1. Read the article and answer the questions that follow. Don’t pay attention to unknown words.

Numbers speak for themselves?

When presenting financial results on a PowerPoint slide, don’t scare your audience. Use the power of your numbers to support your conclusions. Do not make the mistake of thinking that “the numbers speak for themselves.” They do not! Do not make the audience concentrate too much on numbers when you are in the room.

Your audience came to listen to you; to hear your opinions and conclusions; and to see the trends that you have discovered. Use numbers strategically during your presentation. Reveal your numbers one by one as you direct the discussion because displaying lots of numbers on a slide is boring for the audience. But discussing the meaning of the numbers activates your audience. Don’t allow numbers to be passively displayed on the screen. Bring your numbers to life; give them meaning. Animate your charts to liven up your presentation!

Here are three tips to help you to effectively present numbers during your presentation:

1. Communicate Trends with Graphics on Your Slide
Notice that I said “graphics.” In addition to using charts, you can use tables to compare options or use SmartArt Diagrams and other shapes to illustrate concepts. When you use actual numbers, display only the numbers with meanings. Take care of your audience. Don’t make their eyes hurt.

2. Use the Appropriate Chart Type on Your Slide
Understand the goal of each chart type: Column Charts show comparisons, usually over a time period. Bar Charts show results in a “Top to Bottom” order. Pie Charts display the parts that consist of 100% of a category. Line Charts illustrate trends. With all Chart Types, be careful to display only “significant” numbers. For example, limit your pie slices to four: The top three, and all of the others combined into the fourth slice.

3. Animate Your Charts to Direct the Discussion
When necessary, apply Animation to your Chart Slides in PowerPoint. With animation, you can introduce one series or one category at a time. This helps your audience to see the correlations in your numbers and to compare one category or series with the other. Used effectively, chart animations will interest your audience in the discussion and this leads to improved understanding of the topic that you are presenting.

Always remember that when you are in the front of the room, you are the presentation. Design your presentation so that the numbers improve the quality of your presentation. Do not allow numbers to scare your audience and to make your comments unimportant for the presentation.

Adapted from: the article

  • How can you animate the numbers?
  • How should you use animations with numbers?
  • Ideally, how many numbers should there be in a slide?

2. Match the words from the text with their meanings.

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