PodiumWise | Tips for advanced presentation skills

Traditionally, the vertical (y) axis of a graph is labeled vertically.  In other words, the label runs parallel to the axis.

In a printed document this is no problem.  The reader turns the document 90 degrees and reads the label.

The creators of PowerPoint kept this labeling convention even though the viewers of a projected graph cannot turn the screen 90 degrees.  They have to tilt their heads sideways to read the y-axis label.  It’s a rather silly thing to make an audience do.

Turning this text so that it is easily read is no big deal.  Every version of PowerPoint provides a way to rotate text.

What I find interesting is how hard it is to get presenters to make this change.  I suggest it to clients and they look at me as if I am suggesting something too radical to contemplate.   It’s a study in the power of convention.

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