Paul Smith


How to Tell a Story With Data

Results can be compelling, interesting, and impactful

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:01

H ave you ever been hammered with data that you knew were important, but you didn’t understand why the person sharing it was so passionate about it? Have you ever shared data and facts with colleagues in an attempt to influence them only to find they didn’t care about the message you were trying to convey?

There’s a better way to communicate than just throwing data at people.

Tell a story with the data.

Here’s a quick video that covers an example of how to tell a story with data. The example will help you understand the technique, and you’ll be telling better, more compelling stories before you know it if you apply these methods. Enjoy!

If you’re interested in becoming a better storyteller yourself, check out our “Influencing Through Storytelling” course and our “Storytelling for Salespeople” course.

First published on the thoughtLEADERS blog.


About The Author

Paul Smith’s picture

Paul Smith

Paul Smith is a managing partner at Story Makers and a principal at thoughtLEADERS LLC. A popular speaker and a trainer in leadership and business storytelling techniques, Smith aims to make the world a better place one story at a time. Smith is the author of three books published by AMACOM: Lead With a Story (2012), Parenting With a Story (2014),and Sell With a Story (2016). During Smith’s 20 years with Procter & Gamble, he held leadership positions in research and finance, and served as director of consumer and communications research.


Telling a Quality Improvement Story

Quality Improvement Stories are easily told with a few tools:

  • Control chart of defects over time
  • Pareto chart of defects
  • Fishbone diagram

Here's an example:

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