As a speech coach, I’m a big promoter of using images in your slide deck. Charts are a basic type of image that you’ll want to learn how to create, no matter what your topic.
Today I’ll be walking you through how to make simple, great looking charts quickly and easily using Canva.
Canva.com is my “go to” website for graphics of all kinds. (And I’m not being paid or reimbursed to say that!) I’ve found it great for Facebook cover photos and posts, posters, resumes (yep!), desktop backgrounds and charts. Even if playing around with graphics isn’t your “thing”, Canva is a free, easy to learn program that I highly recommend.
So if you haven’t already, head over to Canva.com, open an account and let’s get started!
Step #1 Gather your data and decide what type of format will represent it best.
Canva provides three options:
bar charts: If you want to show the popularity/effectiveness/quality/frequency of something, especially when you are making a comparison, a bar chart is the way to go.
pie charts: These are a good way of showing percentages of something, especially if you have six items or less which add up to your whole.
line graphs: Use a line graph when you want to show a representation between two categories, e.g., a higher level of education leads to a lower level of poverty.
Step #2 Create a new design, using the type of graphic you decided on in Step #1.
Go to “Create a Design” and choose “Presentation”. Within your new presentation, click on “Elements” in the left-hand menu bar and then “charts”. From here, choose the type of chart you decided on. It will appear in the work space, where you can customize it.
Step #3 Add your data and a title.
Double click on any item number and a table will appear in which you can fill in your data. The only slightly challenging part here is that under “label” there’s a limit to the number of characters that will fit, so you might have to use abbreviations. Remember, though,that you can always explain these during your talk.
When you’ve finished filling in your data, click the ‘T’ for the text option and add a title. I suggest a catchy, memorable title versus one that fully explains your infographic, since, as with the abbreviations mentioned above, you’ll have a chance to go into more detail as you speak.
Also, you’ll probably want to move your chart down a little so that there’s more space for your title above.
Step #4 Edit your image.
If you click on your chart, you’ll notice that in the toolbar near the top of the page there’s a square box filled with the main color of your chart. If you click on that box, other color options will come up. It’s kind of hard to go wrong here as Canva itself comes up with complimentary colors based on the main color that you choose.
There’s also the option to change the font of your text. Click on your title and the toolbar will show you the name of your font and its size, both of which can be changed. Click on the chart and you’ll be given the same change options for the text in your chart.
I strongly suggest going with a simple, easy to read font. Your audience will thank you for it. :)
Step #5 Download and put it into your presentation.
When you’re satisfied with your chart, click on “download” at the top of the page and choose the PDF Standard option. Now you’re ready to put it in your slide deck!
If you’re using Powerpoint, click “Insert” in the toolbar, then “photo” and then “picture from file.” In Keynote, go to “Insert” in the toolbar and click “choose”.
Now find your download in your files, click on it, and it will be inserted into your presentation.
(Note: If you’ve created more than one chart and your PDF has multiple pages, Powerpoint will ask you which page you’d like to import. In Keynote, open your PDF in Preview, in View click on Thumbnails, and then drag and drop the thumbnail of the chart you want directly into the Keynote page.)
And now you’ve got a great chart to spice up your slide deck.
Hit one of the share buttons if you know someone else who would like to make cool charts!