Show credibility with data

Nina Dušić Hren Public speaking

Presentation seems credible if it includes some kind of a statistic. By implementing it, we show we have done our homework and know what we are talking about. Most presenters have no trouble with it but forget that at the same time too much information, numbers and statistics can have the opposite effect. They also fail to consider the fact that people find large numbers hard to perceive and understand the quantities they present.

Imagine being at a presentation and finding out that 4.76 billion users check their phone 96 times per day, which is once every 15 minutes, which means that every 9th person is addicted to devices (there are approximately 24 trillions devices in the world). If I was to add another number and an hour later ask you which of the numbers you managed to remember, you’d most likely forget all but one.

So, what exactly is our advice? Use those statistics, information or numbers which are most relevant for your story or presentation. In order to get a real “wow effect”, compare that number with something. If, for instance, you have an amount of 5,162,250 eur, translate it to an equivalent number of cars you could buy with it. If you’re mentioning 7,349,000 people, you’re better of describing how many times you could fill a local stadium to allow everyone to see a concert.

Therefore, the numbers alone don’t tell the whole story but if used in a relevant context can make it easier for listeners to follow us and thus, ensure greater motivation.

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