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Data Visualisation Skills for Better Presentations

Data Visualisation Skills for Better Presentations




30 minutes

Jonathon Schwabish

Senior Fellow

Urban Institute


When faced with the prospect of giving a presentation, researchers and analysts often simply convert their reports to slides: text is converted to bullets, and figures and tables are simply copied and pasted. 

The problem with that approach is that presentations are a fundamentally different form of communication to reports or journal articles. 

In this presentation, Jonathan gives you the conceptual underpinnings behind giving better presentations, and the tools and techniques to put them into practice.

Available OnDemand

Presenting is a fundamentally different form of communication than writing. Treating your presentation and your paper identically – moving text into bullets, and copying and pasting tables and figures from the paper to the slides – misses this important distinction, and sets your audience up for “death by PowerPoint.”

It’s clear this approach doesn’t work. We can all relate to the experience of half-listening to a speaker drone on with slides full of text, recounting each bullet point in detail. Yet many people do this in every presentation.

Even if you don’t have aspirations of a world speaking tour, giving better presentations will help your colleagues, partners, and sponsors to better understand and, hopefully, act upon your work.

This session will cover:

  • Better ways to DESIGN your presentation
  • Better ways to BUILD your presentation
  • Better ways to GIVE your presentation.

Key takeaways:

  • Shifting your perspective on giving a presentation from presenter-centric to audience-centric.
  • Understanding that presenting is a fundamentally different form of communication than writing.
  • Get exposed to better ways to design and create your presentation slides.

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Jonathan Schwabish

Senior Fellow, Urban Institute

Founder, PolicyViz

Dr. Jonathan Schwabish is an economist, writer, teacher, and creator of policy-relevant data visualisations. He is considered a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in how researchers communicate their findings.

His book Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks helps people improve the way they prepare, design, and deliver data-rich content. In his most recent book, Elevated the Debate: A Multilayered Approach to Communicating Your Research,

Schwabish and his colleagues help people develop a strategic plan to communicating their work across multiple platforms and channels.

  • Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University and American University