Daniel Ríos is an Uruguay-based expert in public speaking, presentations, storytelling, and nonverbal communication. He works in partnership with Mark Bowden, the world's number one body language expert for the last couple of years and one of our Present to Succeed two-time speakers.

In this podcast episode, we talk with Daniel about data, and how you can bring it to life and present it in the most effective ways. Daniel also shares four ways to make numbers memorable. Here’s a little teaser:

  • Use stories.
  • Name your sources.
  • Use of round numbers.
  • Use frames.

Daniel Ríos has been trained by and works with the best of the best, and decided to give his advice on how to present your data better as so often data can be way more memorable than it is.

Listen to the full podcast episode to learn more about those four ways of making numbers more memorable and how to use them. And do not forget to share with us in the comments, which one you will try first!

Resources

Connect with Daniel on LinkedIn or Instagram. You can find “Making Numbers Count” by Chip Heath and Karla Starr here

Transcription

Boris Hristov:

Hey everyone, and welcome to yet another episode of The World of Presentations podcast brought to you by at Presentation Agency 356labs. All right. My name is Boris. I’m the founder of the company. And today with us, we have a colleague of ours from our industry. His name is Daniel Ríos. And Daniel is, by the way. First of all, Daniel, we are trying to do this podcast for so long and scheduled this podcast for so long. It’s embarrassing. Let’s just start there. Just to introduce you first before we jump into the topic. Daniel is based in Uruguay. I have never been there, and he’s an expert in public speaking storytelling, and nonverbal communication. He, by the way, works also with a friend of ours who was a speaker at our conference twice now. Mark Bowden, is one of the absolute best people in the world, in the world of nonverbal communication. And today, with Daniel, we decided that we are going, or he is going to be telling us, or telling you, how to present data in the most effective way. Right. That’s the topic for today’s episode. Daniel, welcome to the podcast finally.

Daniel Ríos:
Hey, thank you for having me. And yeah, it’s been a while, but it’s OK. It’s OK.

B:H.:

It is OK. And we made it happen, so it’s fine. It’s fine. So, before we jump into the topic of communicating data in the best possible way, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you end up being a public speaker coach? Being involved in storytelling, being involved in the topic, and just consulting so many organizations and people in nonverbal communication and verbal communication. How did you end up in the presentation space?

D.R.:

Well, like many others, I come from journalism, and I’ve been involved in journalism for like ten years. First online after that radio, television, IPTV. And to be honest, I got tired and bored with the news like everything was changing and never changing at all. And one day I discovered a book about public speaking, about Steve Jobs and many others, and it was like, All right, I can do this. I like this. I see myself doing this. So, I study a lot. And finally, I have my first client and we were both extremely disappointed.

B:H.:

Why is that?

D.R.:

It’s because at the beginning, you know, you’re not that new, but you have to start somehow. This was like seven or eight years ago. Probably seven. And after that, well, I had to learn a lot more. I travel a lot for this. I studied with Mark and some other gurus, people that are really cool and really willing to share their knowledge which is something I appreciate, people who know, and people who want to share.

So, eventually, I got a lot better, a lot better, a lot better. And I’m in love now with what I do. Seeing people’s transformation, people pushing boundaries, and sharing ideas in the best possible way. And all I can say is that I was I’m happy with this. I love helping people and learning from them. Because I think you know this when we are working with some people from different industries, you get to learn from them. You learn about green energy and women’s labor. We learned about a paper. Yeah, it’s something that I will never learn in any other way. So, I love it.

B:H.:

Yeah, it is indeed true. I mean, with our customers, every single day is just a different industry, a different communication problem that we need to be working on. And just even if you don’t want to learn so much about the world around you, you have to. You just have to. But that makes it so interesting. Indeed. Daniel, let’s talk about data.

D.R.:

Good at numbers. Yes.

