Robert McKee: Persuasion through storytelling trumps statistics

Presentation Zen

Data and storytelling Statistics and storytelling are not mutually exclusive. "As a method of persuasion, I am not a big fan of PowerPoint presentations," says the legendary screenwriting guru Robert McKee.

2012 58

Public speaking & media training: Statistic of the month

Joan Detz Speaker Services

” (Susanna Raffalli, nutritional coordinator, speaking about the human devastation in Caritas Venezuela) Notice: + the impact of using the personal pronoun “you” to engage listeners in the statistic (“It’s not normal for you to […]. “It’s not normal for you to go to a community, weigh 100 children and have 30 of them close to dying.”

Trending Sources

Statistics don’t Need to be Sleep-Inducing in Your Presentation


American detective writer Rex Stout once quipped that there are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up. In the average presentation, as soon as statistics appear on a background slide, two out of three audience members automatically fall asleep.

7 and a Half Ways to Make Your Information Matter

Speak and Deliver

Pictures, not Numbers - numbers, statistics, and hard data in general don't work well when displayed or spoken, in terms of memorability. Create a leave-behind that has your statistics, your research, your sources, even your slides, to give to folks AFTER your presentation.

2015 32

Want your data to go viral? Make it visual.

Duarte Blog

Strategy Video Brian Dennehy Long Island Index Rauch Foundation RSA statistics viral video visualizeHow do you turn an academic report into a viral video? The Rauch Foundation challenged Duarte to solve this puzzle as they re-launched the Long Island Index in January.

Viral 50

“Statistically Speaking”

Joan Detz Speaker Services

If you write speeches pertaining to any aspect of math or science, you’ll want to know about this book: “Statistically Speaking&# : A Dictionary of Quotations (selected and arranged by C.C. I am often asked about my favorite websites and reference books. Gaither and A. Cavazos-Gaither, published by Institute of Physics Publishing). Chapters range from Actuary, Analyses, Average, Bayesian … to Testing, Theory, Truth and Variability.

Analysis: 2012 State of the Union Address

Successful Speeches Blog

Events How to start a speech Live Presentations Opinion Political Speeches Presentation Skills Public Speaking Rhetorical Devices Scripting Your Speech Speech Writing Starting Your Speech StatisticsLast night, President Obama delivered what could be his last “State of the Union” address. As I stated in my last blog post, I’m not going to express my feelings about his policies or discuss politics. My goal is to analyze the elements within the speech.

2012 16

Starting Your Speech in the Middle

Speak and Deliver

There are several ways to get their attention - from asking an opening question to starting with a startling statistic to saying something controversial or shocking. Speech Openings Audience Attention Shocking Statements Statistics Audience Connection Dialogue Storytelling

PowerPoint Slide Makeover - Presenting People-based Statistics

Dave Paradi's PowerPoint Blog

Often presentations need to include statistics. When those statistics are about people, consider showing pictures of people instead of just quoting the text and numbers. It helps the audience connect with what the statistic means to them.

Do you use statistics in your speeches?

Joan Detz Speaker Services

More to the point: Do you use those statistics as effectively as possible? When I taught a speechwriting workshop a few weeks ago, I recommended this book to the participants: INNUMERACY: MATHEMATICAL ILLITERACY AND ITS CONSEQUENCES (written by John Allen Paulos). . This outstanding small book addresses two key questions: Why do we know so little about mathematics? And what is the social cost of our “innumeracy&# ? Highly recommended reading for speech writers at all levels

Are You Creating Followers?

Speak and Deliver

Beyond that, you can grow your network to thousands of people, many who may care what you say, others who just treat you as a statistic. Have you communicated with the audience, or just talked at them, throwing out one impersonal statistic, quote and cliche after another?

Hans Rosling & the art of storytelling with statistics

Presentation Zen

Hans Rosling is the Zen Master of presenting statistics. Hans proves what we all know, even if our teachers from yesteryear did not: Statistics are not boring. Statistics tell a story. He's brilliant.

Public Relations: Field growing at 21% (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Jane Genova: Speechwriter - Ghostwriter

The good things we have been feeling in the field of public relations have been confirmed by statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

Your stats are paralyzing your audience

Speak Schmeak

When you''re using statistics in a presentation, it''s really easy to get caught up in the numbers. There is no "ask" associated with this particular statistic, but perhaps knowing that my donation would help the zoo acquire a huge mountain of grain might inspire me to give money.

2014 89

Public Speaking: Fake Facts And Statistics

Great Public Speaking

Deadpan expression, or keeping a straight face, is a good technique to couple with fake facts and statistics. Stating falsehoods as if they are absolutely true is another fun way to play with the audience during a public speaking engagement. However, you must make the statements obviously false by your words and your facial expressions. When you use this technique in this fashion, you don't want to leave any doubt in the audience's mind whether you are being funny or not.

SOCIAL MEDIA: KEY TO YOUR CAREER | Communication Steroids

Communication Steroids

1st prize winner in’s contest: Smoke, the Convenient Truth

PowerPoint Tips

The statistics will shock you! This presentation won first prize in’s World’s Best Presentation contest. Both the message and the graphics are outstanding. View more presentations from Empowered Presentations, Honolulu, HI. Contests & giveaways contest

Two Thirds of Public Speaking Statistics are Made Up | Public Speaking Training

TJ Walker Interactive

Uncategorized public speaking

Beginning a Speech or Presentation – Four More Tips

Matt Eventoff

2) A Statistic - Not a boring statistic. A surprising statistic; a powerful statistic; a personalized statistic. . “You never get a second chance to make a good first impression&# – Will Rogers. This quote certainly holds true for speeches, presentations, group meetings and any other public speaking opportunity that exists. Your opening often determines just how much of your presentation the audience is going to “tune in&# for.

