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Slide Makeover #87: Showing the components that add up to a total

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When analyzing results, it is important to look at how a total value was achieved. The components that contribute to the total help the audience understand how that total was arrived at. This makeover shows how you can use a Steps to a Total graph created in PowerPoint to visually show this instead of using a spreadsheet from Excel.

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Slide Makeover #87: Showing the components that add up to a total

  1. 1. Slide Makeover #87: Showing the components that add up to a total Based on Dave Paradi’s ideas at www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com
  2. 2. When analyzing results, it is important to look at how a total value was achieved. The components that contribute to the total help the audience understand how that total was arrived at. Too often, the whole spreadsheet is shown, like this …
  3. 3. Business Unit Results Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total Revenue 625 430 758 722 2535 Content Cost 186 246 227 287 946 Distribution Cost 98 79 153 143 473 Other Expenses 32 34 35 38 139 Business Unit Income 309 71 343 254 977 Corporate Expense Allocation 125 125 125 125 500 Business Unit EBITDA 184 -54 218 129 477 Entertainment Division Values in thousands of dollars
  4. 4. There are too many numbers here. The bottom line EBITDA results get lost in the rest of the numbers. By showing the whole spreadsheet, you also invite the audience to hunt for a number to ask about, even if that number may not relate to the message at all.
  5. 5. Focus on only the numbers you want to discuss, the quarterly EBITDA values. Show those values visually so the audience can easily see which quarters made a positive contribution and which contributed negatively to the yearly total.
  6. 6. A good visual is what I refer to as a Steps to a Total visual. I consider it a cousin to the waterfall graph. It shows the EBITDA values visually like this …
  7. 7. Q2 Sales deferred to Q3 led to EBITDA loss in Q2 for Entertainment division 54 184 218 129 477 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total EBITDA Values in thousands of dollars
  8. 8. The first change is to write a headline that summarizes the message from our analysis. Don’t make the audience figure it out or guess – they won’t come to the conclusion you want them to.
  9. 9. The second change is to use a visual instead of a spreadsheet. Many presenters think that these graphs are too hard to create in Excel or PowerPoint. Many purchase other software to create these visuals.
  10. 10. Not so. The graph you saw was created using PowerPoint with no add-ins, plug-ins, or programming. All of the segments, labels, and lines are driven by data, so when the values change, you can paste the new values from Excel and the graph automatically updates. Here it is again …
  11. 11. Q2 Sales deferred to Q3 led to EBITDA loss in Q2 for Entertainment division 54 184 218 129 477 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Total EBITDA Values in thousands of dollars
  12. 12. Why create the graph in PowerPoint instead of Excel? Because then the graph automatically takes on the corporate colors in the template.
  13. 13. Also, a PowerPoint graph can be changed at the last minute when the boss asks – a linked Excel graph requires a connection to the source file, which may not be available if you are offsite.
  14. 14. So the next time you have to show how different components add to a final total, consider a Steps to a Total graph instead of a spreadsheet table.
  15. 15. Before After Lessons: 1. Write a headline that summarizes the message. 2. Show how the components add to the total using a Steps to a Total graph. 3. Build graphs in PowerPoint so they are easy to update and match corporate branding standards. Quick recap: More makeovers available at www.SlideMakeoverVideos.com
  16. 16. If you would like me to help your team create presentations that have a clear message with focused content and effective visuals, get in touch: P: 905-510-4911 E: Dave@ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com W: www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com

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