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 skills to catch graphs where the visual cues do not lead to an accurate message.

In this video I show you a graph from a media website that initially shows a more than doubling of the number of employees. But the graph axis does not start at zero so the initial interpretation is incorrect. I show you how we need to create graphs that have an accurate message and then zoom in if we need to examine values that are similar in more detail.

For more on how to zoom in on chart values in PowerPoint, watch this video.

By Dave Paradi

Dave Paradi has over twenty-two years of experience delivering customized training workshops to help business professionals improve their presentations. He has written ten books and over 600 articles on the topic of effective presentations and his ideas have appeared in publications around the world. His focus is on helping corporate professionals visually communicate the messages in their data so they don't overwhelm and confuse executives. Dave is one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for his contributions to the Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams communities. His articles and videos on virtual presenting have been viewed over 4.8 million times and liked over 17,000 times on YouTube.