5 Cool Excel Charts to Boost Your Presentation  


How many of you have to prepare a presentation and you have all the information and data at the back of your head but you just couldn’t find a way to present it in an understandable way to the audience?

Oftentimes, you will resort to either use many different graphs/charts or supplement with written explanation. Worse still, sometime in the middle of presentation, you see your boss struggling to understand the chart and data that you are presenting (usually I will be having cold sweat by this point).


Chart 1: Combination bar and line Chart


This combination chart is very useful in order to present trends which span over a few period (years or quarters).

Bar and Line Chart

It can also show the year on year growth line or month on month growth which will usually be in percentage form.

Where to use:

  • Trend of sales volume and growth

  • Trend of profit and growth

  • Complaint Analysis using Paretto Chart, a variation of the bar and line combination chart.

Paretto Chart 



Chat 2: Waterfall Chart


Waterflow ChartThis chart will allow you to show the intermediate steps or effect of actions to the original values. Examples of the intermediate steps include duration (such as month or quarters), major key driving forces or even individual department contribution.

Where to use:

  • Cashflow movement over 12 months

  • Profit analysis by key drivers

  • Project team composition changes


Chart 3: Tornado Chart

Tornado Bar chartThe purpose of this chart type is to show a direct comparison of different elements/categories of two distinct entities.  

Where to use:

  • Tender submission comparison

  • Personnel evaluation comparison

  • Product functionality comparison



Chart 4: Simple Bullet Chart

Simple Bullet ChartThe main aim of a bullet chart is to show:

  1. Trend of actual accomplishment

  2. Trend of target accomplishment

  3. Comparison of actual and target

In this example, the blank outline box shown is denoting the monthly target, while the solid bar is the actual achievement.


  • Sales target and fulfilment

  • Work progress target and fulfilment


Chart 5: Speedometer Chart

Speedometer ChartThis is a very useful chart for a dashboard type of data visualization. The chart shows the current level of a measurement item against a predefined zone.

In this example the needle is pointing to Green Zone which is the acceptable zone. This is a quick way to visualize several metrics that you would want to measure and to quickly identify problematic areas.

Where to use:

  • Dashboard component

  • Visualisation of actual versus target



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