As part of my role, very often, I work on client proposals, and the output of it is usually in the form of PowerPoint presentations. What makes it fun is that this is a team effort and teams across engineering, pre-sales, sales, marketing, legal, finance, and HR work together in these proposals. I get to work with several such proposals in which my task is to make the presentation impactful with data storytelling.
Presentations come in several forms – the good, the bad, the ugly and the great ones. One thing that I had observed from the great ones is the intelligent use of colours with data, appropriate charts and the headlines that convey what the slide is all about.
Since this is a season of webinars and virtual presentations, I thought of sharing one method which is simple to use at the same time help you to make impactful data presentations.
Here is a brief background for this presentation slide.
Amidst COVID, Company A’s management team is looking at the spend of various departments and wants to prioritize, which spend needs to be optimized from a short-term saving perspective. They also want to look at department level spends to prioritize any long-term strategic initiatives. The management intends to target the top-15 spend items based on value.
A typical representation will be in the form of bar-chart like the one below, it is devoid of any data storytelling elements.
But, is there a way to make it even better to aid in decision making?
The following bar chart shows that just three vendors account for 40% of the spend, and they are highlighted with the use of colour variation, which helps in building your data narrative.
Remember to not use multiple colours as that will lead to confusion. It is better to use a variation of a base colour, as it serves the purpose of highlight and lowlight.
With this chart, anyone running this presentation will be able to articulate the story better. And the executives know where to focus their attention when it comes to spend optimization.
By using this approach, anyone new to the decision-making process will be able to make an informed decision with the amount of intelligence that is provided in the chart.
Have you tried data storytelling in your analytics proposals or meetings on financial projections? Trust me, you will see meetings becoming a lot more outcome-driven when you start practising storytelling.