How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (2022)

Do you have to give a presentation? But do you know how to make it attractive to your listeners attractive to your listeners? Charts, graphs, and diagrams can help you cope with this task.

This kind of visual content helps your audience see what you are talking about. That’s why it’s so important to understand the way it works and know how to describe, charts, tables, and graphs correctly. You will also need this skill to be able to complete one of the IELTS tasks, which is usually to describe and discuss a diagram or any other visuals with figures and facts.

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And now let’s see some useful words used to describe graphs and charts.

You might also be interested to read our article on 63 must-know business presentation phrases.

Why do you need to use charts, graphs, and diagrams

A lot of presentations are focused on data and numbers. Sounds boring, right? Apart from essential business presentation phrases, charts, graphs, and diagrams can also help you draw and keep the attention of your listeners. Add them to your presentation, and you will have a profound evidence-based work.

When it comes to presenting and explaining data charts, graphs, and diagrams, you should help people understand and memorize at least the main points from them. As to the use cases, diagrams and other visuals perfectly fit for describing trends, making a comparison or showing relationships between two or more items. In other words, you take your data and give it a visual comprehensible form.

What is better to choose

There are so many different types of charts, diagrams, and graphs that it becomes difficult to choose the right one. The chart options in your spreadsheet program can also greatly puzzle.

When should you use a flow chart? Can you apply a diagram to presenting a trend? Is a bar chart useful for showing sales data? To figure out what to select, you must have a good understanding of the specific features of each type.

The rest of this article will show examples of different types of presentation visuals and explain in detail how to describe charts and diagrams.

Graphs, Charts & Diagrams

Data can be represented in many ways. The 4 main types of graphs are a bar graph or bar chart, line graph, pie chart, and diagram.

(Video) How to talk about charts and graphs in English (advanced English lessons)

Bar graphs are used to show relationships between different data series that are independent of each other. In this case, the height or length of the bar indicates the measured value or frequency. Below, you can see the example of a bar graph which is the most widespread visual for presenting statistical data.

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (1)

Line graphs represent how data has changed over time. This type of charts is especially useful when you want to demonstrate trends or numbers that are connected. For example, how sales vary within one year. In this case, financial vocabulary will come in handy. Besides, line graphs can show dependencies between two objects during a particular period.

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (2)

Pie charts are designed to visualize how a whole is divided into various parts. Each segment of the pie is a particular category within the total data set. In this way, it represents a percentage distribution.

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (3)

Diagram is a plan, drawing, or outline created to illustrate how separate parts work and overlap at the connecting points.

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (4)

How to begin a description

Once you create a fascinating graph for your presentation, it is time to know how to describe graphs, charts, and diagrams. To catch your audience’s attention from the very beginning, you can use the following phrases for introduction:

  • Let me show you this bar graph…
  • Let’s turn to this diagram…
  • I’d like you to look at this map…
  • If you look at this graph, you will notice…
  • Let’s have a look at this pie chart…
  • If you look at this line chart, you will understand…
  • To illustrate my point, let’s look at some charts…

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (5)

Prepare to speak confidently

(Video) IELTS Writing Task 1: How to describe BAR GRAPHS

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How to describe diagrams and other visuals: naming the parts

To describe diagrams or any other type of graphs as clearly as possible, you should name each visual element. For example:

  • The vertical axis shows…
  • The horizontal axis represents…
  • This curve illustrates…
  • The solid line shows…
  • The shaded area describes…
  • This colored segment is for…
  • The red bar…

How to describe bar graphs

Bar graphs transform the data into separate bars or columns. Generally, this type of visuals have categories on the x-axis and the numbers on the y-axis. So, you can compare statistical data between different groups.

The bar graphs show which category is the largest and which is the smallest one. Each group should be independent so that the changes in one do not influence others. The bars or columns can be drawn either vertically or horizontally, as it doesn’t make any difference.

The words used to describe bar chart are pretty similar to ones used for the line charts. Let’s have a look at the exam question to IELTS writing test, as it’s one of the major English-language tests for non-native English speakers in the world:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (6)

And here is an excellent example of writing about bar graphs prepared by the British Council as an answer to this exam question. You can also use the following vocabulary to talk about bar charts used in your presentation:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (7)

How to describe line graphs

Now, when you know how to describe bar charts, what about line graphs? This type of charts converts information into points on a grid that is connected with a line to represent trends, changes, or relationship between objects, numbers, dates, etc. These lines show movement over time affected by the increase or decrease in the key factors.

