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How can I describe results & statistics better in English?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Statistically speaking, there is a number of charts and graphs you could use while describing your results and statistics....

Do you have to present your yearly statistics or show last years results?

Let's discuss what types you can find and how to present them effectively in English. whatever the reason it's imperative to make it visual and interesting for the audience.

From Graphs, Charts & Diagrams, to Line Graphs and Bar Charts to name but a few,

they will surely help you cope with this task.

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. I will show you some 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.

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. 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. Pie charts are designed to visualise 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.

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

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.

A lot of presentations are focused on data and numbers. 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 memorise 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.

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

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 quotes to make your speech even more impressive.

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