When telling a story with data, a pre­sen­ter will have a few sets of data to show the audi­ence and then only speak about a par­tic­u­lar series or data point. Instead of just show­ing one chart on screen, let’s use the “focus chart” tech­nique to zero in on what the pre­sen­ter is focus­ing on in a few sim­ple steps.  

Here we have a col­umn chart in which the speaker is talk­ing about TRP’s client dis­tri­b­u­tion by gen­er­a­tion. The whole talk cen­ters around how promi­nent the baby boomer gen­er­a­tion is. 

To drive the point home, instead of using the data as-is, as the speaker is talk­ing, it would be nice to high­light only a cou­ple data points. To do that, we will ani­mate a sec­ond copy of this chart over the first and edit its appear­ance a bit. 

  1. First, to make sure I’m select­ing the proper item, I’m going to show my selec­tion pane which you can access from the HOME tab.  
  2. Copy and paste the chart. In the selec­tion pane, I name the chart in front “focus chart” and then make sure that the other chart is imme­di­ately below it. (While this step isn’t nec­es­sary, I find it keeps me orga­nized in the long run. )
  3. Next, with both the orig­i­nal and focus charts selected, I make sure to top- and left-align them so it looks like only one chart is on the slide.  
  4. To keep the type on the slide crisp and read­able, in the focus chart, delete the title, leg­end, any data points, and axis labels. You may have to re-adjust your plot area. 

Now let’s recolor the data points to focus on the baby boomer columns.  

  1. Sin­gle click two times on a data point to select it and change the fill color to gray. Which gray is depen­dent on which tem­plate you’re using.  
  2. Make all of the data points gray except for the ones you’re focus­ing on. 
  3. Finally, ani­mate the focus chart to fade in “on click” so that the speaker can con­trol the tim­ing of the focus

And there you go. A sim­ple way to help the audi­ence focus on what is most relevant.

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