To express the movement of the line, you should use appropriate verbs, adjectives, and adverbs depending on the kind of action you need to show. For this, you should use the following vocabulary:

Verbs: rise, increase, grow, go up to, climb, boom, peak, fall, decline, decrease, drop, dip, go down, reduce, level up, remain stable, no change, remain steady, stay constant, stay, maintain the same level, crash, collapse, plunge, plummet.

Adjectives: sharp, rapid, huge, dramatic, substantial, considerable, significant, slight, small, minimal, massive.

(Video) Business English - describing trends in bar charts and graphs - IELTS

Adverbs: dramatically, rapidly, hugely, massive, sharply, steeply, considerably, substantially, significantly, slightly, minimally, markedly.

There is also a list of adverbs to describe the speed of a change: rapidly, quickly, swiftly, suddenly, steadily, gradually, slowly.

Want to expand your business vocabulary to create winning presentations? Read our new article “50 Essential Business Presentation Phrases for Better Performance.”

To help you understand how you can use these words in your presentation speech, pay attention to the sample of a line chart with the exam question for IELTS:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (8)

The appropriate vocabulary below will help you understand how to describe such charts:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (9)

How to describe pie charts

The pie chart is primarily used to illustrate how different parts make up a whole. The best way to present your data in a pie chart is to compare the categories with each other. The following comparison words can be used interchangeably:

  • to compare
  • compared to
  • as opposed to
  • versus
  • more than
  • the majority of
  • only a small monitory
  • greater than
  • less than

Here we have an example of a pie chart that represents how internet users aged 16+ prefer to browse the web:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (10)This example demonstrates the best way to summarize data by selecting and reporting the main features:

How to describe charts, graphs, and diagrams in the presentation (11)

Final words

Before creating charts for your presentations, determine what data you’re going to show and design the visuals tailored to your audience. Keep them as simple as possible. Charts, graphs, and diagrams should explain themselves. Use the words and their multiple synonyms mentioned in this article to describe your graphs and help your listeners understand the importance of your data. And don’t forget to add an inspiring quote to make your speech even more impressive.

(Video) Graphs and Charts in PowerPoint Presentations

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FAQ about how to describe charts & graphs

How do you describe a bar graph?

Bar graphs divide the data into separate bars and lets you track progress over time. To describe the graph, follow the trend from left to right and describe if it does down, up, or stays the same.

How do you describe a line graph?

A line graph plots data in a single line over time. To describe the graph, follow it’s progress along the horizontal access and describe whether it goes down, up, or stays the same.

How do you describe a pie chart?

A pie chart divides data into separate sections to show which individual parts make up the whole. To describe the chart, compare each “slice” of the chart to the others to determine what share of the total each category has.

(Video) Describing a Chart or Graph in English - How to Develop English Fluency and Speaking Confidence

FAQs

How do you describe graphs charts and diagrams in the presentation? ›

When it comes to presenting and explaining data charts, graphs, and diagrams, you should help people understand and memorize at least the main points from them. As to the use cases, diagrams and other visuals perfectly fit for describing trends, making a comparison or showing relationships between two or more items.

How do you describe charts? ›

A chart is a graphical representation for data visualization, in which "the data is represented by symbols, such as bars in a bar chart, lines in a line chart, or slices in a pie chart". A chart can represent tabular numeric data, functions or some kinds of quality structure and provides different info.

What is chart graph and diagram? ›

Meaning. A graph is a chart used to show the mathematical relationship between varied data sets by plotting horizontal (X-axis) and vertical (Y-axis). A chart represents information that can be in the form of a diagram, table, or graph. It comprises various methods for presenting large information. Subset.

How do you introduce a graph in an essay? ›

How to effectively insert charts and graphs in an essay?
  1. Label the chart. Always include a caption under your chart. ...
  2. Mention the chart in the text. Reference the chart before introducing an essay. ...
  3. Cite charts that obtained from different sources. ...
  4. Using meaningful titles.
18 Jul 2021

How do you describe a bar graph example? ›

A bar chart is a graph with rectangular bars. The graph usually compares different categories. Although the graphs can be plotted vertically (bars standing up) or horizontally (bars laying flat from left to right), the most usual type of bar graph is vertical.

How do you describe a bar chart in a presentation? ›

A bar chart is a chart with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent. The bars can be plotted vertically or horizontally. Bar charts can be used to show comparisons among categories. The bar chart below shows how the average U.S. diet compares with recommended dietary percentages.

How can use charts as an effective way describe? ›

The main functions of a chart are to display data and invite further exploration of a topic. Charts are used in situations where a simple table won't adequately demonstrate important relationships or patterns between data points.

