Make That Data Dance: Use Storytelling to Spice Up Your Presentations

Are you ready to take your data presentations to the next level? Are you ready to stop boring your stakeholders with confusing charts and numbers? If so, you’re ready to work on your storytelling skills… with data…


Storytelling with data is a technique that uses data visualization and narrative elements to create compelling stories that inform, as well as actually ENGAGE the audience. Instead of overwhelming your audience with a load of numbers and wild charts, you can present data in a way that is easy to understand.


The first step in storytelling with data is to select the right data visualization techniques. There are tons of tools and resources available to help you with this, including free online tutorials, specialized software, and even professional development opportunities (shout out to Chris Smith Visualizations!). Some popular data visualization techniques include infographics, and my favorite, interactive dashboards.


Infographics are a great way to present data in a visually appealing way. They are essentially visual representations of data, using icons, illustrations, and other design elements to communicate complex information quickly and easily. Infographics can be used to summarize large amounts of data or to highlight key insights from a report or analysis. Most eyes (even my own, sometimes) like infographics. If you doubt me, go to pinterest, you’ll see…


Interactive dashboards are perhaps the most powerful data visualization tool available. They allow you to create customized views of data that allow users to explore and interact in real-time. Dashboards can be used to provide stakeholders with instant access to data and insights, helping them make DATA informed decisions.


Once you have selected the right data visualization technique, it’s time to work on your narrative. This involves using storytelling elements to create a compelling and super memorable experience for your audience. You can use anecdotes, examples, and metaphors to bring the data to life and make it more relatable. If you are struggling with where to start, head to your friendly ELA teacher and tell them you want to talk about data. They will be STOKED. Jk… here are some examples:


Instead of presenting a chart showing the percentage of students who met or exceeded expectations on a standardized test, you could use a story to illustrate the impact of the data. You could tell the story of a student who struggled with the material but eventually overcame their difficulties with the help of a dedicated teacher. By humanizing the data, you can make it more meaningful for your audience.


Storytelling with data is a powerful technique. Try it. I dare you.

If you’d like to chat more about what this looks like in your school or district, book a free hour here. :)

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