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How to Highlight Your Point Visually in PowerPoint

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Have you ever looked at a PowerPoint slide and had NO IDEA what the point of the slide was?

Or even worse, maybe you analyzed the slide, came to a conclusion, and then found out the point of the slide was something completely different…ahhh!

Take this slide as an example. What do you think we should do about the company’s sales?

Highlight Your Point Visually in PowerPoint 1

What's the point here?

The first question you probably have is, “Why are the monthly sales so inconsistent?”. And that’s why highlighting your point visually in the first place is so important!

Highlighting your point visually video tutorial

Check out the video below and see how this same dataset can be highlighted in a number of different ways depending on what your point actually is:

Two steps for highlighting your point visually

There are two quick steps you can take to awesome-ify the slide layouts that you already have. Let’s take this generic dataset as an example.

Highlight Your Point Visually in PowerPoint 2

Step #1: Specify your point in the title

Spell out your point in your titles so that people know exactly what you are trying to tell them in your slide. In this case, new partnerships are the key to increasing stagnant sales, so that’s what we’ll write in the title box.

Step 1: Put your point in your titles.

Step #2: Highlight your data points visually

With the titles established, next you want to highlight your data points visually, so that your audience knows exactly what numbers they should focus on.

You can do this a number of different ways, but a good first cut is changing the coloring of the individual data points and/or adding a box around the data points to make them stand out. You can even insert additional information about the data you are highlighting, such as the compound annual growth rate (CAGR).

Highlight Your Point Visually in PowerPoint 4

Step 2: Highlight your data points.

Your audience might not agree with your point or your conclusion, but now that you’ve done your job, and showed them exactly what your point is in your presentation, they can now do their job, and make decisions.

PowerPoint data highlighting examples:

Notice how many different ways there are to highlight your point on the same PowerPoint slide, depending on what your point actually is (which is why it is so important).

PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #1
PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #2
PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #3
PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #4
PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #5
PowerPoint Column Chart Example Highlighting #6
PowerPoint Slide Example - Four by Four Boxes with Highlight
PowerPoint Table Example - Three Tables with Highlights

Is there anything we missed? If you have another tip for highlighting your point visually within your PowerPoint presentation, share them below in the comments section to join the conversation. 

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Updated on December 15, 2017

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