Statistics and data are an important part of your presentation. If misused, they can bore your audience to death. If used correctly, they can have a lasting impact.
So, how do you present data the right way?
Statistics and data are left brain food. They work well to support your logic and reasoning, and they do an excellent job at that. They add substance to your presentations and ground your claims to reality.
I compare data and stats to fruits and vegetables. They are what you need most to sustain your health, yet, they are not the most attractive to eat.
Data and stats feed your left brain, and they are good for you. However, the brain is divided into the left brain and the right brain. If you only feed your audience’s left brain, they will quickly become bored because you are only feeding them fruits and vegetables.
To feed your audience correctly without boring them, you have to balance the left brain and right brain food.
Right brain foods consist of 6 things
1 – Stories (Notice that stories are the top of the list)
2 – Analogies
3 – Metaphors
4 – Examples and case studies
5 – Demonstrations
6- Meaning (giving meaning and context)
You can compare the right brain food to appetizers and desserts. Not the healthiest things you eat, yet it’s what you crave the most.
To make your points with impact, use stats to support your logic and wrap up the points with one of the right brain foods listed above. Your presentation has to be a multi-course meal, balancing what people crave with what’s good for them.
Some people abandon stats and data all together and just use right brain food. I don’t recommend that, because, If you only feed the right brain of your audience, then they will be shallowly entertained and will miss out on the vitamins and minerals they need in the long term.
Left brain food only:
86 % of executives surveyed said that their presentation skills were crucial to their career success.
Right brain only:
Peter Drucker, the father of modern western business philosophy, once stated in an interview: “as soon as you move one step from the bottom, your effectiveness is directly correlated to your ability to communicate through the written and spoken word.”
Combined left brain + right brain food: This is the best way to present data
Public speaking and presentation skills are crucial to executive success. Peter Drucker, the father of modern western business philosophy once said in an interview: “as soon as you move one step from the bottom, your effectiveness is directly correlated to your ability to communicate through the written and spoken word.” The observation of Peter Drucker is backed up by many recent executive surveys. For example, a recent study of 1000+ executives by Distinction Communications indicated that 86% of participating executives attributed a direct correlation between their public speaking skills and their success as senior managers.
Do you see how a combination of left brain and right brain food is better than just one type of food?
Hope this is useful – As usual, to get the most out of these tips, try to put them to use right away.