How to make numbers interesting


Imagine attending a meeting where only numbers, data and graphics are displayed. A little tiring, no? And what if the presentation you have to sit through features 120,000 numbers?


Yes, it would be pure torture to have to pay attention to that, not to mention a serious challenge for the presenter.
After all, how can you convey information in a didactic way? Often, the numbers are the protagonists of the story, and there’s just no escaping it.  This often ends up being a case of sacrificing presentation for results when quantitative research data is needed to endorse statements.


The good news is there are solutions for this!  Here’s how Hans Rosling used creativity to deal with this issue:


To his mind, information graphics should be considered an art form.


Now take a look at another example, created by Column Five Media, that shows how you can use data visuals for strong and interesting communication:


Unfortunately, though, not everybody can use tools like we see in these two videos.


But we can give you four tips that can help you to overcome the challenge of number saturation:


• Value your information
Whenever possible, put just one chart on a slide. That usually requires LESS effort than trying to put to much into a slide.


• “Boring” numbers are still important
So use sources with at least 16px, and be sure that the key figures are highlighted in the charts.


Get rid of everything that is not crucial
Is the chart really necessary? If all that matters is the valuation of a security, just show an arrow up and the figure. Only include the chart when history is important.


Use color wisely.
Use color(s) to separate discrete bits of information.


• Use slide animation wisely.
Guide the audience’s attention to your chart by showing the information in stages. Have the animations follow your speech, highlighting only what you are pointing out, and fading everything else.