How do you comment on a graph shape? ›

The four ways to describe shape are whether it is symmetric, how many peaks it has, if it is skewed to the left or right, and whether it is uniform. A graph with a single peak is called unimodal. A single peak over the center is called bell-shaped. And, a graph with two peaks is called bimodal.

How do you describe trends and graphs? ›

Describing language of a graph
  • UP: increase / rise / grow / went up / soar / double / multiply / climb / exceed /
  • DOWN: decrease / drop / fall / decline / plummet / halve / depreciate / plunge.
  • UP & DOWN: fluctuate / undulated / dip /
  • SAME: stable (stabilised) / levelled off / remained constant or steady / consistent.

How do you describe a graph that goes up and down? ›

Small changes up and down are called 'fluctuations'.
...
Line Graphs.
increasedecrease
climbdrop
developfall
3 more rows
7 Jul 2014

What is the main purpose of graph and chart? ›

Graphs are a common method to visually illustrate relationships in the data. The purpose of a graph is to present data that are too numerous or complicated to be described adequately in the text and in less space. Do not, however, use graphs for small amounts of data that could be conveyed succinctly in a sentence.

Why are charts and graphs important? ›

Graphs and charts condense large amounts of information into easy-to-understand formats that clearly and effectively communicate important points.

What are the uses of diagrams and graphs in communication? ›

Graphs, diagrams and charts can help your reader to understand your findings and see how they compare with other data.

How do you describe tables and figures? ›

Tables are made up of rows and columns and the cells usually have numbers in them (but may also have words or images). Figures refer to any visual elements—graphs, charts, diagrams, photos, etc. —that are not Tables.

How do you introduce tables and figures? ›

Referring to Tables and Figures in MLA Style. Introduce the table in the text first. Throughout the paper, you will number figures and tables consecutively, each in its own group, for example: "Figure 1, Table 1, Table 2, Figure 2, Figure 3, Figure 4, Table 3…" Use the label and the number.

How do you write a description of a figure? ›

Figures should be labeled with a number followed by a descriptive caption or title. Captions should be concise but comprehensive. They should describe the data shown, draw attention to important features contained within the figure, and may sometimes also include interpretations of the data.

How do you describe a table chart? ›

A table chart is nothing but another way to present information. The table contains words, numbers, or a combination of both displayed in boxes or columns. It illustrates a set of facts and the association between them. Moreover, there can be a single table or a combination of two.

How do you describe a bar chart vocabulary? ›

A Bar Graph (or Bar Chart) represents categorical data with comparison. A Bar Graph can be horizontal or vertical while plotting. In general, you find rectangular bars with lengths or heights. In simple terms, IELTS bar graph represents a diagrammatic comparison of distinct variables.

How do you describe a bar graph in English? ›

Bar chart or graph is a chart or graph that presents categorical data with rectangular bars.

How do you comment on a line graph? ›

In a line graph we have to express the trend or tendency of each line. If we have to indicate an upward movement, we can say: raise, increase, progress, extend, expand, growth, reach a peak, … If the upward tendency raises in a short period of time, we can describe it as: skyrocket, boom, jump, grow dramatically….

How do you describe a pie chart example? ›

A pie chart is a circle that is divided into areas, or slices. Each slice represents the count or percentage of the observations of a level for the variable. Pie charts are often used in business.

What are the benefits of using charts in a presentation? ›

Advantages
  • show each data category in a frequency distribution.
  • display relative numbers or proportions of multiple categories.
  • summarize a large data set in visual form.
  • clarify trends better than do tables.
  • estimate key values at a glance.
  • permit a visual check of the accuracy and reasonableness of calculations.
6 May 2022

What steps did you take to make the chart descriptive? ›

What step did you take to make the chart descriptive? Removing the dates from the chart Adding a title to the chart Converting the bar chart to a pie chart Changing the color of the chart.

Why is it important to use graph in presenting a data? ›

Graphs and charts are effective visual tools because they present information quickly and easily. It is not surprising then, that graphs are commonly used by print and electronic media. Sometimes, data can be better understood when presented by a graph than by a table because the graph can reveal a trend or comparison.

How do you describe the shape of a distribution? ›

The distribution shape of quantitative data can be described as there is a logical order to the values, and the 'low' and 'high' end values on the x-axis of the histogram are able to be identified. The distribution shape of a qualitative data cannot be described as the data are not numeric.

How do you read graph functions? ›

How To: Given a graph, use the vertical line test to determine if the graph represents a function. Inspect the graph to see if any vertical line drawn would intersect the curve more than once. If there is any such line, the graph does not represent a function.

