Making Effective Presentations To Communicate Your Data

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Storytelling with relevant data can help you create presentations that can influence masses. Your data has a story to tell, data visualization has become a pivotal part of presentations today. Be it presenting sales figures, business statistics to research findings, large amounts of data is everywhere to be displayed to the audience. Data visualization is the key to communicate your data during presentations since it makes the process functional as well as attractive to viewers. It is the visualization of information which adds an extra dimension for a better understanding of the subject matter. Information, when presented, effectively helps presenters build trust with their audience. 

Often comes a time when tailoring your data to the audience’s understanding seems cumbersome. Striking the right balance is important between not overwhelming the viewers with number jargons and not compromising the key points. There is a big emphasis on ‘Big Data’ by organizations around the world. Data scientists, for instance, deal with a plethora of numbers. Since everyone doesn’t speak the same language, what a data scientist or architect understands might be unintelligible for the ordinary audience. Storytelling backed by data, visuals and text is your way out to expressive and successful presentations. You can also use visual-rich Microsoft PowerPoint templates to get the job done. Let’s move ahead and understand how to create compelling PowerPoint presentations to communicate your data.

Understand your audience:

Before you jump into creating slides for your data-driven presentation, you should analyse your audience. Your audience can be internal or external. The purpose of a presentation might vary significantly according to the type of your audience. Internal audience generally comprises managers, architects and executives amidst an organization. The goal here is to communicate data and information to update them about business activities, initiatives or developments. On the other end of the spectrum, you have an external audience. These can be your company’s clients, potential leads or someone who does not know the internal processes. 

The goal here is to win confidence and build a relationship. Here, your presentation needs to be rich in promotional and sales-oriented content. The way you or the other executives understand the growth numbers might be very different from that of your clients’. Your presentation should encompass numbers in an easy-to-understand and comprehensive manner. Including audience-specific data can guide decision-makers in making the right choices. Where a presentation for the internal audience will contain more technical jargons, the external audience presentation should be engaging, intuitive and influencing.

Include Infographics:

According to an MIT report, a human brain can comprehend an image which is seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Infographics are visually attractive, easy to understand & helps in increasing the brand awareness. It’s one of the most viral forms of digital communication in current times. You can project analytical data and numbers through infographics and keep your readers interested. Infographics make it easy for your viewers to remember the information. 

You can easily showcase your numbers and at the same time, increase your brand’s awareness amidst your audience. You can also present key and specific parts of a bigger dataset with pictograms and indicators. One of the primary reasons to inculcate infographics in your presentation is to reduce the complexity of data. Your audience won’t appreciate slides overwhelmed with lines and lines of information. Infographics help you reduce the slide bounce rate and enables your audience to consume more content in a reader-friendly manner. 

Charts and graphs are imperative:

Visuals fill the void that words can’t. Charts and graphs can provide an array of benefits to you. It’s one of the quickest mediums of conveying information. You can seamlessly bring your audience aboard by providing them information about comparisons, trends and findings. Providing a bird’s eye view of data to them is critical. It is only then that your viewers can understand, comprehend and draw conclusions based on data. People in your presentation who are not versed with numerical analysis can find it easy to understand charts & graphs.

While creating charts for your slides, you should make use of good chart etiquette. Using meaningful labels, colours and separators are all important for crisp and clear information delivery. Every element in your chart or graph should have a meaning. When you use a diverse set of colours, styles and labels for highlighting chart elements, it clarifies your point in unimaginable ways. For instance, by using Harvey balls, you can give an extra boost to data visualization. It is only then that your presentation can woo key decision-makers for your idea, product or company, as a whole. It is the job of your presentation to enhance the decision-making process for your audience which might comprise managers and executives.

Practise storytelling:

For crafting an effective story, apart from exhorting the numbers, your presentation should also combine data, visuals and text as a whole. Data alone can’t suffice for your presentation. It’d be difficult for others to read, interpret and understand the data. Storytelling comes into play since a good story is easier to follow. Not only it’ll help your audience arrive at the key points faster, but it’ll also help them discover fresh insights about the data. Whatever the data, be it profits, expenses, revenues or cash flows, adding simple notes or comments on the slides can add an extra dimension of insight for your audience.

Stories are simply very engaging. There is a reason why public speakers often begin their presentations with stories. Be it a sales pitch, an advert or a presentation, storytelling can help you retain your audience’s attention for a long time. People will only trust you once they start relating to your story. For that, you’ll have to create a presentation based on principles of storytelling and work for them. Through storytelling, your audience will be able to get a better understanding of your organization’s current position, past events and possible future developments.

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