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If you find yourself saying, “I know you can’t read this, but…”

...Don’t put it on the slide!

The problem with presentations which have data in them, isn’t that they have data in them. The problem is the way in which the data is presented on the slide. If it can’t be read farther away than the hand in front of your face it doesn’t warrant being projected on a screen. And most likely all of that data isn’t necessary.

In my time working with data scientists, actuaries, IT, Cyber Security engineers and people in business, I have found that most of the time all of the data is placed on the screen instead of the 2 or 3 data points which are the focus of the presentation


Remember, there is a difference between showing a trend of women who work full time in a line graph like this:

Percentage of women working full time. Source: US Dept of Labor

And between talking about the change in percentage of women working full time with 2 specific data points:

Percentage of women working full time. Source: US Dept of Labor

If the fact, the point you are trying to make is that there has been no change in the 48 year period, then the table above will suffice. There is no need to show your audience the percentage for EVERY YEAR between 1968 and 2016.

After all, besides, not being able to read it, your audience won’t remember it.

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