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Guidelines for Effective Data Presentations

(June 2003) Population and health studies, demographic surveys, censuses, and other research findings can play a key role in guiding policy and resource-allocation decisions. Yet every year, millions of dollars are spent to produce research results that fail to reach decisionmakers in a way that they can understand and use.

This guide gives practical advice and examples in the art of presenting data to nonspecialist audiences. It is intended for people whose positions require interpreting and disseminating information to a variety of audiences that may not be familiar with statistics. Potential users of the guide include staff of statistical offices, research institutions, public- and private-sector population and health programs, monitoring and evaluation units, donor agencies, and universities.

It addresses a number of questions for developing effective presentations: What are the essential steps in organizing an effective presentation? What are the most common dos and doníts for creating text and graphic slides? How can you make your presentation compelling and memorable? How can you ensure that a dissemination seminar will be well organized and successful?

The first four sections present practical techniques on how to organize and deliver effective presentations and organize a successful data dissemination seminar. The guide also contains two appendices with sample slides and reference material for preparing presentations in PowerPoint.


Acknowledgments; Introduction; Section 1: Six Steps to Developing an Effective Presentation; Section 2: Delivering an Oral Presentation (PDF: 564KB)

Section 3: Presentation Dos and Doníts: Tips for Preparing Great Slides (PDF: 1.79KB)

Section 4: Preparing for a Data Dissemination Seminar; Section 5: Writing Research Results for the Media (PDF: 302KB)

Appendix 1: Sample Presentations on Population, Health, and Nutrition Topics; Appendix 2: Notes on Making Presentations in PowerPoint (PDF: 564KB)

Sample PowerPoint presentations from Appendix 1
  • 1998 Census of Malawi District Profiles: Zomba (PPT: 514KB)
  • Nutrition in Bihar: India National Family Health Survey 2 (PPT: 260KB)
  • Family Planning and Quality of Care in Bihar: India National Family Health Survey 2 (PPT: 828KB)
  • Tanzania Reproductive and Child Health Survey (PPT: 570KB)
  • Maternal and Child Health: 2001 Nepal Demographic and Health Survey (PPT: 489KB)
  • Prevalence of Domestic Violence in Eastern Europe: Selected Findings From Reproductive Health Surveys in Latin America (PPT: 166KB)
  • Saving Pregnancies and Newborn Babies From Syphilis (PPT: 147KB)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation of AIDS Programs: Sexual Behavior (PPT: 1.9MB)

Copyright 2004, Population Reference Bureau. All rights reserved.
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