Display data in a way that the presentation audience will understand.  ​Audiences who are analytical, financial, scientific, or engineer-minded tend to look at data with a skeptical eye—it’s what they’re trained to do. If they feel your data has been manipulated or become “marketing-driven data,” it will feel less substantial and accurate to them.

Avoid decorating your data; ornamentation can detract from credibility and skew the perceptions of the numbers.

​Any data that’s portrayed in a seemingly manipulated way will cause people to challenge the accuracy of the rest of your content and diminish your credibility.

3D Presentation Charts

3D chart for presentation

The trouble with 3D charts is that the data gets visually skewed.

​Adding depth to a chart when there’s no real data for the z-axis detracts from the accuracy of the information. For example, try to determine what the number is that was plotted in the chart above to display attendance in the North. Hint: the depth and perspective changes the number significantly.

2D Presentation Charts

flat chart for presentation slide

This chart is the same data, but plotted without depth with a flat, front-on view.

​You can see that the actual figure is 21. You probably wouldn’t have guessed that. Not only does this chart provide a clear view of the data, it also highlights what’s most important. By using blue for North, you instinctively focus on it instead of all other regions that are shown in neutral shades.

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