How to Engage Your Audience with “Choose Your Own Adventure” Presentations

May 11th, 2021 / Presentations
Ready for an advanced presentation technique? Want to make sure your audience is engaged? No, those 10-minute Q&As at the end of a presentation don’t count as adequate engagement. Let’s notch up our engagement! In this blog post, you’ll learn about the “Choose Your Own Adventure” method for engaging our audiences during presentations. You’ll see a brief demo of the Choose Your Own Adventure method, a behind-the-scenes tour of my slides and a discussion of the caveats so you can decide when to use this method.
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How to Organize Your PowerPoint Slides by Adding Sections

Apr 27th, 2021 / Data Visualization
Want to organize your PowerPoint slides a little better? There’s a behind-the-scenes trick that I love using in my own presentations: Sections! In this blog post and video tutorial, I’ll give you a demo of what sections are, how to add them, how I use them to hide topics and how I use them to re-order topics.
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Can Your Dataviz Have an Influence on School Reopening Plans?

Our organizations collect all this data—through surveys, assessments, interviews, and so on—and then what? The default: The data just sits there inside a Dusty Shelf Report. But what if your data could actually inform real-life decisions? I recently sat down with Vivian Jefferson from Loudoun County Public Schools, a growing district in the Washington, D.C. metro area who shared that her graphs had been featured on the news (!!!).
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Presenting Data While Working Remotely: Audio, Lighting, and Speaking Tips

Mar 31st, 2020 / Data Visualization
I recently had the chance to talk with my friend Jon Schwabish of PolicyViz. Our latest conversation was part of the Urban Institute’s Data@Urban Digital Discussions series. The intention of these talks are to connect with each other while we’re all social distancing. In it we discuss my work at home setup, my top three tips for presenting data over video calls and lessons learned from teaching online courses.
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Consolidate Redundant Tables and Graphs

We’ve all encountered redundant tables and graphs: You see a table. And then you see a graph nearby. You scan the table, and then you scan the graph, and then you scan the table again, zig-zagging your eyes around the screen and trying to figure out whether the table and graph are telling you the same information or whether they’re about two different topics entirely. Redundancies steal precious time from our days and force us to read two visuals instead of one—the table and the graph—when all we need is a single well-designed graph.
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How to Declutter Your Cluttered Stacked Bars

I have a love-hate relationship with stacked bars charts. They’re a great way to show part-to-whole patterns (like an easier-to-read pie chart). But, like pie charts, they feel overwhelming once we add a bunch of different categories. Are they the worst chart of all time? Perhaps. Here’s how to make stacked bar charts more bearable.
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