Sometimes the best way to get a point across in a meeting is to use a chart or graph. For busy professionals, downloading additional software – or sometimes just using Excel – can be time-consuming. Especially when creating flowcharts or organization charts, it can be hard to learn how to produce something that is not only effective in communicating a point but also professional.
Microsoft offers users the ability to create charts, flowcharts and even organization charts directly in PowerPoint. By following these simple steps, it's easy to create visual slides that clearly communicate the message at hand.
Creating a basic chart or graph
To create a basic chart, start by selecting the Insert tab.
Insert > Chart
After following these steps, a window featuring other details will appear where you can customize your chart. It features options for bar graphs, line charts, pie charts and others. After deciding the type, click OK and a chart will appear with a data graph. Enter your data and name the series and categories.
You can adjust color, chart elements and filters with the three customization buttons on the right side of the chart.
The beneficial part of this aspect of PowerPoint is that all the changes you make will happen in real time. Once you've input all your data and customized all the settings, your chart or graph will be ready for your presentation.
Creating an organization chart
PowerPoint offers a simple way to create a chart that depicts the hierarchy of your company or team. An organization chart can be useful for new companies establishing their leadership style, team managers looking to transition new members and businesses that need to document the structure of their organization.
These charts can be effective in presenting the various roles of a company in a professional, visual manner. To start, select the Insert tab.
Insert > Smart Art > Hierarchy > Choose type > Customize text
Once the type of chart is chosen, click OK and your organization chart will be created. You can adjust the text in each box using the window titled "Type your text here" next to the chart.
Once you've finished, you can adjust the size and position of your organization chart based on your presentation.
You can also use the Smart Art tab to create cycle graphs, pyramid diagrams and various other diagrams.
Creating a flowchart
Flowcharts give workers a visual representation of abstract concepts. In addition to providing an easy way to create graphs and organization charts, PowerPoint provides a way to create flowcharts.
While this process requires a few more steps than making graphs or organization charts, it is still a fairly simple process. Unlike with the first two charts, there are no preset flowchart designs in PowerPoint. So, if you're looking to create a flowchart, you'll have to go from an original design.
It may help to sketch your design on paper before starting your chart on PowerPoint. This will provide an overall direction before you begin designing directly on the slide.
It also may help to turn on gridlines so your flowchart is aligned properly. You can do this by checking the Gridlines box in the View menu.
Once you're ready to get started, click the Insert tab.
Insert > Shapes > Flowchart
After creating the boxes in your flowchart, you can connect them with lines to complete the chart.
Insert > Shapes > Lines
Once the boxes and lines are in place, you can edit text within the boxes by double-clicking on them and typing. After you finish typing in each box, your flowchart is ready for your presentation.
While there are other ways to build charts and graphs, PowerPoint provides a simple approach to incorporating professional-looking organization graphs and flowcharts into your presentations.