Spreadsheets

Although usually thought of in terms of finances, spreadsheets may prove to be extremely useful when making presentations. Audiovisual materials always keep the interest of the audience, and a spreadsheet may help you to make a point in a more forceful manner.

If you decide to use spreadsheets for presentations, the first step is to decide what information you want to convey and then decide the best way to convey it. Several office programs have spreadsheet features. Two of the best known are Excel and Lotus, but there are many others that may prove to be useful to you. Providing you know how to use the program, go ahead and open a new spreadsheet and enter your data. If you are not familiar with the program, it may be a good idea to purchase or check out a book or DVD that will explain how to use the program. It is better to have some directions than to try to learn as you go, although using the “Help” bar is always a good idea.

One of the best features of spreadsheets is that they will sort information for you. Once you have decided the information that you need, you can enter it in any order. This makes your job much easier.

Always be sure to save your material even if you are just starting. Don’t leave the computer and walk in the other room without hitting the Save button. It is too easy to lose information. If you decide to use a spreadsheet in your presentation, make sure that the appropriate equipment is available and that it works. It is a good idea to try it out ahead of time.