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Presenting a complex chart – A Before and after

November 19, 2009

I have seen it done on numerous occasions, the presenter, with great glee, unveils a chart with the progress of various products to the audience and is met with a look of either confusion, horror, or both. These looks are mainly as a consequence of sheer data overload, plotting 15+ products on one graph and presenting it on screen with no attempt at layering the data is a recipe for disaster.

The solution is to either present only the very key figures, give a more detailed handout out after the talk or layer the data in group by relevant group. Of course the IDEAL solution incorporates all of the above.

I entered a “chart challenge” over at “Thoughts on Presenting” – a great blog worth checking out – and came up with the solution below. It shows the before and the changes I made by layering the relevant data piece by piece, and really spelling out the story the data was telling.

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