B:H.:

Yeah. A lot of people are presenting data or at least they have some data that needs to be presented in one way or the other. However, most of the time when they end up presenting data it seems like the audience gets bored. What can someone do? What do you advise your customers to do when they’re presenting data?

D.R.:

Yes. If you ask people at the very beginning when I meet someone, they’ll go, Oh, I’m OK with what you do. I love what you do. I see myself using your public speaking tools. But, you know, I’m a numbers person. I convert percentages, and numbers, all the time with complex dashboards. What can I do? And there’s a lot you can do today. I think I’m going to share with you at least five techniques to make numbers better, to make them powerful. How? First of all, stories. And yes, here we go again with the stories. With stories, it’s more likely to remember numbers when you throw them inside a story. Put the number in a story, and they will remember this 20 more times. It’s not that I’m saying this. It’s Jerome Doonan from Harvard University. 20 more times. So, remember the story no one ever, ever gets motivated by a PowerPoint. No one left the room saying, well, that PowerPoint really got my blood pumping. No, it’s a story. So, then I move the story and people will remember so that’s the first thing that I can say about it.

B:H.:

Yes. OK, number one, you said more or less five for at least five Let’s go with number two now. Let’s see how it goes.

D.R.:

Yes. Well, I trust a lot in ratios over percentages. Right. Especially talking about people or certain objects. This is what I mean, I can say 70% of cars are using our technology. That is good. But I can also say seven out of ten cars that are passing through your street, are using our technology. So, every time you go to your window, you take a look outside – seven out of ten cars are using our technology, and that is more powerful, more visual. Yes, I can see myself in my window looking at the cars and saying, oh, man, seven out of ten, seven out of ten. We need anchors for the numbers. I still remember when we used to remember all of our friends’ phone.

B:H.:

By the way, for us, or at least four numbers that you can call home Yeah. I mean, I remember that moment in time.

D.R.:

That kind of number. I remember about mobile phones. I don’t know that I’m not anymore because we know when we can go to Google, or we can go to the phone, and we have all the information there. So, we are not that good anymore at that. But with images, we’re still very good so plot the image in people’s minds and they will remember, you know?

B:H.:

Right. What about like every single time when someone presents data I believe that everyone who is involved in coaching people around public speaking or storytelling or whatever related to presentations, every single time we have to mention the word credibility when we talk about data, credibility is for sure something that is kind of important. So how do we make the numbers or the data that we have credible?

D.R.:

Sure. There are two ways of doing this. First, name the exact source of your information. All right. Let’s so well, for example, let’s talk about my partner Mark Bowden. You can say Mark Bowden wrote that you need to suspend judgment to evaluate the behavior. And that is good. That is so right. But you can also say if you go to Mark Bowden’s book, chapter, thirty-two, paragraph number one, you can read the next sentence, scan the situation suspend the judgment.

So why I’m spending energy and time talking about chapter 32, but one more. There’s nothing more than credibility. You know, probably the audience will think, oh, the man knows. I mean, he read the book. He knows the exact place where I can find that sentence. And this is something I did during my open workshops. And one guy once told me that his old teacher used to do this all the time. All the time, too. One day they decided to check it out and of course, he was lying. Oh, yeah, of course. But he was I said, if you go to page number 34, you’ll find this story. But it wasn’t there. But it gave him some credibility for a while. So that’s one way that you can do it. Other way is saying the exact number or certain things.

Let’s say the Gettysburg Address Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, those people know this by heart. And you can say, Well, it took him less than 2 minutes to make and deliver an epic speech. But you can also say that Abraham Lincoln used 272 words to deliver that speech. 272 that you wrote you know the exact number. So, you build credibility by doing this common sense here. You don’t need to say the exact number for everything you’re trying to communicate, right? It’s just one and two things that it’s enough. You do even more than that.

