5 Tips for Creating Good PowerPoint Reports

PowerPoint is an excellent tool for presenting the results of a survey in a simple and structured manner. Often, an analyst hold a presentation, explaining the slideshow verbally page by page. However, this isn’t always the case, for example, when presenting results from an employee survey where each manager receives a unique report. Then you need a PowerPoint report, often called slide deck, which can be read on its own and don’t need a speaker to explain the report page by page.

When delivering the PowerPoint report/slide deck directly to the recipients, there are a few things to consider to ensure your presentation is truly effective. You’ve probably experienced a messy or incomprehensible report that failed to capture your interest. If the reader can’t follow your report, it doesn’t matter if the content is relevant or not.

Here are some tips to consider when creating your next PowerPoint report:

1. Determine the Questions the Report Should Answer

Before assembling your report, you must decide which questions the report should answer. Once you have this information, it becomes much easier to choose the relevant information and the order of your slides.

Examples of overarching questions to address:

  • How have we progressed compared to the previous measurement?
  • How well are we doing compared to others?
  • What is most important for us to improve?
  • Are there specific groups that are particularly satisfied/dissatisfied?

The presentation should function as a guide that helps the reader arrive at the answers or conclusions you want to convey.

2. Address One Question at a Time

Remember that you have a knowledge advantage, and your readers may not be as familiar with the subject. Keep the presentation simple, logical, and avoid jumping between topics. If you talk about too many things at once, your readers will lose the thread. Be methodical and present one question/answer at a time.

3. Not Too Much Information/Data per Slide

It may be tempting to cram as much information and numbers as possible onto each slide. However, presenting too much information on one slide is not a good idea. It becomes challenging for the recipient to focus and understand the core message of the slide. It becomes cluttered and difficult to grasp the message.

Divide the information and use multiple slides instead. This gives the report better flow and makes it easier for readers to follow along. If each slide is quick to understand, having many slides is not a problem.

4. Simple and Pedagogical Visualization

A picture is worth a thousand words. Use chart types that people are familiar with, primarily bar and line charts. Basic knowledge of visualization will help you choose the right chart for each question. Here is a good compilation of common chart types and tips on when to use them:

Maintain a consistent colour palette and design throughout the report. Ensure that each colour has the same meaning throughout the entire report.

The important thing is that the chart helps answer the question you are trying to help the reader understand.

5. Conclude with an Appendix and Supplement with Cross-Tabulations

Conclude the report with an appendix containing graphs that present all the survey questions. This section is for readers who really want to delve into the details. In addition to the PowerPoint report’s appendix, it’s also useful to supplement with cross-tabulations in Excel.

If you want more advice on how to best present the results of your survey in PowerPoint, feel free to contact us at Research Automators!