How do you describe the results of a histogram? ›

A histogram shows how frequently a value falls into a particular bin. The height of each bar represents the number of values in the data set that fall within a particular bin. When the y-axis is labeled as "count" or "number", the numbers along the y-axis tend to be discrete positive integers.

How do you write a paragraph for a graph? ›

Writing about Graphs: Overview
  1. Underline key words. Write related words – turn nouns into verbs, verbs into nouns, adjectives into adverbs, etc. ...
  2. Circle and highlight the graph. Use arrows. ...
  3. Identify trends. A trend is the overall idea of the graph.
  4. While You Write: Some Don'ts.

How do you describe multiple lines on a graph? ›

A multiple line graph is a line graph that is plotted with two or more lines. It is used to depict two or more variables that change over the same period of time. The independent variable is usually on the horizontal axis, while the 2 or more dependent variables are on the vertical axis.

How do you describe a bar chart in a presentation? ›

A bar chart is a chart with rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the values that they represent. The bars can be plotted vertically or horizontally. Bar charts can be used to show comparisons among categories. The bar chart below shows how the average U.S. diet compares with recommended dietary percentages.

How do you describe a graph in an essay? ›

General Guidelines
  1. Keep the description as short as possible.
  2. Consider both the content and the function of the figure. ...
  3. Make the first sentence a 'title' less than 125 characters long.
  4. Go from general to more specific details.
  5. Use the same writing style and terminology as the main text.
17 Aug 2019

What is the importance of charts and graphics in providing information? ›

Charts and graphs help to express complex data in a simple format. They can add value to your presentations and meetings, improving the clarity and effectiveness of your message. There are many chart and graph formats to choose from.

How graph is described in ielts? ›

Steps: How to write IELTS Line Graphs

Put all main trends in an overview statement – this should be contained in one paragraph. do not divide your key points into different paragraphs. Make sure you include the main increases and decreases shown.

How do you comment on a graph shape? ›

The four ways to describe shape are whether it is symmetric, how many peaks it has, if it is skewed to the left or right, and whether it is uniform. A graph with a single peak is called unimodal. A single peak over the center is called bell-shaped. And, a graph with two peaks is called bimodal.

How do you describe a graph that goes up and down? ›

Small changes up and down are called 'fluctuations'.
...
Line Graphs.
increasedecrease
climbdrop
developfall
3 more rows
7 Jul 2014

How do you describe tables and figures? ›

Tables are made up of rows and columns and the cells usually have numbers in them (but may also have words or images). Figures refer to any visual elements—graphs, charts, diagrams, photos, etc. —that are not Tables.

How do you write a description of a figure? ›

Figures should be labeled with a number followed by a descriptive caption or title. Captions should be concise but comprehensive. They should describe the data shown, draw attention to important features contained within the figure, and may sometimes also include interpretations of the data.

How do you describe a bar chart vocabulary? ›

A Bar Graph (or Bar Chart) represents categorical data with comparison. A Bar Graph can be horizontal or vertical while plotting. In general, you find rectangular bars with lengths or heights. In simple terms, IELTS bar graph represents a diagrammatic comparison of distinct variables.

What is the purpose of graphical presentation? ›

Graphic visual representation of information is a crucial component in understanding and identifying patterns and trends in the ever increasing flow of data. Graphical representation enables the quick analysis of large amounts of data at one time and can aid in making predictions and informed decisions.

What is the importance of understanding charts and graphs? ›

Graphs and charts are important because they help an audience to quickly analyze data and see relationships. They help to simplify data so that the audience can easily understand and remember it.

How important is the graph in presenting a data? ›

Graphs and charts are effective visual tools because they present information quickly and easily. It is not surprising then, that graphs are commonly used by print and electronic media. Sometimes, data can be better understood when presented by a graph than by a table because the graph can reveal a trend or comparison.

How do you describe a table chart? ›

A table chart is nothing but another way to present information. The table contains words, numbers, or a combination of both displayed in boxes or columns. It illustrates a set of facts and the association between them. Moreover, there can be a single table or a combination of two.

Videos

1. DESCRIBING GRAPHS IN ENGLISH 📊 | Great for IELTS, TOEFL, or Business Presentations
(Interactive English)
2. How to Learn English: Describing Charts and Graphs
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3. IELTS Writing task 1: Bar chart lesson
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4. How to easily explain graphs and charts in a presentation
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5. How to Describe a Graph - Business English lesson
(Roxana Pascariu)
6. Best Tricks to Describe a Bar Graph for 79+
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