Make your chart’s point CRYSTAL clear – visually & verbally [Video]

Neon sign saying “You’ll get it eventually”When you share a chart, how do you help your audience instantly get your point?

Often, presenters and analysts make people work way too hard to get the point of a chart!

So in this post, you’ll find 3 specific tips to help you get your point across better. They’re inspired by a great 10-minute video by Donabel Santos, which I’ll share in a pair of shorter clips below. (Plus, you’ll find the full-length video at the end of the post.)


What do you think of this chart?Scroll to Contents ↓

In this 10-second clip, you’ll see a very busy line chart, which the speaker will later do a makeover on. (She’s using Tableau, but you could do the same makeover in Excel, PowerPoint, or any other charting software.)

The chart shows how market share changed over time – for over 70 phone vendors:

To see more clearly, click the Full screen (⛶) button during playback.
(To exit full-screen mode, click the button again, or press Esc.)

In this post, we’ll step through the makeover shown in the full-length video. Whenever you do a chart makeover, I recommend you follow these 3 steps:Top ↑
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How to give great demos – with Andy Kriebel & Eva Murray [Video]

Close-up headshot of Andy Kriebel and Eva MurrayIf you do demos at work or online, check out this fantastic video (below) from Andy Kriebel and Eva Murray.

In it, Eva shares lots of excellent tips for giving better demos, and Andy shows how clear and helpful a good demo can be.

Andy happens to be demoing software. But many of these tips apply to other demo types too. For instance, Eva shares a story (at 5:57) about learning ballroom dancing by seeing someone demonstrate the steps.

In this clip, you’ll find what I think are the best 8 minutes of advice on how you can give great demos. (Or, watch the 1-hour video this clip comes from.)

Eva starts by contrasting slide presentations (which tend to be slow and fairly easy to see) with demos (which are often fast-paced and hard to follow).

If you prefer, you can also scroll down to read a list of the tips

Here are Eva’s tips, plus some discussion points (in italics). After you go to any of these sections of this post, you can click a time (mm:ss) to watch the relevant bit of the clip:

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Tableau trouble? Recent resources to the rescue! [Videos by @sqlbelle and @TableauTim]

Map of China in TableauHere’s what you’ll find in this post:

  • The trouble with Tableau
  • Help’s at hand!
  • Your turn
  • Also check out

    The case for TableauScroll to Contents ↑

    If you don’t yet use Tableau (or a similar data visualisation tool, such as Power BI), chances are high that you may well in future. As businesses become more data-driven, I’d say presenters will use tools like Tableau more and more.


    “Author” and “viewer” explainedScroll to Contents ↑

    As a presenter, your role when you use Tableau is likely to be as either:

    • an “author” – you build charts and other visualisations, then present them
    • a “viewer” – you purely present visualisations built by an author

    Either way, Tableau can become a core part of your toolkit:

    • As an author, you can even use Tableau as your presentation software
    • As a viewer, you can easily export visualisations from Tableau to PowerPoint


    The trouble with TableauScroll to Contents ↑

    But if you use Tableau, I’m betting you’ve had trouble understanding some parts of it. (I certainly have!)
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    Build your talk on messages, not topics – Secret #15 of star presenters [Video]

    Scrabble letter tiles saying “Wordy slides KILL your message!”Have you heard of the “assertion-evidence approach” for making slides? It’s a simple, powerful, evidence-based approach to presenting your talk.

    It was devised as a more effective way to share scientific findings. But you can also use its direct­ness and clarity in business – to great effect.

    And that’s especially so when you present insights from analysing data. You know, like:

    • customer touchpoints
    • company financials
    • employee survey results.


    What’s in this post?

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    From numbers to narrative – 4 keys of data storytelling [Video]

    Data dashboard shown on a laptopWhen you’re preparing a data-rich talk, where could you learn to get your message across better?

    In my opinion, you couldn’t do much better than watching the 55-minute video below, by Isaac Reyes. (The first 45 minutes or so consist of Isaac’s talk, and the rest is him answering questions.)

    Isaac’s a data scientist, and the video’s from ODSC Europe 2018 (Open Data Science Conference).

    The talk describes these 4 keys of data storytelling:
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    3 steps to present like a dataviz rockstar – part 2 [Video]

    Flaming guitarNeed to present some data? About the best way you can do that is to use a data visualisation.

    Most often, a dataviz is simply a chart. But you might choose to use something less mainstream, like a heatmap.

    Whatever type of dataviz you choose, I suggest you use this 3‑step method for making your dataviz more effective:
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    3 steps to present like a dataviz rockstar – part 1 [Video]

    Flaming guitarWhen you share data – in a slideshow, a dashboard, or a written report – how can you give your message impact? (You know, so you persuade people that it’s a big deal, and so they act on your message.)

    To help you do that, you’ll find 3 powerful steps in this post and my next:

    1. Simplify
    2. Satisfy…
    3. Storify…

    Step 1’s the key (and the easiest)

    Step 1’s the key (and the easiest), and step 3’s perhaps the most adv­anced – which is why I’ve put them in that order.
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    Make your slide explain “So what?” – Secret #13 of star presenters, by Jean-Luc Doumont [Video]

    Check out this 1-minute video clip (from a 1-hour talk) by Jean-Luc Doumont. In the clip, the speaker critiques a shot of a sample slide (which is the white area on his own grey slide).

    As you’ll see, the sample slide contains just its title and a simple chart:

    Did you see how the sample slide’s title makes a classic (and very common) mistake? Namely, it simply “parrots” what’s on the slide, saying:

    Evolution of the number of candidates 1989-2012

    And sure enough, the chart on the slide offers no surprises: It’s a line graph labelled “Number of candidates” – with an x-axis from 1989 to 2012.

    As the slide offers no surprises, and no insights, it’s of no interest to the audience. So, they’ll be turned off by it, and they’ll tune out.

    Don’t make that mistake with your slides!

    Don’t make that mistake with your slides!

    As Jean-Luc pointedly asks:

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    Starting your talk with a startling statistic – 3 examples [Video]

    Man with startled expressionYou’ve likely heard it said that opening your talk with a startling statistic helps you grab people’s attention.

    But what exactly does that technique look and sound like?

    In this post, you’ll see 3 clear examples on video, and I’ll discuss key takeaways from each. So you’ll come away with solid tips you can use in your own talks.

    Ultimately, I hope these examples inspire you to use some startling statistics yourself.

    Here’s what you’ll find in this post – you can click any of these links to skip ahead:
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