Latest posts

Below are the most recent articles or resources I’ve published. If you are looking for help on a specific topics, it would best to look at the topics in my Articles archive as I have grouped my recent and best articles by topic there.

  • Fixing the “Values don’t add to 100% because of rounding” issue in Excel pie charts & tables

    Too often I see a footnote on an Excel chart or table in a presentation that says “the values don’t add to 100% because of rounding.” Sometimes the values don’t add to 100% and there is no footnote, it just appears to be a mathematical mistake. Both of these situations cause doubt in the mind… Continue reading Fixing the “Values don’t add to 100% because of rounding” issue in Excel pie charts & tables Continue reading

  • Hybrid Event Lesson 12: Have one place for details

    This article shares one of the lessons I learned when planning and running a hybrid class reunion event in May 2022. Read the introduction and see the other lessons in this series here. Lesson If you have ever attended a conference or reunion, you know how many emails and messages you get from organizers. Each… Continue reading

  • FinancialViz: Non-zero-based column graphs mislead the viewer

    I am no longer surprised when I see a column graph in a quarterly or annual financial report that is created to give the impression that the results shown are better than the actual numbers shown. The graph does not start the vertical axis at zero so the height of the columns is not accurately… Continue reading

  • FinancialViz: “cool” visual doesn’t give accurate comparison

    Too often I see financial professionals get seduced by the desire to create a “cool” visual. Maybe its one they’ve seen online or in a publication. It looks really neat and they think it would make them look goo if they used it in a presentation. Too often these “cool” visuals don’t communicate the message… Continue reading

  • FinancialViz: waterfall chart using rectangles instead of Excel introduces doubt

    When things don’t add up in a data visual used in a financial presentation it introduces doubt in the mind of the viewer. If this visual is not correct, what else may not be correct? When presenting financials we want to inspire confidence. It is important to ensure that the visuals we create are accurate.… Continue reading

  • Why “We’ll send one person to a public course and then they can train the entire department” doesn’t actually improve productivity

    Instead of investing in a customized training course on a key software tool for a group of employees, too many managers think the cheap route will work. They send one person on a public course with the instruction that when they get back they will teach the rest of the group what they learned. The… Continue reading

  • Use critical thinking skills to accurately interpret a graph (& create accurate graphs yourself)

    When you look at a graph, you immediately interpret the message using the visual cues in the graph. If one column is twice as tall as another column you deduce that the value of the taller column is double that of the shorter column. When looking at graphs we need to use our critical thinking… Continue reading

  • Hybrid Event Lesson 11: Use one device in the room for audio

    This article shares one of the lessons I learned when planning and running a hybrid class reunion event in May 2022. Read the introduction and see the other lessons in this series here. Lesson Poor sound is one of the biggest complaints in hybrid meetings. Either the people in the room can’t hear the remote… Continue reading

  • Why today’s Apple Watch Series 8 and iPhone 14 launch is not a model you should follow in your business presentations

    Apple just finished its latest product introduction. Soon we will see the parade of presentation experts and enthusiasts who say you should use today’s launch as a model for your own business presentations. Please don’t listen to them. Here’s why. First, you don’t deliver global product launch presentations. As a business professional you deliver project… Continue reading

  • “Our staff don’t have time for training!” Why this myth is hurting many Canadian businesses and leading to “quiet quitting”

    Since the 2008-9 recession many Canadian business professionals have been doing the work of 1.5-3 people. Companies downsized during that time and have never returned to staffing levels required to actually do the amount of work required. Add on the stress of the pandemic and employees have had enough. The recent “quiet quitting” is a… Continue reading