5 Mistakes in Storytelling about Data (& How to Fix Them)

I have a client who works with a Fortune 500 tech giant.

When it puts on a digital event, it’s her job to figure out who *couldn’t* access the promised features (like the chat function, visual slides, or the other guests).

A promise undelivered–means that user doesn’t buy product.
The company doesn’t meet its sales targets.

She was developing her branded talk to show how she has impact when she is brought in.

In her storytelling using data, we worked on these 5 mistakes & fixed them:

1. Sharing too much information.
She’s not alone in sharing too much jargon heavy information or too much info.
As a best practice, share one data point (20% couldn’t access the promised slides).
One message:(30% didn’t buy a product. Problematic.)

2. No context.
Why was she the one to this kind of work?
She has an international background. She’s raising international children.
Creating a sense of belonging is her ‘everyday.’

It made sense that she was the subject matter expert for clients too.

3. No emotion.
She did what many of my clients too. Spoke generally about experiences.

I challenged her to share one user’s experience. One ‘hero’s journey.
The language barrier hampered the user’s ability to access features and left her extremely disappointed with the event.

Structure the story:
Share life before the fix.
Share the fix.
Share life after the fix.

4. Unreliable data.
Your memory is not always the best record keeper.
I asked her to go back to the company to get exact numbers on how she improved the bottom line.
Specificity of impact is key, and that is only shared through numbers.

5. No call to action

The most important question to ask after everything is said and done is “What does DO with the information?”

Her case study was a clarion call to not only her client, but any tech company hosting digital events for an international audience.

In the future, consider how fast a chat feature goes, how easy it is to download slides, and the ease of networking with others in the digital event.

I help 1 time pressed business woman tell 1 better story to get clients, land that promotion, or get that first board seat.

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