I believe that one of the best presentation skills you can have is the ability to deliver “effective presentations”. These are the kind of presentation that don’t just inform, but involve, inspire and move people to action.

A core part of moving people to action is that you have to prove and back up your points and arguments.  There are various presentation skills that will support you in this- use testimonials, quotes, stories and so on. But we all know that “STATISTICS DON’T LIE!”

So it’s great to use statistics in your presentations, but this needs to be done with a certain level of skill and aplomb.  Here are some guidelines.

Statistics as a Presentation Skill

  1. Do not overwhelm people with all the statistics in one part of your presentation.  There is such a thing as too much data! Try to restrict it to 3 stats at a time, and then some qualitative information, or stories.
  2. It’s a good idea to mention the source for data.  We know that the more legitimate your sources are, the more credibility you will have; and therefore the more power your presentation will have.
  3. Back up statistics with personal stories or stories of clients that further demonstrate the point your statistics make.  Generalizations are great and can hold power, but people will remember the specifics of stories. 
  4. Make any numbers “real life”.  This is one of the best presentation skills you can develop.  For instance you might say “In the year 10,000 B.C., there were only 5 million people sharing 57,268,900 square miles of land- imagine that!  The current population of Sydney spread out over the entire planet!  My how we’ve grown!”

Don’t avoid statistics because you think they may be boring. They can be really influential and quite exciting if used in the right way.  What’s more, when people “see the proof” they are more likely to act! And having people take action is the best presentation skill you can ever learn.

150 Responses to “Presentation Skills: Using statistics to prove your points”

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