Present sales reports in PowerPoint

If you're a salesperson, this situation is probably familiar: Your manager has asked you to present your sales numbers to a group, and you don't have a lot of time to prepare. Maybe you're already familiar with the richness of Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003 for presentations. But PowerPoint also offers great charting resources to help you present your data with style.

Getting your sales data into PowerPoint

For the following example, use the sales numbers in this table:

Sales data

There are three ways to create a chart in PowerPoint:

  • Manually insert your data into a PowerPoint sample chart
  • Import data from an existing Microsoft Office Excel worksheet into a PowerPoint sample chart
  • Copy an Excel chart into a presentation

 Note   If the sample datasheet is not visible as you follow these steps, double-click the chart on the slide. If you still don't see the datasheet, click Datasheet on the View menu or click the View DatasheetButton image button on the Standard toolbar.

Manually replace sample data

  1. On the Insert menu in PowerPoint, click Chart to open a sample chart and datasheet.
  2. To replace the sample data, click a cell on the datasheet, and then type the information you want. For example, you could type in the information in the preceding data sample.

The default sample data

PowerPoint chart and datasheet

  1. To return to the slide, click outside the chart.


Microsoft PowerPoint comes with slide layouts that include placeholders (placeholders: Boxes with dotted or hatch-marked borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) for charts. To create a new slide by using one of these layouts, click New Slide on the Insert menu, and then select one of the layouts that contains a chart placeholder.

Import data from an Excel worksheet

  1. On the Insert menu in PowerPoint, click Chart.
  2. Click the datasheet.
  3. If you want the imported data to begin at a cell other than the upper-left cell on the datasheet, select the cell you want.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Import File.
  5. Find the file you want to import, and double-click it.
  6. In the Import Data Options dialog box, select the sheet you want to import. You can import only one sheet.
  7. Do one of the following:
    • To import all the data on the worksheet, click Entire sheet under Import.
    • To import part of the data, click Range, and then type the range of data you want. For example, to import cells A1 through B5, type A1:B5 in the Range box. If the range is named, you can type the name instead of the range reference.
  8. If you selected a cell in step 3, clear the Overwrite existing cells check box.
  9. Click OK.

Here's your chart!

If you imported the sample data from an Excel worksheet, your PowerPoint slide looks like this:

PowerPoint chart and datasheet with sales data

If you need to change your data, you can do so in the Presentation1 – Datasheet, and the change is reflected in your chart.

Copy an Excel chart into a presentation

If you already have your chart in Excel, you can paste it directly into PowerPoint.

 Note   If you want to work with the data in your chart after pasting it into PowerPoint, you must choose Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object in step 5 of this procedure. If you don’t choose this option, you’ll be unable to add titles or animation to your chart, as discussed later in this article.

  1. In your Excel worksheet, select the information that you want to copy, and then on the Edit menu, click Copy.

 Note   If you copy the entire sheet, you will need to resize the embedded information after you paste it into PowerPoint.

  1. Switch to PowerPoint, and then click the slide or notes page on which you want to insert the cells.
  2. On the Edit menu in PowerPoint, click Paste Special.
  3. In the Paste Special dialog box, make sure the Paste option is selected.
  4. Do one of the following:
    • To paste the cells so that you can size and position them as you would a picture, click Picture (Enhanced Metafile).
    • To paste the cells as an embedded object that you can edit in Excel, click Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object.

Refining your PowerPoint chart

If you want to take your PowerPoint chart to the next level, you can add titles and even eye-catching animation. This section shows you how.

Add a title to a chart or axis

You want to add the following title to your chart: Sales Report for 2004.

  1. In PowerPoint, double-click the chart to which you want to add a title. The Chart menu becomes available on the PowerPoint menu bar.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Chart Options, and then click the Titles tab.
  3. To add a chart title, click in the Chart title box, and then type the title you want. In this case, type Sales Report for 2004.
  4. Click OK.
  5. To return to the slide, click outside the chart.

Sales Report for 2004

Add some animation to your chart

You can add some animation to your chart for dramatic effect. You can animate the chart as a whole or animate elements of the chart. In this case, you want to show the Sales against Projected sales for each quarter individually.

  1. In normal view, display the slide that has the chart you want, and then select the chart.

 Note   To switch to normal view, on the View menu click Normal.

  1. On the Slide Show menu, click Custom Animation to open the Custom Animation task pane.
  2. In the Custom Animation task pane, click the Add Effect down arrow, point to Entrance, and then click an effect. For this example, select 2. Box.

Customer Animation task pane

Note that PowerPoint previews the effect for you. If you want to see the effect again, click Play in the task pane.

  1. In the Custom Animation task pane, select the animation you applied to the chart, click the down arrow, and then click Effect Options.

Custom Animation task pane

  1. On the Chart Animation tab, in the Group Chart list, click By element in series.

Chart Animation tab

  1. Click OK.

Now, if you click Slide Show and click through the presentation, you’ll see the animation in real time.

 Note   Effects appear in the Custom Animation list (Custom Animation list: The list of animation sequences for a slide. Items are listed in the order in which they are added, and include icons that indicate timing in relation to other animation events.), top to bottom, in the order in which you apply them. If you add chart effect options, they will appear in a collapsed list under the effect that you applied to the chart. The animated items are noted on the slide by non-printing numbered tags that correlate to the effects in the list. These tags do not appear in the slide show view.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003