Today, we have a guest blogger. Elyssa is an editor and project manager at Brainstorm, a leading provider of online and onsite software training and one of our partners that provides customized content for your Productivity Hub.

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If you are a preparing a presentation with a lot of numerical data, one way to make it much more visually interesting is to represent that data with an appropriate chart. Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 has a number of different images—including line, pie, and bar charts—that will display your data in a way that engages and makes sense to audience members. And when you are ready to create your chart, PowerPoint will link to an Excel worksheet where you can easily enter the data.

Here’s what to do:

1. Click the Insert tab and locate the Illustrations command group on the Ribbon. There, click Chart. This will bring up dozens of chart choices.

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2. Select the chart that best suits your data, and double-click to insert it in the slide. An Excel worksheet will open.

3. The worksheet provides placeholder data for your chart. You can type your data in the appropriate areas to create a chart representing your numbers.

4. When you finish, you can minimize the Excel window to return to your PowerPoint presentation. Click, hold, and drag the chart to adjust its position in the slide.

Charts are often superior to slides cluttered with numbers that might not immediately make sense to your audience. So punch up that presentation with a chart that visually illustrates your point. Watch a free, short training video on this topic by BrainStorm.

Elyssa