The Most Effective Styles for Presenting Data in Presentations

Statistics is presentations is usually associated with the words: boring and dry but we are sharing an old TEDTalk by Hans Rosling where he delivered a very interesting talk on presenting data in presentations with the use of six simple styles which can transform any plain full-of-data presentation into a very attention-grabbing one. Link to the video

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These styles are simple to adopt and makes use of the data displaying software, GapMinder, in Rosling’s talk. Let’s take a look at these six styles.

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1. Explain the Axes

According to Hans, a presenter should not assume the audience will automatically understand what the axes are. Axes should be explained what quantities are taken for both axes, why these quantities are chosen and if possible, share the predictions what this data will show so that the audience is interested to see the actual result till the end.

2. Make subsets of the data Prominent

To overcome this problem, Rosling suggests highlighting subsets of data and an explanation of those subsets so that audience can understand complex data.

3. Deeper Analysis of the Data

Deeper analysis of the data should not only be specific to scientific journals but should be presented interchangeably with high-level data.

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4. Labels Close to Points

Only verbal cues are not enough. Labels and legends should be mentioned close to points and should be synchronized well with verbal presentation.

5. Anticipate “Why” Questions

In large data sets, presenter usually only explains the dominant trends and audience is wondering about other data points and trends. Rosling suggests a presenter should anticipate the “whys” and have the answers ready on spot.

6. Energetic Delivery

To make a presentation memorable, the delivery should be energetic. This is demonstrated by Rosling himself in the talk where you wouldn’t feel it’s a heavy data laden presentation.