Monday, April 9, 2018

Chart Your Numbers’ Compelling Backstory

In your sales presentations, a chart with information of potential high importance to the consumer will come across as no more than trivial if that chart lacks a backstory. All good stories create tension and then propose a way to resolve it. Determine the tale you want your data to tell and then design a graphic to complete the job.
  • What do you want the chart’s audience to do about the issue? Not only know about the issue, but also do about the issue. Contribute to a cause? Select a particular item among alternatives? Vote for the candidate or issue you favor? 
  • What do the data say about the particular issue? Most data sets can be interpreted in a variety of ways, and many data sets are rich with possible directions for action. Because your audiences will probably spend only a limited time looking at the chart, focus the visual on what counts most when it comes to your issue. 
  • What will the viewers want to believe and feel about the issue? The evidence counts for a lot, but the truth is that people are more persuaded by what they want to conclude. In designing the chart, also keep in mind that beliefs are more influenced by shapes than hues, while feelings are more influenced by hues than shapes. Bold, solid, angular, and sharp shapes appeal to those who favor independent action. Airy delicate, round, and smooth shapes appeal to those who favor collaboration. Warm colors—reds, oranges, and yellows—stimulate consumers to make decisions more quickly. Cool colors—greens, blues, violets, and whites—increase consumers’ satisfaction with their current consumer decisions. 
     Data visualization expert Bill Shander, CEO of Beehive Media, describes various questions effectively answered by persuasive charts he’s encountered in his career. Here’s my version of his list from which you can select one or more to answer your own audiences’ questions:
  • Comparison. How do a set of alternatives stand against each other? 
  • Trends & deviation. How is an important consideration changing over time? 
  • Proportions. How influential a role is your recommendation playing in the audience’s whole picture? 
  • Relationships. What are the connections among causes and effects? 
  • Distribution & geography. Where and how broadly is the issue showing itself? 
     Mr. Shander also verified that the most effective storytelling is interactive. Encourage interactivity with rhetorical questions on the chart, such as, “Which cleaning wipe looks best for you?”

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Table Complexity for Elderly Shoppers
Beware Flawed Predictions from Animations
Shape Ads for Future Use Purchases
Craft Fear Appeals
Coordinate Store Atmosphere Stimuli
Involve the Shopper in Your Story
Remember to Consider Rhetorical Questions

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