Swap tables and bullets for videos and demos to turbo-charge your reports

Are you reports and presentations looking a bit dull?

Do you want to give your audience something interesting and fun to engage them?

Most presentations and reports are made up of tables of numbers and bullet points – yawn central!

Bring your next presentation to life by swapping tables of numbers and bullets for pictures, videos and live demonstrations.

Don’t tell people how things work, show them.

Tables & bullets > graphs and charts

The best way to hide a key message is to use a table of numbers.

You can’t see the wood for the trees, and many people (even finance people) are switched off by slide after slide of numbers.

So pick the most important number and turn it into a chart or graph.

My favourite is simple text, find out more here.


Pictures (or icons) will work for you for 2 reasons:

  1. people are engaged by them
  2. so few people use them in presentations that you’ll stand out and wake people up

Find out more about replacing bullets with pictures and icons here.


Videos take things to the next level.

If I want to bring something to life, I’ll search YouTube for the topic and see what I can find.

I’m looking for something short (max 3 minutes), that clearly explains the topic and gives some good examples.

If you can find a recognised expert (or well known brand) in that area talking about the topic, even better. Because when you play the video some of the prestige of that expert will rub off on you 🙂

After the video you can ask people their opinions, thoughts, reflections and get a nice discussion going.

Live demos

Steve Jobs would talk a bit about the new iPad or iPhone.

He never used bullets points, he’d use graphs, pictures and videos instead.

But where his presentations really came to life was when he demonstrated the new iPad or iPhone.

That was the bit that everyone was waiting for.

The bit that really got people excited.

Because he knew that it is far better to show someone that to tell someone.

You could show a video, talk about a case-study, bring up a web-page and talk through it.

Or take a concept and find a way to bring it to life with props.

I once saw a sales director at Dulux paints bring to life the margin we made from 2 different paint products.

He came on stage at a sales conference with 2 tins of paint.

He ‘poured’ the first one out and a whole load of 10p pieces fell out onto the floor. Behind him on the screen the £ amount came up.

Then he poured the second one out a just a single 10p fell out.

He said nothing and walked off.

And guess what all the sales team were talking about at the dinner that night!

It wasn’t the table of numbers and bullet points that the finance director presented later that day…

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