The “Good to Great” reason for storytelling in your presentations and a tip on doing it with data
Can you tell a story with data? Yes! Why will storytelling help take your presentations from good to great?
Because it will make what you say more engaging. An example that perfectly illustrate this is the first, very dry chapter of Jim Collins' research-based seminal work Good to Great versus the subsequent chapters, which are page-turners. What is the difference between the first 15 pages of this longtime bestseller and the rest of the book? Only one. The former is void of stories. The latter is full of them.
And it is not only rich in stories, but data as well. So data can be made interesting and engaging even if you are not a data scientist. You just need to use the power of storytelling and embed the data in the story.
Where do you get the story from? From the data. When you interpret the data, the story behind it will emerge.
The story is not the data. The story is what the data tells you.
To help you add a story to your data, I suggest a 3-step process:
understand what the data tells you so that you could extract the story from it,
tell the story that the data tells you, and
embed the data in the story.
So you don't have to chose between sharing data and a story. You can do both by letting the story that the data tells embrace that very same data.