FinancialViz Hands-on Workshops

Live in-person courses

If you want to learn how to select and create effective visuals to present financial results and analysis, I offer a hands-on workshop. If you are interested in these workshops, email me so we can start discussing how to customize it to your team.

Expert-level techniques to create presentation-ready data visuals in Excel


This is not a basic level Excel or PowerPoint course. You need to come already being familiar with the programs, have intermediate level skills in general, and be familiar with creating graphs in Excel.

Special Note

This is a hands-on seminar with demonstrations using Office 365 for Windows. Please bring a laptop with Office 2013 or higher for Windows, or Office 2016 or later for Mac. Bring your laptop, power cord, and external mouse if you prefer that to a trackpad.


If you create and update Excel graphs for presentations, you are likely frustrated at how much time it takes to create a presentation-ready graph. You have already mastered the basics of graphing and know a few advanced features, but you still end up using manual methods or text boxes to make the graphs clear. When you want to re-use the graph for similar data, it involves a lot of effort. And the issue is compounded when you need to update the graph with new data next month because it is hard to remember all the manual updates that need to be done. That one text box you forgot to update is always the one that the executive notices during the presentation.

This hands-on session shows you expert-level techniques that allow you to create clear graphs that are driven by the data in the worksheet. Re-using graphs is much easier and monthly updates are a breeze because once the data is updated, the graph updates automatically. The small incremental initial investment of time building the graph using these techniques pays off many times over in the time and effort saved re-using and updating the graphs.

Once the graphs are created in Excel, you will learn the different methods of copying them into PowerPoint, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and why creating the graphs in PowerPoint is a method you may prefer.

Who Should Attend

Professionals who use Excel and PowerPoint to communicate financial information to others.


The four areas of expert-level Excel graph techniques are:

  • Advanced labelling
  • Invisible elements to position visible elements
  • Combination/Multiple graphs
  • Multiple data series

The techniques are explained and practiced by creating many graphs that are used in real-world presentations. This allows the participants to leave knowing how and when to use the techniques. This is much more effective than just learning features without the context of when to use them.

Some of the graphs that will be created include:

  • Dashed line on a column graph to show performance compared to a standard
  • Index line graphs to compare the trends in data series measured in different units (much better than a dual-axis graph)
  • Overlapping column graphs to compare two related data series (ie. Plan vs Actual)
  • Waterfall graphs to show the components that explain the difference between a starting and ending value
  • Conditional formatting data bars to quickly visualize data in the cells of a worksheet
  • Adding percentage change to a column or bar chart to show related data in a single visual
  • Donut charts that have the focus value in the middle and automatically update when the data changes
  • Waffle charts that are driven by data and not manually created
  • Graphs that have custom formatted fill color or labels based on the values
  • Small multiple column and bar graphs to show related data including scaling of series when needed

Copying Excel graphs into PowerPoint slides is covered including the four recommended techniques and the option to create the graph in PowerPoint using data from Excel.


Self-paced online courses

If you prefer self-paced online courses, I have one that teaches how to use Excel cells or graphs in PowerPoint and you can sign up to be notified when I release an upcoming course on advanced graph techniques in Excel.