts and graphs which you can use in your next business presentation:

Gantt Charts

Types of Graphs and Charts: Gantt Chart
Types of Graphs and Charts: Gantt Chart

One of the highly used data visualization techniques in the industry is the Gantt charts. These charts are used for high-level project roadmaps, scheduling of resources, plan projects, workflows, tasks and more. Gantt charts are often the first choice of project managers and solutions architects.

You can use Gantt charts in your presentation to effectively showcase task management, project tracking, project planning, management of resources and team collaboration. What sets Gantt charts apart from other visualizations is its ability to display complex information in an intuitive way. Critical project-related data can easily be scrapped and projected to the audience at an eye’s glance.

As mentioned earlier, for any presentation to succeed, it should encompass clarity and transparency. You can easily boil down an array of tasks into a single chart & make it easy for your audience to digest key pieces of data. This helps stakeholders, investors to comprehend where different teams stand currently across different processes. Moreover, Gantt charts also boost communication. Scrum meetings, daily standups when done through Gantt charts can enhance communication between team members. Team members can track their progress, mark blockers, and come together forward for project completion. Hence, you can showcase efficient time & resource management in your slides through Gantt charts.

Gauge Charts

simple steps to create a speedometer in
Image Source: Speedometer

When it comes to showcasing progressive values, the Gauge chart is an amazing pick. In our real world, for decades gauges have been used to communicate vital pieces of information. Gauges or speedometers are found almost everywhere. Today, there are Gauge chart templates available in the market which you can download and include in your slides. You can edit the Gauge chart, insert your values on which you need to pivot over time. A gauge helps you divide information over a scale and helps you provide a clear understanding of each and every scale.

Often, we have to present data which is nothing but a linear range of progressive information. Gauge chart is a game-changer. Your audience can easily understand Gauge charts without the need for further elaboration. Data can be distinguished easily when it’s divided by color codes. Gauge lets you do that just fine. Stock markets, project dashboards, progress bars, Gauges are everywhere. Your management would definitely appreciate seeing progress in each business division. When effectively used, these can help you improve your business reports, manifests and studies manifolds.

Bar Graphs

growth arrow chart bar
A Bar Graph

Bar graphs are a popular visualization method used for comparing data amid different categories and niches. Unlike Gauge charts, Bar graphs are laid across two axes. You can put your data categories horizontally or vertically. Bar graphs make it easy for the audience to compare and contrast between sets of data. You can also spot a big change in data through this char. Bar graphs help in establishing a relationship between data on one axis with other & vice-versa. This part is important. If your audience can comprehend and relate with data, it is only then your slides will achieve presentation integrity.

Bar graphs also come in different types such as horizontal graphs, vertical graphs, stacked bar graphs etc. As per your presentation requirement and data in-hand, you can pick any of the bar graphs. The presentation should display numbers in such a fashion that people visualize trends. Set quarterly annual sales on the horizontal axis and plot different business segments or processes on the other. However, bar charts are only great if we want to visualize one or two variables. If there are many variables involved, better go with Gantt charts.

Doughnut Charts

doughnut charts
Two Doughnut Charts

You probably must have seen Doughnut charts before. These are nothing but stacked bar charts circled around itself. The Doughnut chart saves a lot of space on slides and offers superior data intensity ratio. These charts are used to bring different variables under the same roof. Doughnut charts give a whole relationship to data laid down across different categories. The arc of the chart can project percentages, numbers, progress and more. Multiple Doughnut charts can be combined as well. You can bring smaller doughnut charts under the big ones to showcase extended relationships of companies, dependencies etc.

Doughnut charts are one of the most user-friendly charts in the market. You can include these in your presentation to make your slides reader friendly. It gets complex with bar charts to showcase multiple variables at the same time. With Doughnut charts, you can compare sets of data and make readings easy to understand for your audience. These can also be checked at an eye’s glance for accuracy of data distribution. You can change the values in the Doughnut chart on the move. One should not forget that you’re on stage explaining your idea and not slides. Your presentation should complement your points and not the other way around.

Scatter Plot Graphs

scatter chart
Scatter Plot Graphs

There comes a scenario when one variable is an independent process and there are N variables which depend on the first. Scatter plot graph can help you showcase the relationship in an out of the box fashion. The graph not only deciphers the relationship between the variables but also helps in predicting the future behavior of the dependent variables. X-axis usually contains an independent variable. Scatter plot graphs come in different types based on the user requirement. You can get your hands-on scatter graphs with no, minimal and strong correlation, respectively.

This graph is probably the best method to showcase non-linear patterns. Also, sometimes we have a huge amount of dataset to showcase. Setting huge indexes on Bar graphs can deteriorate the tone of your slides.

Scatter plot can help you seamlessly set maximum and minimum values and draw inference from the same. Scatter plot provides state of the art data visualization for data scientists and several other technical domains as well. Your presentation can make stronger arguments sailing on the visualized data.


1 comment add your comment

  1. Hey Gaurav Tiwari ,

    Excellent post with fabulous work. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Glad to say that you have provided good information for readers. You have explained very nicely and explored various type of graph & charts in an impressive way that are really providing good understanding.

    Yes i completely agree with your words that In today’s time Presentation deck have become a popular extension for several organizations and are crucial part for any growing business. Business presentation provides a good opportunity for presenter to show their creativity, skills and knowledge. It is true that presentations are visual form of communication that impact the audience, hence it is really crucial to use a user-friendly design & content for presentation.

    I am sure that this post is definitely going to help lot of people in understanding the importance of charts & graph in business presentation. After going through this complete guide i really got helpful ideas and your post works like a knowledge-booster for me.

    Eventually thanks for sharing your knowledge and such an engaging & informative post.

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