LONDON – If you look at most business presentations these days, you’ll likely find them overwhelming. Why? Because there are too many numbers and stats and not enough story. While it’s important to include data in your presentation, too much can kill it.
Presenters often feel inclined to cram and share as much data as possible to prove their point. Sadly, it’s a mistake that can lead to the downfall of your presentation. Don’t get me wrong — logos is powerful and should be included in presentations. But too much of it can be overwhelming and kill any presentation, especially when it drives your talk.
Incorporate these best practices for using numbers and data in your next presentation.
Bottom Line It
If you had a 38% jump in sales last month, then that is all I want to see on your slide. Save the chart or graph for a leave-behind piece or handout. The audience wants to see that you did your homework, but don’t waste your presentation real estate for something that will take several minutes to explain and unpack.
Find the Golden Nuggets
When tempted to create or recreate a chart, think critically about what really matters. Do you really need to communicate every step, theory or item? Probably not. Find the important stuff and let that come to the surface. Everything else can simply fade away or be deleted entirely.
Create a Visual Metaphor
We once had a client who was trying to convey what they called the “City Hall Shuffle.” In other words, it was a messy organizational chart. We used this City Hall metaphor in the material we created for them, and it turned out to be very effective. Seek out these opportunities in your own data. Look for the visual metaphors.
At the end of the day, data and numbers are powerful. They scream credibility. They shout, “you did your homework!” But they won’t be as effective as they could be if you don’t use them wisely. Courtesy to SlideShare.