Creating a linear approach with a distinct start and end is simple.  Just piece  together a number of chevrons.  But, how about a circular approach PowerPoint diagram?

There are a number of ways to do this in PowerPoint.  I’ll teach you the easiest method in this PowerPoint tutorial.

First, let’s gather the shapes.  To create a simple circular approach diagram, you need at least 4 shapes.

  1. A large circle. This will be the outer edge of your diagram.  You need to set both a border color and fill color.
  2. A small circle. This will be the inner of your PowerPoint diagram.  Set the fill color to white.
  3. An arrow. Set the border and fill colors to the same as your larger circle
  4. A line. Set this line’s color to be the same as the diagram’s fill color.

See the diagram below.

Now, let’s piece the shapes together to form the PowerPoint diagram.  See the final creation below to visualize how the pieces fit together.  Remember, to resize a shape to the pixel, hold down the ALT key.

Note how the line is used to cover up the base edge of the arrow AutoShape.  To create additional segments in your diagram, just take the arrow+line (i.e. shapes 3 and 4).  Group them, replicate, rotate, and re-position.  Simple as that.

The downside to this method of creating a circular approach is you cannot highlight a particular segment with a different color.  On, we have a full PowerPoint Diagrams Pack around Circular Approach and Force Diagrams (

Here are some fancier circular approach diagrams.

Questions, thoughts, concerns?  Go to my site ( and shoot me an email.

You can download a free PowerPoint plugin called Flevy Tools that creates commonly used consulting diagrams here:  Flevy Tools allows you to dynamically generate Gantt Charts, Harvey Ball diagrams, approach diagrams, and other diagrams.  For the time being, it’s a completely free download.

For pre-made PowerPoint diagrams used in business presentations, browse our library here:  These diagrams were professionally designed by management consultants. Give your presentations the look and feel of a final product made by McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Booz Allen, Deloitte, or any of the top consulting firms.

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4 Responses to PowerPointing – How to Create a Circular Approach Diagram in PowerPoint

  1. [...] how to create that?  If not, just take a refresher at this tutorial: Circular Approach PowerPoint Diagram.  The only downside this method of constructing circular approach diagrams is that you can’t [...]

  2. Flor says:

    This page truly has all the information I wanted about this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  3. This is awesome stuff! Really appreciate you for sharing this out. Now when next time I need a circular approach for my presentation I know how to get that.
    Thanks for sharing this article
    authorSTREAM Team

  4. Gregor Shapiro says:

    A triangle (or custom shape) might be better than an arrow because the arrow’s straight shaft will cause a jagged kink.
    To animate the arrow turning I suggest making a shape (just about anything will do – I usually just use a copy that I change the property of) that is positioned diametrically opposite the arrowhead and that has transparent line and transparent fill, Group the transparent object with the visible group [arrowhead) and apply the animation “Spin”. Note if you set a custom amount of spin (setting a number of degrees) you MUST leave the field with the degrees with Enter and the Tab key- (this is an old bug in PowerPoint).
    The transparent shifted group is to get the rotation center in the right place.

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