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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Who knew? 3 things a bank can teach you about public speaking

A pair of handprints surrounding a hand-painted heart symbolIf you look carefully, you can often learn great public-speaking tips from all kinds of places. (Not just from obvious ones, like courses.)

Let’s check out an example

As my LinkedIn profile can tell you, I work at CommBank – Commonwealth Bank of Australia, also known as CBA.

Recently, CommBank’s values were updated, so they’re now succinctly expressed in just 3 words:

  • Care
  • Courage
  • Commitment

When I first heard those words, I was struck by how well they work together. And as I reflected on exactly why that is, I realised it’s because they have these 3 traits:
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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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2 ways to use modern, ALL‑CAPS slides – without typos!

Some Scrabble letters showing a misspelled wordDo you sometimes follow the design trend of using uppercase text for headings or other short labels on your slides?

Recently, I’ve twice seen presen­tations with very modern-looking slides using all-uppercase text in brief cap­tions.

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4 speaking tips from a pro with 2+ million fans – @TomFrankly [Video] ·

Fluorescent light tubes shaped into the letters P.R.O.If you had to focus on just 4 things to make your next talk great, which would you pick?

That’s a tough call, because so many factors go into a talk. Which is just one reason I was intrigued by the video below.

Another reason I was intrigued?
The video quotes 3 experts I’ve also quoted before:

In the 7½-minute video, Thomas Frank (who has over 2 million YouTube subscribers) explains the 4 aspects of your talk that he recommends you focus on

To save you time, this clip skips the first 60 seconds (and the last 90) of the original video (when he sets up his topic and promotes some courses).
If you like, you can watch the full 10-minute version on YouTube.

Let’s look at each of the 4 aspects Thomas believes can make your talk great. You can click any of these links to skip ahead – or, just scroll down

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Don’t speak like you’re stuck in the 90s – do this instead [Video]

Old Nokia phoneHave you ever heard a presenter say something that stood out – but for all the wrong reasons?

Several times recently, I’ve heard public speakers (in webinars or on video) say something that met that description.

I wonder how you would’ve reacted if you’d heard those speakers.

To me, it made them sound dated, and out of touch with how audiences speak. (Gaffs like that damage the speaker – and their message.)

Yet all the speakers did was say 3 letters and the word “dot”. (In fact, one letter 3 times in a row.)

You’ve probably guessed what they said:

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Presenting online? These 5 words make you sound nervous

Laptop user nervously biting on a pencilSuppose you’re presenting on­line. You might be using Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or one of the older tools like Adobe Connect or WebEx.

Whatever the platform, if you want to share your screen, what do you say?

Most presenters I’ve heard – myself included – say something like this:

“I’ll just share my screen…
Can you see it yet?”

But thinking carefully about it, I realised that approach has 3 problems:
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Where’s your talk going? Map it with this 2×2 grid [Video]

In this 3-minute video by Kelly Decker, you’ll see a quick way to form an extremely high-level view of your talk or presentation:

And read below for tips to fix the problem that Kelly describes.

Kelly’s the president of Decker Communications, whose content I’ve featured before. (Years ago I shared a post of theirs about pausing when you present, and last year I published a video from them about speaking on a panel.)

I love the way Kelly’s “roadmap” makes you think of your talk in 2 dimensions:
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Revealed: How to make slide colours look great together [Video] ·

Glorious sunset reflected on water, watched by man with both arms outstretched in adorationIf you’re anything like me when you give a talk, most of the time you probably use slides rather than using a flipchart or white­board (or speaking without any visuals).

But how much thought do you put into the colours on your slides?

That’s really worth your time – according to Bruce Gabrielle, author of the book Speaking PowerPoint:

“One of the secrets to great-looking
PowerPoint slides is colour choice”
Bruce Gabrielle

And I agree with Bruce. As I wrote about a few years back:

Using colours well is one of the key ways to make
your presentation look modern and professional.

You might wonder how much choice you have in your use of colours though. After all, it’s likely you use a template or PowerPoint theme that comes with colours built in.

Even so, with well-matched colours of your own, you can:

  • Gently innovate by just changing some of the template’s less-used colours (while still matching with its main ones).
  • Overhaul the template’s colours to fit in with the colour scheme used by your client, or by the event you’re speaking at.

So in the 4-minute video below from Bruce Gabrielle, you’ll see a neat tip for choosing colours that look good together.

Note: The video’s sound quality is quite poor, so please bear with it.

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