The Dandelion Group

Technique of the week

Depicting data

Charts and numbers are too powerful to be added randomly. Follow these five steps to show the full picture.

A presentation without data is like a queen without a crown. Sharing information strengthens your credibility but you have to make sure that the audience deem it relevant. Once you have taken this first step, the selection of the right chart becomes crucial. Remember that form follows function and less is more. You can also use colours or symbols to emphasise the main part. Once the slide is ready, don’t just explain what you see but share an anecdote so that people understand.

How to depict data

  1. Research the audience and context before drawing up charts.

  2. Choose the right visual.
    (e.g. portraits for people, bar charts to compare amounts, flow charts for processes, timelines for developments)

  3. Remove clutter.

  4. Highlight the key parts.
    (e.g. with a contrasting colour)

  5. Tell a story.

    (Read the previous blog post to learn the basics.)

Exercise

The World Bank just released a new report on the state of women’s rights. Create three slides for three key findings.

Ben WilhelmComment