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Slide Makeover #91: Comparing Revenue components to previous year

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Explaining the components of total revenue in an organization is an important message. Often we want to compare it to the amount contributed by each component in the previous year to see where the differences come from. This makeover shows how you can use a “steps to a total” graph instead of a spreadsheet or table of numbers.

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Slide Makeover #91: Comparing Revenue components to previous year

  1. 1. Slide Makeover #91: Comparing Revenue components to previous year Based on Dave Paradi’s ideas at www.ThinkOutsideTheSlide.com
  2. 2. Summary: Explaining the components of total revenue in an organization is an important message. Often we want to compare it to the amount contributed by each component in the previous year to see where the differences come from. This makeover shows how you can use a “steps to a total” graph instead of a spreadsheet or table of numbers.
  3. 3. Original Slide
  4. 4. Discussion of original slide: • This is a common slide used in financial reporting. It contains a table of numbers, usually copied from a spreadsheet. While it is accurate, it does not help the audience easily see which components were the largest or smallest and where a component changed significantly from the previous year. A table of numbers forces the audience to do math, which dramatically reduces the chance that they will understand the message you want them to understand. • A visual would help the audience see the magnitude of each component as they add to the total. A good headline would make the message clear for the audience.
  5. 5. Better investment results and Other income main drivers of higher Support & Revenue in 2017 602,854 109,744 (59,345) 45,601 105,096 803,950 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000 1200000 Dues Grants Investments Other income Land sales & gifts Total 20162017 Makeover (1)
  6. 6. Better investment results and Other income main drivers of higher Support & Revenue in 2017 602,854 109,744 (59,345) 45,601 105,096 803,950 627,059 117,218 200,300 86,344 112,844 1,143,765 0 200000 400000 600000 800000 1000000 1200000 Dues Grants Investments Other income Land sales & gifts Total 20162017 Makeover (2)
  7. 7. Discussion of makeover slide: • The two images show the building of the graph piece-by-piece. First, the components of the 2016 results are built one-by-one. This allows the presenter to remind the audience of any significant items from the previous year (ie. why the investment income was negative). Next, the components of the 2017 results are built one-by-one. As each component appears on the slide, the presenter can explain why there is a difference from the previous year. • The headline of the slide summarizes the message for the audience as soon as the slide is displayed, even before the graph is explained. The visual then becomes the visual that supports the headline statement. This is how a visual should be used, as an illustration of the message. • I refer to this type of visual as a “steps to a total” graph. It is a cousin of the waterfall graph, which is popular in finance. It allows the viewer to see the size of each component and how the different components add to the total.
  8. 8. Discussion of makeover slide (cont.): • To create this visual, I use a stacked column graph in Excel (it can be created in PowerPoint the same way). There is a “spacer” data series that is set to have no fill color so it is invisible and positions the visible segment in each column. • The two graphs are put side by side by putting the 2017 orange segments graph on the secondary axis. The scale of each axis is set to be the same. The overlap and gap width settings are changed so that the two sets of visible segments are beside each other. It is a little bit of trial and error to get it to look right. • The data labels for the grey segments are from a separate set of cells so that the negative value is shown properly (this option was introduced in Office 2013). • The legend in the lower right is two rectangles, since Excel graphs don’t allow a legend to look like this.
  9. 9. Lessons for Presenters 1. Look for ways to replace spreadsheets or tables of numbers with visuals. 2. Use a “steps to a total” graph to show how components add up to a total. 3. Use the settings in Excel/PowerPoint to create the graph you need (ie. secondary axis, overlap, gap width, data labels).
  10. 10. 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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