Got Data? Here’s How to Give It Meaning [VIDEO]

We spend an incredible amount of time and money collecting data.

That’s because data justifies nearly every business decision we make. But too often, we overwhelm customers, prospects and those executives who intimidate us with WAY too many numbers. The result? You’ve just lost your chance to actually provide strategic insights. This is a HUGE mistake.

Try weaving only your most relevant data into a story. That’s right: a story. Whether you’re delivering a sales strategy, an executive briefing, or a product update, stories get your message across. Begin by asking yourself: What’s my BIG Idea? What’s the one thing I want my audience to know or do?

Next, using your data, map your big idea to the 4 signposts of storytelling: setting, character, conflict, and resolution.

The setting offers context…connecting your audience to a time, a place, and a circumstance.

Your character is who or what is affected by the current situation…like your customers, your employees or manager. Start with either character or setting – whichever will capture the most attention.

The conflict is the difference between where you are today…and where you need to be. It’s how you let your audience know you understand their problem…and it sets them up to care about what’s coming next: your resolution.

Your resolution presents the ideal future state with data points that directly resolve the conflict and call on your audience to act.

Numbers without story won’t give your audience a reason to care. Remember: Keep it brief. Keep it relevant. Give your data the power and impact it deserves…through storytelling.