Getting ready for presentations is quite the task and after completing our first presentations at the data school, I would like to reflect upon my own preparation for presentations. I want this blog to have two parts. The first part will be about what I believe currently is good presentation preparation. The second part will be one of my final blogs. Here I’ll look to see how far my presentation practice has improved over the 16-week training period.

Be Goal Orientated

Before setting out to construct any visualisation, creating a defined goal(s) beforehand can help you tailor your work. Get out a note pad or open up a word document, and take notes. What do you desire to create and display to your audience?

For example, it you were to set up a dashboard for a business who wanted to see their KPI’s from the current year vs the previous year. Creating KPI visuals should be a main goal.

Getting ready for presentations - goals

Draw Up a Sketch

After you have designed some goals, create a sketch of desired dashboard. This can really help alleviate a lot of hassle and provide direction when creating the final dashboard. If you’re looking for a website which can help you with sketches, try Excalidraw, or if you’re like me, pen and paper will do.

Getting ready for presentations - sketch

A simple diagram like the one above should suffice in giving you a general idea of how things are going to look like on a dashboard. You can even make further refinements if you choose.

Keep Things Neat & Tidy

Whilst you’re going crazy, developing new calculated fields and worksheets, identification of these new entities at a moments notice is crucial and allows you to be more efficient with your work. By using unique names for each new creation and organising them in such a way that they are easy to access is vital.

For example, if you create a new calculated field, and that fields uses a ‘sales’ field. Be sure to rename that new calculated something unique and associated with the calculation you would be doing.

Getting ready for presentations - organisation

Time Management

Try and create rough guidelines for how long you should be working on a certain part of your presentation. I made this mistake with my first presentation and it led me to present an incomplete dashboard. By setting rough guidelines, you can make sure that you stay on track and complete everything you had in mind.

These are some initial thoughts towards getting ready for presentations. Hopefully, towards the end of the course and I’ve got more skills under my belt, I will be able to add on this blog with better guidelines!