In a leadership class I recently taught, I had to explain a chart about the factors leading to successful organizational change. It was data-laden but needed real world application for my audience. For each factor I had a personal experience or illustration to share.
Earlier in the session, I asked the group, “Who loves numbers?” One gal vigorously waved her hand and boasted her expertise as a business analyst. The chart immediately gave her the information that made sense in her world. “Now who loves people stories?” I inquired. Most the other hands went up. It only reinforced the fact that even numbers need a story behind them for an audience to be able to relate. After all, it’s the people whose actions establish that information.
So how do you actually explain the human element behind data? This very task paralyzes some people. Here’s the recipe:
1. Look at the number, data or fact you need to explain.
2. Where did this come from or what does it represent?
3. Who caused it to happen?
7. Who else was involved?
8. What else is relevant to the situation?
Now write this all down in bullet form in your presentation so you don’t forget. That’s all you need to do to use a personal experience in your presentation and be more interesting to your audience.