How to Build a Story with Data

It's no secret that data is one of the most powerful ways to convey a message to audience members. From statistics to infographics, there are endless ways to share your story. However, data is only as powerful as it is clear; if your audience cannot understand the implications of your numbers, your point is lost. Here are 3 ways to best present your data to any audience, from boardroom pitches to conference calls.

1. Know Your Audience

To give a successful presentation, you have to know what message you want your audience to receive. To do this, an understanding of your audience's goals, knowledge, and expertise is key necessary. When pitching data to your audience, be aware of who they are; this will allow you to illustrate how the numbers relate to them specifically, and encourage audience engagement. From there, you will be able to choose the most relevant vessel for your specific data.

2. Choose Your Vessel

Now that you have gathered the relevant data for your audience, it is time to decide what vessel is the most effective to communicate these numbers. From a visually-appealing infographic to an interactive activity, there are a plethora of ways to communicate your data. This step is a crucial part of the presentation-design process, as choosing the correct vessel for your data gives your information the strongest chance of positive reception.

3. Specify Your Data Type

Along with identifying the best vessel for your data, clarifying the type of data you wish to communicate is another central aspect of successful data visualization. Whether your numbers are qualitative or quantitative, research-based or experience-gathered, it is essential to identify the characteristics of your data. From there, you are ready to design a successful data visualization for your killer presentation!

Looking for more tips and tricks on how to present well? Check out our Dog and Pony Show blog post on how to master eye contact while presenting!