B.H.:

Yeah, these are very good ones for sure. Let’s go back let’s go back very quickly to the tips around presenting data. So, you already named I believe two, right? So, what else do we have? Because I think that’s I think that also in our initial conversation and in our emails, we exchanged some other ideas. And I really want our audience to hear them out because they are really practical and can be applied. I will tell you immediately, like right now, you know, in presentations.

D.R.:

That is what I’m trying to do. I try to deliver practical things that you can use right away. Round numbers, round numbers are good because we are wired to think in round numbers. If you’re going to say 6890 apples, you might as well say 7000 but you cannot always do this. Sometimes you have to say the exact number. I think you agree on this one. You know.

B:H.:

There are some specific cases, I think, where this rounding could be a problem for some audiences while they think that this is something that we should leave to our listeners to kind of judge and say, OK, wait a minute, based on who my audience is, can I round the number? Right. Is that going to go? Will they miss the message, or will the message be different if I round it compared to if I don’t, then tell them the exact number because if it’s so. Hmm, maybe, maybe we need to be very, very careful.

D.R.:

Their audience. It’s the most important part of presentations, right?

B:H.:

Yeah.

D.R.:

If we want to get technical, I will say the mental process run through your audience mind. It’s the most important part of your presentation. To make it simple. What I’m very thinking. So say we always do this or never do that. It’s kind of a dangerous advice. It depends on your public. But I tell you one exact case where you should never run numbers, and it is where, speaking of death, people OK, OK, if you’re in a company, there’s been an accident, terrible accident and 35 people die. You should never say: around 30 people died today in this accident. That it’s something that we learned through COVID-19 and watching the news say the exact number of people because every life counts. So, don’t round the number when it comes to people.

B:H.:

Yeah, interesting I have never thought about this but indeed like there is always an exception to any rule there you need. All right all right what else.

D.R.:

Exceptions and numbers. Well let’s talk about frames how you frame a number can make it stick in people’s mind. Let’s go. I was training a company that works with information technology and finance, and they were about to deliver a presentation about how to save money, how to save money. And the thing was, you just save money in a small things you can control what you invest in something pricey, expensive, but it’s little money sometimes makes the difference and you don’t even know.

And how do you prove that point? How do you move the angle? The point well, it seems that one of the women in that stuff had a thing for Coca Cola. She needed Coca Cola every single day. Thing is, we did the math we realized that ten days every year she works exclusively to buy her little bottle of Coca Cola. Ten days every year.

So how can we sell presentation, though, now that we know this? Well, it will be like this. What will you do if you have ten more days of vacations? Where would you go to spend it with today you can learn how could you get another extra ten days and then you can tell with the numbers. But one Coca-Cola it’s nothing.

How about the winners for the whole year? And then how about just knowing this in Juba, Kinshasa A’s and Sunday will remember. And let me throw here next excellent book and this is “Making Numbers Count” from Chip Heath and Karla Starr. It’s clear answer of a major stick a very good presentations book. And he quotes Charles Fishman and this is this is the example buying a bottle of Evian water it’s 3970 times more expensive than filling the bottle from your faucet. 3970 times more expensive.

It’s kind of hard to remember that. Yeah, but this is the translation in San Francisco, simple water comes from inside a mini national bank. So, who does? The NBA doesn’t require San Francisco to filter it. If you borrowed and drank a bottle of Evian you will refuse that bottle once a day for ten years, five months, and one days with San Francisco tap water before the water will cost you $1.35. But see what I mean? Yeah. Ten years of water. All are crazy about you.

B.H.:

We all have one. We can bring that one to and see what happens.

D.R.:

There we go. All the containers of tap water equals one bottle of water. That is a true translation. So visual, so beautiful that you will remember. 3970. I mean, we’re not wired to deal with big figures. I mean, you may know how rich Elon Musk is. I mean, you know the number, but you can sense it, too, until you translate it into something that you can relate to. And that’s the magic. That’s the power of frames.

