Get the most out of your charts

When presenting your recommendations, the tagline of each of your slide spells out its main idea and the body of the slide supports that idea with details.

You have several options to display these details including text, quantitative charts, concept visuals, tables, photos, or a combination of these. Each creates a different impression. Let’s talk about quantitative charts.

Quantitative charts can be an excellent way to present data but you must choose the right chart for your data.

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Develop your presentation from the first day

So you’re starting a new problem-solving project. Start developing your final presentation on the first day of your project. That will help you get to a better solution and get there more easily.

Summarize your findings in a presentation form the first day

In these days of Powerpoint—or Keynote—omnipresence, I doubt anyone of us has to face a professional problem-solving task that won’t culminate in presenting our results to an audience. The good news is that if you build your final presentation from the first day of your project, not only will you prepare for that final presentation but you’ll also improve significantly your problem-solving effectiveness and efficiency.

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Start with your main idea

You can conduct the best research in the world, eventually you’ll have to communicate it to others. Do a lousy job there and that will stain your entire project. Is it unfair? Sure, but that’s not the point. The point is that you need to make sure that you communicate your message effectively. And that means that you need to start with your main idea.

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Case study: cables negotiation — part 7/8 — Prepare your message

This entry is part of a multi-post case study.

So you’ve identified potential solutions to reduce the duration of your cable negotiations. You’ve also identified which analysis you needed to do to verify that these were indeed valid solutions. Suppose that your analysis left you with one clear solution, as depicted in the first figure below. Now you need to implement it.

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Use logic

Effective problem-solving requires you to be deeply logical, as much in your thinking as in your communication.

The good news is that a few basic rules can help you at both stages. To guide our conversation, I have embedded a presentation that we use in our professional abilities workshops at UDEM and below is a summary.

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Deliver the answer

You might have done the perfect analysis, but you won’t be successful unless you can convince your stakeholders that your recommendations are the right ones.

So let’s talk about communicating more effectively. This is a two-step process: the pre-talk preparation and the actual delivery.

“A key—perhaps the key—to leadership is the effective communication of a story.”

— Howard Gardner

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