How to make data heavy presentations less boring

Unfortunately not every presentation is a scintillating TED talk or something that rivets you to your seat. For the vast majority of us our presentations revolve around delivering status reports, operational data and a whole host of other facts and figures that don’t leave our audiences begging for more.

The sad truth is data heavy presentations can be boring! But the good news is they don’t have to be.

Your presentation may have facts, figures and data that your audience really needs to see. But how can you make your facts, figures and analysis more interesting, more compelling and memorable?

Here are some pointers that star performers use to make data heavy presentations much more compelling.

What’s the story?

Go right back to the beginning. What is the message, the story, you’re trying to tell? No one gets excited if you throw loads of facts and figures at them, but they’re more likely to get on board when you’re telling them a story and using data to help with that. People naturally like and want to listen to a story, and they are much more likely to remember the key messages in a presentation if it has a clear beginning, middle and end. But keep things simple and to the point, attention spans are often much shorter than we think.

Data is content

And like any type of content in a presentation, it has to earn its right to be there. To hold an audience’s interest in a presentation, less is always more. Choose the data you include carefully, make sure it really helps to tell your story, and is clear and concise enough to do that. You can always hand out supplementary info after the presentation. Any data that is used on your slides has to earn it’s right to be there. If it doesn’t – you’ll need to get rid of it.

Present data in stages

Unfold your data story, step by step rather than everything at once. It will make your presentation easier to digest and follow and as a result keep your audience’s attention focused on what you have to say.

Make it relatable

Find how your data relates to a human benefit for your audience. Pick out some ‘ah-ha’ moments throughout the presentation. In that way your dry facts and figures will become more relatable and help to tell your key messages even more effectively.

Need more help to bring your presentations to life?

If you’re looking for ways to bring data to life in you or your peoples presentations our unique module will really help.

Bring Data to Life helps participants discover how to apply powerful narrative techniques to convert dry or complex facts into relevant, compelling human “stories” that will engage an audience’s interest and make important data more memorable.

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