Presenting data can be soul-sapping. Here are some top tips to make it better for you and your readers:
- Avinash Kaushik: Ditch the text, visualise (and narrate) the story.
Stop presenting your team/boss/Board with mountains of text and expecting them to get excited about it. Bring one piece of data at a time up on the screen – with short headings and visuals wherever possible. It will look better and the audience will stay with you as you talk through other insights you haven’t represented on the slide. [“A style of presentation you should use every time you present anything” – Kaushik.]
- Dr Stephanie Evergreen: Use colour effectively.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take advantage of the storytelling potential of colour – the primary component our sense of sight is based on. She recommends using colour to drive the eyeballs looking at your presentation towards the key things they need to know about. Use grey or black to take attention away from things which aren’t completely essential.
- Wordstream: Get someone to proofread your report.
It sounds obvious, but so many of us don’t do it! Make sure you ask someone to proofread your report – check the numbers make sense and look for obvious anomalies or spelling mistakes.
- Hubspot*: Order your data sets logically.
Hubspot says: “The way you order your data matters. It’s much easier for you and an audience to understand a visualization when the data is ordered intuitively. If you’re creating a bar chart, for example, make sure the larger values are at the top. If you’re building a column chart, make sure your larger values read from left-to-right.”
- And one from us here at Marketing Engine: Context is really important.
Make sure your reports include context to the data set you’re presenting; show results over a longer period to show trends over time, use benchmark data to show your success against a baseline, and make sure you have set KPIs so you and those reading your report agree on what success looks like.
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*Note: This is an e-book you can download after giving your data in exchange.