How to Design Visually Compelling PowerPoint Tables

February 18, 2014 | Sabrina Cote
How to Design Visually Compelling PowerPoint Tables

A few months ago, Brendan Cournoyer explored the question: do tables really belong in PowerPoint, or should you kill them all together?  In his review, Brendan shared some helpful tips from business presentation guru Laura M. Foley on the best ways to represent data in PowerPoint.

Through a simple example, Laura makes the case for ditching tables and opting for graphs to communicate data in a more visual way. She explains that tables often force the audience to divide their attention between what the speaker is actually saying and deciphering a confusing, cluttered table. Not only does a simple graph remove this confusion, but it also just plain looks better on a slide.

On some occasions, however, business presentations may call for a table that isn’t comprised of data, but rather of concepts and short phrases. Since you aren’t working with data, this type of information can be difficult to represent in a graph, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice design.  In the tutorial below Bruce Gabrielle, author of Speaking PowerPoint, illustrates how to turn what would otherwise be a standard text-based table into an appealing graphical element. 

For more PowerPoint tips from Bruce Gabrielle, check out his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter @speakingppt.

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