Friday, April 23, 2010

Successful Survey Tips: Reporting Results

Finally, it all comes together: the strategy, the design and the implementation.  You've pulled together a winning survey and now it's time to share the results.  Here are my tips for pulling together a killer presentation that gets your audience to take the actions YOU want them to take.

  • What's the Burning Issue? What was the question you were trying to answer with this survey?  What story will the presentation tell? Keep it short and simple.  A single slide with about a 30 second introduction will do the trick.

  • Focus on what the data means to your audience. How will their work or life change as a result?  Does your data mean different things to different people?  Bring that out in your report.

  • Provide your learnings and conclusions as a 1-2 punch.  On one slide, put what you learned or a conclusion supported by a dramatic picture.  On the second slide, show them the proof.  DO NOT put a table or a chart with lots of little tiny numbers and lines.   See this slide below -- DON'T DO THAT.   I know, it's in Russian, but does it really matter?

  • What action do you want the audience to take and what's the payoff? Create a slide that has an action and a benefit statement on it.  This way, it's clear what action needs to be taken and why.

Surprise your audience by telling the story of your research journey.  Bring them along for the ride and share the enthusiasm you have for what you've learned.

If you really want to know how to present complex data really well with a story, you need to take the time to watch this:
[ted id=92]

This is Hans Rosling giving a live presentation of Data at the TED conference.

Here is the same data presented Differently -- click on the picture and you'll go to the page where you can download the presentation or watch online.

When we present the findings from a survey, we have a HUGE opportunity to engage our audience and build enthusiasm and excitement for what we've done.    It seems a shame to let all our hard work go to waste because we chose to present stone cold numbers instead of a story.

What are YOUR presentation tips?  Do you have a favorite data presentation that you reference all the time -- share it with us here!

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