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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