Practice Area

Management and Leadership

Telling Stories with Data

  • Traditional Classroom: 1-day
  • Virtual Instructor-led: Two 3-3.5 hour sessions; Three 2-hour sessions

Good decisions are made when executives and managers understand the story behind complex data. This one-day, highly interactive, experience-based, facilitated workshop focuses on how to make data more concise, impactful, and compelling to the intended audience through storytelling.

Prior to class, participants complete a pre-work assignment using a real-world data set. Participants will either use a data set provided or choose a data set from their work environment and prepare a five-minute presentation using a slide deck of up to four slides and a narrative memo that clearly explains what conclusions they are attempting to convey. During the workshop, each participant will present his or her “data story” and receive feedback from the instructor and the other participants on how to improve the “data story.” Then, using the skills acquired in the workshop, each participant will create an improved presentation.

The following text book will be used in support of the course: Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals. Wiley, October, 2015.

Target Audience

This course is designed to benefit anyone who is required to present complex and/or technical data to executives, managers, decision makers, or stakeholders in a manner that the intended audience can clearly understand.

Learning Objectives

  • Enhance executive presence and confidence in delivery.
  • Present data in a more concise, impactful, and compelling manner to your intended audience through storytelling.
  • Analyze your audience and choose the appropriate ways to present your data.
  • Present a real-world data set during the course and receive feedback from peers and the instructor.
  • Develop concise slides, compelling storylines, and convincing memos and talking points.

Pre-Session Assignment

  • Using a real-world data set, prepare a five-minute presentation using a slide deck of up to three slides and a narrative memo that clearly explains what conclusions you are attempting to convey. This will be presented during the course. In addition, there will be 2 reading assignments. Plan on devoting up to 2.5 hours to your prework.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction and Overview
  • Workshop Objectives and Agenda
Module 2: Data Analysis and Visual Concepts
  • Analyzing the Audience
  • Choosing Appropriate Chart Types
  • Creating Charts in Microsoft Excel
  • Understanding Different Data Sets
  • Working with Proportions, Time-Series, and Geographical Data
  • Organizing Data in Charts
  • Summarizing Data
Module 3: Prework Assignment Presentations
  • Present Slide Deck and Narrative of Chosen Data Set
  • Receive Feedback from Participants and Instructor
Module 4: Presentation of Data
  • Drafting Talking Points
  • Writing Compelling Storylines at the Right Level
  • Developing Concise Slides
  • Crafting Convincing Memos and Talking Points
Module 5: Best Practices and Examples
  • Practice Applying Concepts and Improving
  • Building Powerful Visuals That Tell a Story
  • Improve Prework Slide Deck
  • Walk-Through of Revised Slide Decks

MDV1019ET Course Code

For more information on this topic, as well as how Corporate Education Group can help power your organization’s performance, contact us via email or call 1.800.288.7246 (US only) or +1.978.649.8200. You can also use our Information Request Form!

Management and Leadership Training Solutions Catalog

Management and Leadership Training Solutions Catalog

Download Catalog
Leadership Learning Journeys

Leadership Learning Journeys

Our Leadership Learning Journeys provide unique collaborative learning experiences that mirror key aspects of the work environment.

Learn More
Inclusive Leadership Learning Journey

Inclusive Leadership Learning Journey

Create and sustain work environments in which diverse perspectives, contributions, and talents flourish.

Learn More

Duke University Continuing Studies logo
PMI logo
PMI Global logo
Blanchard Partner Network logo
IIBA Endorsed Education Provider logo