If you want to make an impact, you have to put a gripping story behind your data.
You can have earth shattering data, incredible statistical analysis, and even beautiful charts and visuals, but if you can’t put a gripping story behind it your audience won’t remember and won’t act.
If you want to see how one of the world’s greatest masters of data story telling puts it all together watch this 4:48 minute video of Hans Rosling during a BBC Special. In this short video he uses special effects to make the data appear before our eyes.
If you think it takes special effects and a camera crew to make a captivating story with data, then watch Hans present during his famous TED talk. This is the one that shows what a speaker’s energy and a good story can do. Notice that he’s using simple bubble charts and stacked area charts. Simple charts – powerful storytelling. The full video is 20 minutes, but boy is it captivating. If you want to see a quick snippet that captures the story and Hans’ energy watch from minutes 3:53 to 5:00.
The way that Hans Rosling presents data captures the minds of viewers around the world. His “Best Stats” presentation has over 4 million views on TED.ORG. What makes it so good? What you can you duplicate?
Hans puts his presentations in this order,
- Intriguing question or problem
- Data background
- Visualization that is clear and simple but has color and animation to keep it interesting
- Story that is coordinated with how the data changes and trends occur
- Consequences of the change
- Impact on human health and quality of life around the world
This isn’t data. This is life and energy.
By the way, if there were just one website to make the Web worthwhile I’d have to vote for TED.ORG. It’s not just the facts found in Wikipedia. It contains the spirit and insight of the best innovators in the world. Check it out at TED.ORG.