2011 57

Review of “Start strong – 3 gripping ways to open your talk” by Craig Hadden

PowerPoint Tips

Cite a startling statistic. ” Then he gives 3 very specific examples of the exact words you could use to start your presentation using a scenario, a startling statistic, or a story. (

2016 64

Romney Falsely Claims Good Job Numbers Are Because People Have Stopped Looking For Work

TJ Walker Interactive

Uncategorized bls economics employment Mitt Romney obama Politics statistics Unemployment

How to create a TED talk

Pivotal Public Speaking

In a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek analysis, Sebastian Wernicke turns the tools of statistical analysis on TEDTalks, to come up with a metric for creating “the optimum TEDTalk&# based on user ratings.

Why almost all presentations should be persuasive

PowerPoint Tips

Although I presented the same statistics and information, the audience was visibly (and audibly) more attentive when I paired the stats with persuasive photos. Do you think of yourself as a persuasive presenter? If you are a trainer or educator, perhaps not.

2017 87

How to be an Outstanding Communicator

Manner of Speaking

Statistics are abstractions that leave us cold. Outstanding communicators understand the limits of statistical data – they know that in most instances it just goes over the heads of a lay audience. To most lay people, a statistic like: 50 million acres of rainforest are cut down every year, doesn’t mean too much. On hearing a statistic like this neither their brains nor their emotions are engaged. Today’s post is from Martin Shovel.

2011 104

How to prepare a televised speech, Part (2): script, statistics & teleprompter timing

Max Atkinson

Last week, I posted a couple of video clips to mark the 30th anniversary of the BBC comedy series Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister ( HERE & HERE ). This is the second in the series of three on how Jim Hacker was coached to make a televised speech

Bruce Gabrielle presents on “Storytelling Secrets for Boardroom Presentations”

PowerPoint Tips

” This distinguishes a story from a statistic. For example, we care more when we hear a story of one baby dying than we do when we hear that 700,000 babies die annually; this is called statistical numbing.

2011 52

Jon Stewart Interviews Nate Silver on the Daily Show (video)

TJ Walker Interactive

Uncategorized jon stewart nate silver polling statistics the daily show Video

Fox Turns To Donald Trump To Peddle Unemployment Rate Trutherism via Media Matters

TJ Walker Interactive

Uncategorized "Donald Trump (TV Personality)" "Fox News Channel (TV Network)" economy obama statistics Unemployment

TV 1

A simple, 4-step guide to beautifully visualize data in your presentations

PowerPoint Tips

After all, data is just a bunch of facts or statistics that are collected together for reference and analysis. Doing so will make statistical relationships, patterns, and key trends become more exposed and recognized.

2017 77

Quotes for Public Speakers (No. 117)

Manner of Speaking

“Start strong with a ‘grabber’ A personal story, a quote from an expert or a shocking statistic — something that takes a hold of your audience and gets them hooked and opens their mind to your message. Conor Neill - Irish Teacher at IESE Business School, Entrepreneur and Author.

How to start a presentation

PowerPoint Tips

Tell the audience a startling fact or statistic: Pique their curiosity about your topic with a fact they didn’t know. The first minute after you start speaking is crucial. Your audience wants you to succeed, but they also judge you pretty quickly.

2016 75

Intrigue your audience

PowerPoint Tips

some fact or statistic. If you can intrigue your audience, you will engage them and maintain their attention. How can you get there? Organize your content for intrigue. I heard a keynote by Sam Horn at the Presentation Summit 2013.

2013 76

What about PowerPoint 2016 (Windows)?

PowerPoint Tips

Box and whisker charts are often used in statistical analysis. It’s also used in statistical analysis. It’s time for me to talk about PowerPoint 2016, since it’s been out for a few weeks now. Here’s a screenshot of it. So, what’s new?

2016 79

40 Fatal Public Speaking Mistakes

Successful Speeches Blog

Tags: Presentation Skills Public Speaking Rhetorical Devices Scripting Your Speech Speech Writing Statistics Visual Aids Bad Habits How to start a speech PowerPoint Speeches

40 Fatal Public Speaking Mistakes

Successful Speeches Blog

Tags: Presentation Skills Public Speaking Rhetorical Devices Scripting Your Speech Speech Writing Statistics Visual Aids Bad Habits How to start a speech PowerPoint Speeches

6 Ways To Counteract Your Audience's Short Attention Span

Professionally Speaking...

I recently read an updated statistic about people’s attention span. According to research done at Kaiser Permanente, humans have an average attention span of 8 seconds [one second shorter than a goldfish!]. As presenters, this should be very worrisome.

2016 71

Malala Yousafzai and Public Speaking: 12 Lessons from the Best Speech of 2013

Matt Eventoff

It was not buried in facts, details or statistics. Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations and delivered what can only be described as the best speech of 2013, as well as the most powerful address of this decade (so far.) Malala Yousafzai is a great global communicator.

2013 100

Press release goes live for Campaign Against Death by PowerPoint

PowerPoint Tips

According to PrWeb statistics, it received 647 full-page reads in the first day. The press release for the Campaign Against Death by PowerPoint is now online ! For more information on the campaign, and to learn how you can participate, go to

How to Really Craft Audience-Centric Presentations

Duarte Blog

Statistics are a great place to begin exploring the make-up of your audience. You might find they’re skeptical of cinematic presentations, or they like to discuss ideas as they come up, or they’re sticklers for statistics.

2018 31

Cyberflirting etc

The Communication Blog

12.20.2010 Cyberflirting etc Here is a startling statistic from a survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and reported in The Week magazine (December 17, 2010, p. I checked the website ( and couldn’t find exactly that statistic but I did discover there a wealth of material on the role of cyber flirting and e-communication generally and their impact on interpersonal (mainly romantic) relationships.