One way to cover up poor growth numbers is to break the vertical axis of a column chart and start it at a high number. It is even PowerPoint's default, see the chart that comes out when entering, 1000, 1001, 1002, 1003 and 1004. 

Screenshot 2016-09-21 08.42.19.png

The smart audience will instantly recognise it and discount your ethics. "If she is trying to cover up this one, there must be other skeletons in the closet inside the deck as well, better start looking for them."

The best option in these situations might be to stay honest. Maybe show a table of numbers rather than a column chart that stays flat. Maybe break down your sales by subsegment, and show that there are promising products out there that can contribute to future growth.

When you use my presentation app SlideMagic, you will notice that it is actually not possible to break the vertical axis.

Image from WikiPedia

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