Fall will soon be upon us. For many organizations it is also budget season. That means strategy sessions and budget presentations. We have interminably long slide shows to look forward to. Or do we.
I was at a continuing education session this week and someone described what CFO’s do as “creating a story out of the numbers, and finding numbers in the story”. I wish I had thought of this because that is what we do. We have to explain to the financially less sophisticated what the numbers are telling us. Additionally, we need to pull information in the form of numbers out of the business to share with decision makers.
And we make this dreadfully boring if we post columns of numbers and small bullet points on a slide and project it in a dimly lit room.
The challenge is to create presentations that deliver the intended message and to do it in a way to ensure it is remembered. We can only do that by understanding our audience. We need to create a message that resonates with our audience; a message that can be internalized and acted upon.
Tell a story. Use data to support, but not to be, the story. Tell a story to leave an impression and to drive action.