Presenting data. We've all been there. Done well, it can lead to genuine conversation, fresh ideas, and a memorable presentation. Done poorly, it can lead to a presentation that's hard to follow and even harder to sit through. And not only is a bad data presentation hard for the audience to endure, it's also unfortunate for the presenter, who took the time to build, prepare for, and present a message that likely isn't resonating.
Luckily, making sure you're presenting data effectively isn't a tough job. It just requires a shift in thinking. Here are some quick and easy tips to keep in mind:
1. Don’t use two figures to represent the same number
In order to avoid confusion you should try to be very straight forward with your stats. Don’t offer multiple figures to represent the same number. Chances are your audience will only remember one key fact - so pick the most important one.
2. Avoid back-to-back charts
Be sure to switch up the variety of your visuals to keep people engaged and curious. You wouldn’t have multiple slides with bullet points back to back, so you shouldn’t do it with charts. You risk losing the audience’s attention. Feel free to break up your data heavy slides with icons and pictures. Doing so forces your audience to pause and re-group.
Along that same vein, you should try to only show one chart at a time. You don’t want your audience spending time in their head trying to decipher your slides. The more data you put on a slide, the harder your audience has to work to comprehend your message, and the more distracted they will become. The last thing you want is your audience to tune you out.
Leave your visual up for a few minutes and tell a story
Don’t flip through your data too quickly. When you pull up a chart or visual, leave it up for a few minutes. This gives your audience a chance to really let the data message sink in. Explain what the chart says, then explain what it means for your audience. The longer you have your message up, the better chance you have of getting your audience to remember what you’re saying.
People may not remember the exact numbers you shared, but they will remember your story.
For more tips like these, hear what Infogram's Marisa Krystian has to say in the webinar below.