Examining the similarities and differences between two or more things is an important element of many presentations.
For example, an entrepreneur pitching her startup’s unique selling propositions might compare her product’s features and benefits with those of her top competitor.
In a discussion of political candidates, a presenter might evaluate each one’s stand on some major issues, to help his audience make an informed decision.
Occasionally you’ll see some presenter make such a “compare-and-contrast” presentation using only textual slides – the two elements being compared are just written out on a slide or slides, connected by “versus” or “as compared to” or some other comparative word or phrase. While this is probably better than nothing, you can use visual elements to make far faster, easier-to-grasp comparisons. Here are a few of the most common:
Venn Diagrams consist of two or more interconnected shapes (usually circles) that show relationships between or among the people, groups, or other items being compared. Intersections between two circles indicate factors both have in common.
Charts and Graphs
Graphs and charts work well for comparing quantitative information. The right type of graph to choose depends on what you’re trying to show. Are you comparing changes over a specific period? Use column, bar, or line charts. Do you want to compare component of a whole? Consider using a pie, area or waterfall chart. For plotting the distribution of date, look to scatter plot, line, or bar charts.
Head to Jami Oetting’s Data Visualization 101 for an in-depth explanation of different types of charts and graphs for data analysis and presentation.
Another type of graphic representation is the continuum: a line with two contrasting factors at its opposite ends. Between these points are stages arranged in a progressive sequence. A continuum is best suited for showing a gradual transition between two extremes. Below you can see an example – a continuum of leadership behavior taken from one of our slide decks in the Themed Slides category. For more examples, check out DoItNow.com’s range of alcohol consumption behavior, and TheQuietWisdom’s personality continuum scale.
Tables and Matrices
A table or matrix is another effective tool for differentiating two or more items. Many websites use this graphic organizer to compare membership plans, service inclusions, and product features. To build a table, you first determine the items to be compared, decide on the features or attributes you wish to include, and then fill in the table’s cells with the appropriate information.
Want to go beyond the traditional diagrams and graphs we’ve covered so far? Consider building an infographic! They have become increasingly popular over the past few years, and with good reason – they combine visual appeal and interesting morsels of information, drawing the viewer in to explore the subject. A cleverly constructed infographic can quickly and clearly make a point in a memorable way, with a minimum of text. Below you can see a couple of excellent examples.
More Comparison Slides
Our Comparison Slide Deck features a variety of templates to help you make your comparisons more vivid, more clear, and easier to grasp. Your audiences will thank you – and compare your presentations favorably with others they’ve seen.