Data makes the world go ‘round, but when it comes to delivering a persuasive presentation, collecting those convincing facts and figures is just half the battle. How you share your information matters just as much as the information itself, particularly in a day and age when social media has practically made passive audiences a thing of the past.
Presentation consultant Paul Radich says if you’re planning to share slides of bullet points and charts, your presentation is doomed from the start. No matter how compelling your data actually is, without a story to embed it in, its meaning will be lost on an audience with laptops and tablets and cellphones (and possibly naps) to attend to.
Creating a narrative out of data points might sound a little tricky, but Radich says it just takes tweaking the planning process a bit. Simply put, if you want to communicate your insights into the minds of your audience members, then it’s best to begin the whole planning process in the minds of your audience members. Rather than focusing on ourselves and our data in order to create a story, we need to focus on the people we’re presenting to. What is important to them? What’s challenging for them?
At the end of the day, people are far more motivated to solve an existing problem than they are to take advantage of a possible opportunity, so a good way to build a storyline is to think of common problems or challenges that can be remedied by your data and let these points of tension and release naturally evolve into an overarching narrative.
To hear directly from Paul on employing this this strategy — as well as his advice on common missteps, such as choosing the wrong type of chart or graph — check out our recent webinar below.