• Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact
    Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact


Waterfall Charts in PowerPoint and Excel

Waterfall charts are very popular in certain industries and at certain consulting companies that start with "McK," but Microsoft doesn't actually give you the ability to create them in PowerPoint and Excel in the way you can create standard bar or line charts.

You can create them through a little creative hacking though.

And Indezine has a nice post up from Taylor Croonquist from Nuts & Bolts Speed Training on just how to do it. Take a look!


Presenting the Story of Your Data Webinar 

I'm really excited to be doing my second webinar for PresentationXpert on Wednesday, November 12.

Visualizing data effectively and clearly is becoming an increasingly larger part of workflows these days. Tune in to this free seminar to learn how to create better charts and visualizations using the tools you already have on your desktop.

We'll cover 6 solid techniques for indentifying and telling the story of your data including the all-important "McKinsey Rule."

We'll discuss "chart junk," how to identify it, why it's counterproductive and how to remove it. We'll discuss why pie charts suck, how to avoid legends and the reasons why the fewer colors you use the better.

And did I mention that the webinar is absolutely free?

Register now!


Charts Gone Wild


"Simplicity" and The Presentation Summit 2014

The always amazing Presentation Summit was held a couple of weeks ago in San Diego, and this year I had the honor of giving the opening keynote.

The topic was one of my favorites: Simplicity.

Looking at everything from songs by the Beatles to the Vietnam Memorial to the menu at Chipotle, I like to think I made an argument for simplicity standing out, being memorable and actually making money where complexity does not. 

Bad presentations have many root causes, but over complicated messages and design are high on the list, and so I felt that a discussion of simplicity was an appropriate kickoff to 3 days dedicated to all things presentation. And indeed, it seemed to set the theme for the conference. (That and Star Wars references.)

Geetesh Bajaj from has a nice play by play review of the talk, and here are a few slides...



I had a blast from beginning to end at the Summit, reconnecting with so many friends from around the world (even met a new one from Iceland this year!) who just happen to be the top people in the business. I also managed to get a number of new faces to attend this year—always trying to get more design blood at the Summit—including the kick ass women from SlideRabbit who put together a nice set of learnings from the conference. Also check out Presentitude's ABC Guide to the Presentation for a nice recap.

Thanks and kudos to Rick Altman who has run the conference since day one, puts on an incredible show each year, and is a great friend.

For those still on the fence over attending, next year will be in New Orleans. Now you really have no excuse...

Lastly, here are some visual notes taken by the awesome Stephy Lewis on my keynote and my breakout session, "Confessions of a Presentation Designer."


* * *

If anyone is looking for a keynote speaker for their conference and would like to know how simplicity can help their business and endeavors, drop me a line!



Rad Presenters Podcast

The Rad Presenters Podcast is the new podcast in town dedicated to all things presentation, and I had the pleasure of being the innaugural guest on Rad Presenters.

Check out my episode here.

Stephanie Evergreen and Jon Schwabish are the hosts. I've known Jon digitally for a bit, but we finally had the opportunity to meet in person at this year's Presentation Summit in San Diego last month. I knew Stephanie only through her excellent book, Presenting Data Effectively which I recently read, so I was happy to get to know her a bit more.

We talked about templates, presenting on tablets, the design process and what makes a good presenter. Oh, of course we made a little detour into my circus background. But to hear about that, you'll need to take a listen.

Download this episode and subscribe now in iTunes!