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Changing the view

Tweet I’ve been working for a while on cleaning up the PowerPoint presentation that our sales teams use when presenting. Of course it’s littered with graphs about site traffic, demographics and much much more. Presentations have a habit of getting out of hand, and many people don’t know how to present in a consice understandable [...]

I’ve been working for a while on cleaning up the PowerPoint presentation that our sales teams use when presenting. Of course it’s littered with graphs about site traffic, demographics and much much more.

Presentations have a habit of getting out of hand, and many people don’t know how to present in a consice understandable way. I don’t pretend to be an expert, however I am having a crack at this one. Sadly I’m not working on my Mac and not in Keynote. I am however working on a Dell (the same as we give our reps) and in PowerPoint 2003.

I’ve taken some shots from the Dell on my iPhone and will share these with you here. (You can also view them on Flickr here)

A little note, all the existing slides had comparisson data on them, showing Aug 2007 against Jan 2008. In the new slide I’ve dumped that to simply show a snapshot of Aug 2008 – making it easier to keep the presentation uptodate regularly.

Age Demographics

The age demographics slide had a horrible long graph that was hard to read quickly, was very daunting and had too much fluff.

Example of new age demographics slide

Example of new age demographics slide

As you can see I’ve cut it right back down to the bare facts. I’m using font weight and colour to draw the eye to the key points the sales rep will talk too. You can pick up the entire message of this slide in less than 5 seconds.

Regional Data

As part of our presentation we take a look at the break down of traffic and where it comes from to arrive at the site. Here is the slide we currently use:

Example of existing regional data slide

Example of existing regional data slide

With a little tweaking and adjusting, a clip art gallery (yes I did say clip art – don’t judge) and some time in Photoshop we ended up with this:

Example of regional data after its been tweaked

Example of regional data after it's been tweaked

One of the advantages of this is that it’s easy to update. Generally while the stats may change from month to month the ratios will stay the same. The numbers are text areas in PowerPoint making it a simple job to update the stats, but keep the look.

Income Data

Given our site is a business directory, a number of people ask what is the spending capacity of our users. So we have a graph showing the household income ranges. As you can guess it’s not pretty:

Example of existing income data slide

Example of existing income data slide

So it wasn’t an easy one to create something sexy to show. I did spend a while wondering if I needed some visual of a house for this. However in the end simplicity rulled, and a huge dollar sign did what I needed. After all the slide is about money.

Example of the improved household income slide

Example of the improved household income slide

Again with this, it’s quick and easy to update in PowerPoint. The orange bars are simply shapes, and the text are just text areas. Very easy to adjust as needed.

Gender Data

This one is something that often catches people off guard. Given that the majority of presentations are to senior management teams and it’s still a (sad) fact that a large portion of these are guys. So this gender information is important, espcially when thinking about target audience.

Example of existing gender slide

Example of existing gender slide

As you can see the female side of the graph is greater than the male, however it’s hard (at a glance) to see if this is a small or large difference. Again, I wanted to turn this into a visually rich and easy to consume slide.

Example of the improved gender slide

Example of the improved gender slide

Using familiar artwork we have an easy to read at a glance slide. Again this is really easy to update in PowerPoint. The two characters are a transparent (PNG) image sitting overtop of two PowerPoint shapes. To adjust simply move the mask, adjust the shape, and bring mask back into place. Easy, peasy.

Summary

So it’s not finished yet, I’ve still got a lot to go. The existing presentation is 52 slides and almost 8 MB in size. I’m culling that down to 10 key slides (or slide groups) so the presentation is shorter, easier and better.

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