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How to structure your data presentation coherently using narrative techniques
18 hours ago
This article is the second in a series on crafting technical presentations, encompassing three key concepts I use to create compelling addresses — know your audience, guide your audience, and prepare for responses. To read the first of these articles you can follow the link below:
The hallmark of a memorable presentation is a compelling narrative. The presenter hooks the audience from the beginning, maintains a steady cadence in delivering their address, focuses on the key details, and has a clear resolution by the end of their story. It’s no secret why this framework has such a universal appeal — narrative structures in storytelling can be found in every culture on Earth, transcending ethnic and economic backgrounds. They tap into fundamental aspects of human cognition and emotion, making them highly effective tools for communication, education, and persuasion. Furthermore, information presented in this narrative format is far easier to remember due to its structure, typically following a logical sequence — listeners are more likely to recall details when they are part of a story or form a recognisable pattern.
By organizing convoluted information into these storytelling structures, complex ideas can be simplified and presented in a coherent manner, making them easier to comprehend. Contextualising information in the form of a logical plot gives presenters a powerful method for drawing in their audience, keeping them engaged throughout, and ensuring that their address stays with them long after they leave the auditorium.
In this second article focused on technical presentations, I’ll describe how to build a…
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