Skip to main content

How to Present Research Data in a Way that Inspires Action

It's one thing to collect data and feedback - but quite another to analyze and present the data in a way that is clear and inspires action.


The Power Presentation Outline

Here's a presentation outline that you can use the next time you have to put together a killer presentation using research data.

  1. The Burning Issue. This is a single statement that takes about 10 seconds to say and makes the audience take notice.  A great example would be something like "Every minute we spend in a meeting, one of our customers has chosen another company to do business with."  You can already feel the power of that statement - and even more importantly - you can't MAKE this kind of statement without data.  If you're pulling a presentation like this together, you'll find that while your presentation opens with the Burning Issue Statement -- it's often the very last thing you will figure out as you go through the outline.

  2. How the Burning Issue Came to Be -- WHAT HAPPENED?! In the previous section your audience most likely reacted with a "WHAT?!  How can you say something like that?!"  And in this section - it's up to you to explain the facts that have led you to such an audacious statement.    This is the section where all your wonderful research findings go.  Here's a helpful hint.  If you're doing charts or a PowerPoint - remember to make the header portion a conclusion statement that supports your burning issue.  For example "200 Incoming Sales Calls Answered by 1 Person" then show a chart with incoming calls against number of customer service reps.

  3. Your Brilliant Idea. By the time you're done with your background presentation of data above, your audience should be begging to know - "What should be do?!"  And this is the section where you wrap up your analysis into some wonderfully brilliant and exciting recommendations.  Remember to use lots of pictures and show how each recommendation will improve the situation.

  4. Why it's Good For You - The Payoff: Finally, don't forget to tell the audience why your recommendations are so great for them.  Give them the payoff in terms of how they will experience the benefits of your brilliant idea.  Get them thinking about how wonderful and easy their life will be with your solutions and recommendations in place.

  5. Tell Them What to Do. Don't forget the call to action .  What do you want your audience to do?  Don't even begin without knowing what you want them to do -- and be prepared to do that.  For example, if you want to schedule another meeting - be sure that everyone has their calendars on hand to schedule that.  Do you want them to sign something?  Be sure to have copies ready and available.  The biggest mistake people make in communicating data findings is NOT having a call to action and being prepared to get the audience moving.


Final Hints on Slides and Other Forms of Presentation

  • Treat your presentation of data like a story.  Workout the characters, the problem, the solution, etc.  This gets the audience involved in the outcome.

  • Use PowerPoint - Powerfully.  Treat your PowerPoint like a TV screen.  You wouldn't want to watch TV if it was nothing but text and charts - so don't make your audience look at that kind of PowerPoint presentation.  Use LOTS of pictures and few words.  In try to stick to 5 words per slide.  Use pictures to communicate emotion and the essence of what's being conveyed.

  • Create a video!  Video technology has become so accessible to everyone that it's insane not to use it to get your point across.  Use video to show comparisons, demonstrations or provide evidence of your observations.


Remember, today's technology and tools have freed researchers up to make our data meaningful to our audience - so let's communicate it powerfully.

FYI -

Good news and bad news.  I went in search of some presentations to show you exactly what I'm talking about and guess what?  Couldn't find too many.  I did find this one; it's about an extinct language.  It's not exactly what I had in mind -but it does use several of the principles I mention here:

[slideshare id=5630456&doc=hi-iambo-101101005232-phpapp02]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Results of the Presidential Job Index Survey (week ending 7/1/2010)

Quick update on the results for the presidential job index survey for the week ending 7/1/2011. As a reminder this is a weekly survey that we conduct and we publish the results for the survey every Friday. To participate in this week's survey, please download the SurveySwipe application and take the survey.

Remember, you get points that you can redeem for various rewards when you take our surveys. We have already distributed several paid apps like Angry Birds for free.

Highlights

Almost 900 respondents took the survey.
52% vs 53% last week of the respondents approve of the job that President Obama is doing.
Respondents included 28% Democrats (31% last week), 25% Republicans (22% last week), 24% independents (27%) last week and 2% with the Green Party (3% last week).



You can view the reports here or directly on your phone.

Top 5 Infographics of the Week: Cyber Security

Earlier this week, we experienced a power outage with our data center at Internap. During this short period of time, our customers were unable to access the site. Luckily, it didn't last long and we are back up and running now thanks to our dedicated support team that responded quickly and worked diligently.

Cyber security is, and always has been, a very important issue for us as we continue to grow and meet the demands of a technology-driven society. Nothing is more paramount than the safety of your valuable data. And apparently we weren't the only ones affected, as LinkedIn was experiencing difficulties on the same day and Internap had 3 massive outages earlier this year. Check out these infographics with stats on the importance of cyber security and the impact it can have on small-medium sized businesses.

Top 5 Infographics of the Week: Internet of Things

In 2008, the number of things connected to the internet exceeded the number of people on Earth. By 2050, we are expected to surpass 50 million different devices connected to the internet. And we're not just talking smartphones and tablets - we mean everything. Wearable tech, household appliances, smart homes, public transportation, hospitals and even cattle have all been using sensors to transmit data automatically. It is an exciting yet scary time to be alive. The various interactions between these different entities are opening up doors for more apps, more software and more auxiliary services. With so many "things" connected online, the possibilities for information exchange becoming wider everyday. Check out the top 5 infographics to learn more about the IoT.