Customized training workshops to visually communicate data effectively to executives

Is this your situation?

You are a director, VP, or executive in charge of professionals who use Excel to analyze data, such as financial, operational, research, engineering, or technical metrics. Your staff prepare slides in PowerPoint to communicate important results to senior executives and external stakeholders.

Unfortunately, often the presentations are not clear in the messages, use overloaded slides, and end up confusing the executives. You spend hours fixing the slides so you won't be embarrassed when presenting to the executive team. You need a customized training workshop for the analysts and professionals in your group to create presentations of data that communicate effectively to executives.

Customized session with makeovers of their own slides convinces participants they can improve

I don’t deliver a canned workshop. I discuss your goals, current issues, and analyze sample presentations from the attendees. I tailor the content to what your group needs to focus on and the time allotted for the session (half-day to two full days). I prepare makeovers of some of the slides so the participants see how they can improve their presentations immediately. The makeovers are always the hit of the session, that’s why I send them to the participants so they can use the makeovers as a starting point. Participants receive a customized handout to take notes on and you have the option of providing them with two of my books as additional resources.

The four topics included in the workshop

There are four areas that I cover in a workshop. The depth of coverage depends on your goals and the time allocated.

The GPS approach to planning the content

Instead of grabbing slides from previous files to start a new presentation, I teach a repeatable, structured approach to planning the content for a presentation. I share my GPS approach, based on the way a GPS plans a trip. It starts by deciding on the goal of the presentation, similar to the destination for a trip. Next, examine the present situation, including the audience and logistics of the presentation, similar to the current location when starting a trip. Finally, plan the topics, points, and supporting information that will move the audience from where they are to the desired goal, similar to the best route calculated for a trip. Here’s a video of me explaining the GPS approach to financial professionals.

Strategies to reduce information overload in presentations

Information overload is the single biggest issue in presentations today. I share how presenters have three additional opportunities to share information with the audience outside of the presentation. I show them how moving details Before, After, or Behind the presentation focuses the key messages and allows them to access details if asked during the presentation. This also creates a file that contains their presentation slides and backup details so those who review the presentation later have all the required details.

Three steps to create effective visuals (dataviz, diagrams, and more) in Excel and PowerPoint

Analysts and specialists don’t have to be designers to create effective visual slides. I teach a three step process any business professional can follow. It starts by writing a headline for the slide that summarizes the message. Next, select the best visual using a six category decision model based on the message being communicated. This is where the participants see most of the makeovers that convince them that they can improve their presentations right away. The final step is to incorporate strategies to focus the audience during the delivery of the slides. Here’s a video of me introducing the six categories of visuals in a public workshop for CPAs.

Hands-on Excel and PowerPoint techniques to create effective visuals

Without the hands-on practice of techniques in the software they use, participants leave knowing what they want to create but not how to create it. I use some of the makeover examples to show them how to create effective graphs, charts, and other data visuals in Excel. I show them the techniques and features in PowerPoint that make creating diagrams less time consuming, using images more effective, and making text more visual. Participants practice on their own laptops and walk away with a file of visuals and the tips and techniques they can use immediately. Here is one of the techniques for giving the audience context before explaining a complex topic.

How this training is different

My clients tell me that my customized workshops are unique. They are not traditional presentation skills training with videotaping and feedback. I don’t do basic Excel and PowerPoint skills sessions. And I don’t do design training. I provide skills that your staff wishes they learned in school or their professional designation courses. This is training on how to structure an effective message, eliminate the overload of information that confuses executives, select and create effective visuals to support your message, and prepare the presentation efficiently using the software you already have. The skills are practical, required for success in today’s business world, and relevant for data or information intensive roles.

60 second summary

  • You are an executive in finance, operations, engineering, technology, research, or analysis

  • Your staff create presentations that are unclear, overloaded, and confusing

  • In a customized workshop, I can teach your staff how to visually communicate data effectively to executives

  • This practical, focused training provides a positive ROI within months

The instructor took a number of slides from our existing financial presentations and provided an updated view of those pages based on the principles we learned in class.  I found this to be very effective because he took presentations we were familiar with and demonstrated how that same information could be applied differently on a slide.

Specialist, Finance, Telecom Company

This was honestly one of the best courses I've taken in my 11+ years with the company.  It should be mandatory for anyone who presents.  Full of useful information and tips presented by a motivating, professional, expert who really knows how to engage the audience.  Truly an excellent course!

Research Analyst, Pharmaceutical company

This was one of the best courses I have ever taken.  The instructor was knowledgeable, engaging, and presented the information in a format that was easy to understand.  It was a great learning experience!

Analyst, Corporate FP&A, Media/Communication provider

Without a doubt, the best training I have ever been a part of and I am thankful for the opportunity. I especially liked the integration of our current slides and how Dave would present them differently. Later, he shared with us how we can duplicate them.

Sr. Financial Analyst, Wireless Provider

This was extremely helpful - learned a new way to look at slides, pull data together and hope to now effectively provide information to senior management.

Sr. Analyst, FP&A, Telecom Company

Hiring an expert is an investment that pays off within a few months

As a senior manager or executive, you understand that hiring an expert is an investment, not an expense. You expect the investment to pay off quickly. Investing in this training for your staff will have a positive ROI in well under a year. The time your staff spends in the workshop will pay back within a few months with the time they save preparing presentations more efficiently. The cost of bringing me in is paid back within a short time from the hours you and others save not having to revise slides and from the benefits to the organization of executives making quicker decisions from clear presentations.

I have a simple fee structure so it makes the decision to set up a session easy. The fee for me to customize and deliver a session is based only on the length of the session (plus travel costs as incurred). You can have up to 25 people attend and the only per person cost is if you invest in my books as additional resources. Simple and easy to budget for.

If you haven’t already noticed, I live in Canada. This may be a concern if you are in the U.S., but you don’t need to worry. I hold an E-1 visa that gives me full access to deliver workshops with no issues at the border and no letters or forms for you to fill out. I am familiar with the forms your accounting department will ask for, like the W-8BEN, so I’ll make sure that this is smooth and easy for you. I know you want the least hassles possible, so I’ve done the work to make sure that booking a workshop is simple and easy.

I am a recognized expert in communicating data effectively to executives

I have authored or co-authored ten books on effective presentations. I am one of fewer than ten people in North America recognized by Microsoft with the Most Valuable Professional Award for my contributions to the PowerPoint and Excel communities. My thoughts and ideas have appeared in publications all over the world. I have co-authored a case at the Queen’s Smith School of Business and my information gets used by universities such as Vanderbilt, Southern New Hampshire University, Baruch College at CUNY, and many others in their coursework and as teaching reference materials. I was invited to be one of the first expert contributors to the Microsoft Office Creators video program that supplies videos to PowerPoint and Excel users through the Help function in the program.

I have spent over 20 years developing approaches, systems, structures, and tools for effectively communicating to executives. I have a degree in Chemical Engineering and an MBA so I can understand the financial or technical information being presented by your staff and show them how it can be presented more effectively. When I present the makeovers during the day, I commonly hear that people think I have worked for the company because I present as if I know a lot about what they do. I have the background to quickly figure out the key messages and communicate them.

Call or email today to get started

You know the pain presentations are today in your group. You can relieve that pain with a focused, practical two day training course. Email me or call me today at 905-510-4911 (Eastern time zone) so we can start discussing how to customize the session for your group.

Dave Paradi Consulting is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website: www.NASBARegistry.org.