7 tips on how to present numbers and statistics clearly in your presentation

Figures or statistics convey important information. 

Especially in scientific presentations, numbers and 

numbers and 


dispensable. However, figures are also frequently included in company presentations or status reports. Unfortunately, numbers also convey rather abstract information. This can quickly become tiring for the audience . or become confusing when the Numbersmaterial not gehirngly prepared wird 

Hardly any presentation can do without numbers

A PowerPoint presentation that does without any numbers at all will be rare. Used correctly, they convey important information to the audience. In reality, however, the presentation of numbers quickly becomes an attention killer. Often the audience is literally bombarded and confused with numbers and statistics. And after just a few minutes, the majority of viewers have already forgotten everything. That’s a shame, because used correctly, numbers can be of enormous benefit to you in reinforcing your messages.

Seven tips to improve the impact of numbers in presentations

Skillfully staged figures can cause consternation or arouse admiration. The following tips will help you convey numbers in a way that resonates with your audience. This is particularly interesting for those who create presentations as designers or are looking for jobs for media designers and career changers.

1. tip:

Limit yourself to a few, particularly important key figures and statistics. According to the motto “a lot helps a lot”, presentations are often completely overloaded with figures. Even die-hard statistics fans reach their limits. When planning your presentation, you’d better think carefully about which numbers and statistics are particularly meaningful and support your messages.

2. tip:

Build particularly important numbers into a story. It has been proven that people remember information that is embedded in an interesting story better. Thus, the current business figures of an automotive company could be embedded in a success story of the company. Describe the founder’s humble beginnings, the first great successes and what he would probably say today if he knew that his company sells a whopping 10 million cars a year.

3. tip:

Round numbers. Of course, you should not present fantasy figures, but take the correct numerical values from your sources. But most of the time, your viewers can absorb and retain numbers better if they are rounded up or down. Instead of talking about a survey of 967,699 private households, you could say that about one million private households were surveyed.

4. tip:

Make numbers more understandable by explaining them. Often, we cannot correctly classify a number because we do not know a comparative value for it. If you give a presentation stating the annual beer production in Germany as 96,000 hectoliters, many viewers won’t quite be able to imagine how much that is. The human brain can’t do much with the abstract number. If you explain that this corresponds to the content of xx swimming pools, the figure becomes more understandable.  A report on the annual production volume of a cement factory probably remains abstract for most listeners. When the presenter explains that 10 railroad cars of cement are produced per hour, your audience will get an idea of how large that amount is.

5. tip:

Put numbers into comparison. If you tell your audience that you have 1,000 visitors a day in your web store, they can’t do much with it because they don’t know whether that’s a lot or a little. But if you explain that your competitors have only 50 visitors worldwide combined, the number becomes understandable.

6. tip:

Replace tables with infographics whenever possible. Infographics, when done well,  are quick to grasp at a glance. The graph prepares the numerical values so that the results can be clearly seen. In the case of tables, the viewers have to first acquire all the numerical values   themselves, which can be very tedious.

7. tip:

Engage the listener in your numerical examples. People are particularly interested in numbers and statistics if they are relevant to themselves. Of particular interest are all data that say something about one’s own savings opportunities, costs, profits, risks, etc. If you want to make Germany’s current debts more understandable to , for example , you can, on the one hand, break down the figures to the individual. However, you can make the number larger for understanding and explain that to reduce the current debt would take all citizens 500 years. This is another way to awaken your audience to the relevance of your data.

Portrait of Trainer Matthias Garten - Expert for Presentations and PowerPointDipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.