Whether you’re looking to tell better data stories or want to improve the look of your charts, PowerPoint is a powerful and often misused tool. When you understand how to use PowerPoint’s features, you can unleash its true potential as an information design tool.

Directed by Adam Frost and Tobias Sturt from leading creative agency Add Two, this interactive course will cover all aspects of the presentation process, starting with finding and structuring your story, then examining how to design your charts and maps, and finally exploring how data stories can. be enhanced with iconography, illustration and photography.

Practical exercises are a key part of this course. You will be encouraged to bring your own data and presentations to work on, although sample materials are also provided. At the end of the course, you will have your own finished and beautifully designed deck, along with a variety of modifiable models that you can reuse for future projects.

Course content:

  • An introduction to the principles of data visualization

  • Using Copy in PowerPoint

  • Structure a story on a deck

  • PowerPoint as a design tool

  • An understanding of the PowerPoint graphics library

  • Create nontraditional charts in PowerPoint

  • How to use iconography, illustration and photography

  • Help tools and further reading

This course is for …

Please note that although you do not need any specific technical expertise to participate in this course, your learning experience will be richer if you have a basic understanding of the basic functionality of Excel and PowerPoint.

Week 1: The basics

  • PowerPoint as a storytelling tool – dividing your story between words, visuals and onscreen text

  • Guided tour of the main PowerPoint design features: selection, classification, grouping, positioning.

  • Take a tour of PowerPoint’s charting functionality

  • Set up PowerPoint templates and why they are important. Establish palettes, fonts, layout types.

Week 2: The essentials of the storytelling

  • Principles of storytelling, cognitive load and wireframing

  • Principles of Creating Charts: Matching Story Type to Chart Type

  • Creating standard charts in Powerpoint

  • Using colors in graphics

Week 3: Advanced data narration

Week 4: Visual improvements

  • Work with SVGs and external tools

  • Maps in PowerPoint

  • Photography, iconography and illustration

  • Constructions and animations

  • Tips for testing and rehearsing

Tutor profiles

Adam frost was previously responsible for data visualization at the Guardian’s digital agency. He is now content director at Add Two, an agency specializing in data visualization. His work has been published in The Guardian, New Statesman, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. Adam has also produced infographics and interactive elements for a range of public and private sector clients including the Department of Education, Google and Unilever.

Tobias Sturt was Chief Creative Officer at The Guardian’s digital agency and is now Creative Director of Add Two. He’s been working in digital storytelling for almost two decades using all kinds of media, from the web and TV to games and computer graphics.

You will receive a link to the webinar 2 hours before the start time of 2 p.m. (GMT)


Dated: Four consecutive Thursdays, from Thursday February 24, 2022 to Thursday March 17, 2022
2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (GMT)
Price: £ 499 (plus booking fee)

2:00 p.m. GMT | 3:00 p.m. CET | 6:00 am PST | 9:00 am EST

This masterclass is available worldwide. If you are joining us from outside the UK, please use this time zone converter to check your local live broadcast time.

Guardian Masterclass Information

To contact us, click here. The terms and conditions can be found here.

By registering for this masterclass, you are helping to support the Guardian, and it allows us to keep our quality reporting open to everyone.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible – but please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Return policy
Once the purchase is complete, we will not be able to refund you if you are not present or if you cancel your event reservation. Please see our terms and conditions for more information on our refund policy.

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