It’s for you…

There’s a great post over on at giving an impassioned plea from audiences in scientific meetings about what “powerpoint” is doing to medical conferences and how changing it makes a massive difference. Yet still the call from those who oppose such changes is “data, it’s all about the data.” I completely disagree.

Data is the foundation of science. Data is the foundation of much of our practice whether medical or academic, legal or business. Data makes sense. Data is not the purpose of a presentation, that is a (scientific) paper. Data has a place though in all presentations, that is the p1. Making that relevant and valuable for the audience is the skill of a good presenter.

A simple analogy is the difference between standing on stage reading out a telephone directory (data) and opening your phone and using something specific in that data and making a call. It is about connections. Your purpose is to make those connections IN that data and make sense of it for the audience. It is not about denying data but similarly it is not about just throwing a pile of numbers up and hoping the audience can make sense of it. That is your purpose as the speaker. When you get on stage, use data for a purpose and connect. Make a personal phone call to each individual audience member.

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