B:H.:

Yeah. Yeah. And you can see we also advise our customers, and we push them every single time or when there is some number that otherwise the audience won’t be sure about or won’t be like, is that a lot? Is that not like how much is it to drill? I remember the last time we had a case like this, we had a customer who is building some of those rolls, those foods that are with raw materials. They’re otherwise sweet, but they’re bio and all of that stuff. And they were describing the fact that they use more than three tons of raw material to build those four in the year and that was like, guess so three tons. Is that a lot? Is it like, is it a lot? I’m like, I don’t know. And they’re like, the founder of the company told me to imagine a train composition of more than 40 wagons filled in only with our raw materials.

That’s some of the raw material we need to build our small, delicious things. I was like, Wow, wow. No. Now I can imagine it. Like, that is crazy. Like, that is insane. I mean, my how big the product is in terms of market size, keeping in mind that those small waffles, it’s like they’re super small. I was like, wow, that is a lot. When you put it into a frame or as I’m not some data experts say into context, it’s like, wow, it’s a completely different story. Indeed.

D.R.:

Yes. Of course, I can see that. And then you got to be careful with your delivery. I mean, if you see everything in the same tone, if you’re not dynamic, if you’ve done your accent in that number, you want them to remember you know, you lose a beautiful chance. Let’s say it’s two years of tap water. You can go and say it’s ten years of water, or you can say it’s ten years of your regular tap water.

That’s how much it is. Ten years. And what if my gorgeous it’s the great, great valentine I learned a lot from him, and he was saying something that it’s great. I think it’s very good on how to be dynamic and he told me if you’re if you’re trying to be dynamic all the time, you’re no longer dynamic so a moment to speak quietly peacefully in order to highlight that very moment that you really need. But if you’re trying all the time to have to sound powerful, it’s like nothing. You’re not powerful anymore. You’re just trying to scream all the time. And Craig Valentine knows a lot about this is he’s a reference.

B:H.:

Yeah, for sure. And we need to make sure that we get him on the podcast at some point. Yeah. So, we still have him here. So, I think if we’re able to get him, I think our audience will also love that episode for sure. Yeah. There was where people can find more about what you’re doing and what is the best social media network where people can connect with you?

D.R.:

Well, lingering, lingering Instagram, you can find me basically anywhere. On Instagram, I post things every day, but not about my private life. This is what I mean by this. I don’t think that people are interested in what I have for breakfast or if I travel. I’m not that interesting, you know? So, every single post, every day, it’s about communication. Every day about communication, everyday tools that you can use right away.

B:H.:

Yeah. That’s nice. I’m going to make sure that I already put some notes here for the person who is going to edit this out. She will find you. She will find and link your LinkedIn, and any Instagram profiles in the show notes or in the description. So, everyone – make sure that you follow Daniel, and also reach out to him on LinkedIn because he is super open to communicating and sharing his ideas and thoughts with everyone. So just reach out to him. All right. Just hold on. Yes, Daniel, 2 minutes already and eat at least five or six super practical tips around data Thank you so much for joining us. This was new, super cool.

D.R.:

Thanks for having me.

B:H.:

Absolutely. We need to do this again. At some point, everyone let us know in the comments. This is the first time I’m asking for something like this. By the way, Daniel, this is episode 110 from the world of Presentations. That’s all, by the way.

D.R.:

Good.

B:H.:

Everyone. This is the first time I’m asking the if you’re watching this on YouTube or if you’re consuming this because you saw a link on LinkedIn or somewhere else, let us know in the comments, which tip that Daniel just shared with you is the one that you are going to try first. All right. Let’s see what happens here. We are going to monitor all of the channels and let’s see what ends up happening there. Which one are you going to try first? OK, thank you, everyone, for joining us. Subscribe to the podcast if you still haven’t. And you know what else you need to do. And just like comments to share it, do the magic that you need to do to support this one and see you in the next one. Thanks again, everyone! Thanks, Daniel!