Karin Rex

Translating Data Through Storytelling With Karin Rex

Understanding data can be a complicated task, especially as you get deeper into it. But this should not deter you from learning about it, given how the world is slowly transformed by the connections these data make in technology. This episode’s guest speaker has the solution: storytelling. Karin Rex joins the panel to share with us how she incorporates storytelling with data. She is an instructional designer, writer, eLearning developer, and virtual facilitator. She talks about the importance of storytelling when translating those data and letting your customers understand. As the saying goes, “data can’t speak; it needs a storyteller.” Join this conversation and learn how you can become the storyteller that connects data to your people and make it stick.

Translating Data Through Storytelling With Karin Rex

It is so nice to see so many familiar names on here. Welcome back. If you are only joining us for the first time, maybe you registered and you don’t know what we do here, I’m here to give you the rundown. We get together each and every week. We invite a guest speaker. They team up with our panel of experts. We chat about different topics that you might be experiencing in the workplace, everything from leadership to HR practices. In this episode, we’re talking a bit about storytelling and data. Our mission is to engage, energize and elevate your employees and company.

I have a lot of help along the way. Let me introduce you to everyone that we have here. I’m going to get started with Char. She is a former HR professional to an entrepreneur, career coach, and consultant. We also have Sumit who is a people strategist and an HR consultant working with companies all around the world. Howard is a compensation advisor and reward strategist. He works together with Sam over at CompTeam. We have a lot of people from CompTeam here, by the way.

We also have Wendy. She too works with CompTeam and she specializes in talent development. Lastly, the host that brings us all together and brings us all our speakers every week, we have Sam to thank for that. He is the Founder and CEO of CompTeam. He is a compensation expert and I did say we have a guest speaker. Let’s talk about her.

Her name is Karin Rex and she does a lot of amazing things. She’s an instructional designer, a writer, an eLearning developer, a virtual facilitator, and a geek. She has her own company. She helps adult learners and takes complicated lengthy information and makes it into something that is digestible and makes more sense to people. We’re excited to have her here. Karin, thank you so much for joining us here on the show.

It is a true pleasure to be here and talk about one of my favorite topics, storytelling, specifically, storytelling with data. Thanks for having me.

Karin, I know data on its own needs an ally. Can you tell us a little bit how about yourself, how you got into this business, and how you help your clients?

How I got into this is probably too long of a story to tell here, but I’ve been a storyteller all of my life. My mother almost guaranteed and said I would be a teacher one day because I used to love to line up all of my dollies and my stuffies. I will put them on the bed and I would teach them. I would tell them stories. I’m a natural-born storyteller. When I started my business back in 1989, I focused on technology, teaching people how to use tech because, at the time, it was all brand new, especially Macintosh.

I started out in that world, but every time that I would teach somebody something, there was always a story involved. Stories make our brains light up. They resonate with people. They’re memorable. They engage us in all of our senses. Because stories often have an emotional component of up and down, they bring us closer together because we empathize with the people in stories. They also move us to feel and also the brilliant thing about it is that they move us to act. That’s why storytelling with data, incorporating data into your stories, and being able to share with your customers if you’re trying to sell them something is so important.

PSF 39 | Data Storytelling

Data Storytelling: Stories make our brains light up. They really resonate with people. They’re very memorable and engage us in all of our senses. Because stories often have an emotional component, they bring us closer together because we empathize with the people in stories.


We had a guest on. It was Wade Forbes. He is an artist. We were talking about your session on storytelling with data. When you’re bringing in these other aspects of creativity, art, and the story itself, it engages the whole brain. It’s a way to help us remember what we’re seeing. Just data in itself, we’re looking at a graph or a bunch of numbers on a report, is dry. It doesn’t resonate with us until somebody tells us, “What is the meaning behind this?”

I like to talk about four words when it comes to data. There are the words knowledge, data, information, and wisdom. I’d like all of you to try and put those words into what you would think of as logical order. Let’s get a few people answering. All of you as well. I’d like to see your answer, Sam and Wendy.

The intent is that which one do we think is first? Is that right?

What order do you see those four words belonging in? Howard, I like what you wrote.

Howard’s got it. Howard’s so smart.

That is the logical progression of these four words. It moves towards increased understanding from left to right. I’d like to start by thinking about that. I want you to think about the relationships between those concepts because it’s a natural progression of how you can get data, which is the raw material.

To make this really clear, what Howard has there is data, it comes first, then, info, knowledge, and then wisdom.

You take raw data, just numbers. What do we do when we look at numbers? We try to turn it into useful information. It starts out as data, but then it turns into information. We then use our background and our experience to turn that information into knowledge, then to reach a higher order of understanding, we use our innate wisdom and create context around that data. I like to talk about those four words. Most of you who are reading want to be able to improve your ability to translate data into stories and that’s exactly the progression that you would want to do it.

I learned the hard way very early on in my career. I was working in financial services back in the heyday when managers were very volatile. I went into a manager as a compensation analyst with streams of reports, exhibits, and data. He looked at it, threw it at me, and said, “Tell me what this all means.” That was my first lesson and he’s right. You can’t go in, especially when you’re dealing with more senior management and executives, and say, “He’s an Excel spreadsheet.” They want to know, “What does this mean? Give me the five bullet points.”

More than that, they want to know the connective tissue between those five bullet points. That’s what it is. That’s where a lot of us have trouble imagining numbers, whether they’re big or small. Let me see. Have any of you ever played the lottery?

I got in there once or twice. The odds always scared me away. Talking about data, it’s like, “I got one in a bazillion chance of winning here.”

That’s the reason why so many of us remain hopeful. Let me ask you if you want a big, life-changing amount of money. Most of us continue to play the lottery. Why is that? I think it’s because big numbers or little numbers, we don’t get that until we have context. I have a little video that I would love to play for you that will give you context about that.

The odds of winning a $5 million prize in Florida’s Gold Rush Limited scratch-off game are one in roughly 2.3 million. Very few of us can picture those odds clearly. I can’t. For the human brain, numbers, whether very large or very small are often challenging to envision especially if a number is presented in an abstract way like this one.

When we share data like this, it’s important to help your audience envision that data using a relatable story. How might we do that with this number? Let’s imagine. You’re at an international conference here in Orlando. It’s not hard to do, right? While at Networking Night at Universal Studios, you run into a potential from Hamburg, Germany in Ollivanders while buying a wand. Let’s call him Fritz.

You and Fritz bond over having similar taste in wands. You end up hanging out together with a few colleagues. You enjoy some attractions together. Talk about business a bit and are excited about the possibility of working together. You enjoy a meal and then part ways. Unfortunately, neither of you had thought to give the other their business card. As you get up to leave the restaurant, you notice that Fritz left his magic wand on the table. Those things are expensive so you have an idea.

You decide to make it your mission to return it to him even though you only know his first name and the city he lives in. Instead of flying home to your own country after the conference, you fly from Orlando directly to Germany. Once you’re there, you rent a car and drive to Hamburg. You drive around the city for about 20 minutes and then decide to park on a random street. You walk up that random street and then stop at a random house and knock on that random door. Lo and behold, there’s Fritz. You hand him his wand. Easy, right?

I’m guessing that most of you are thinking, “No way.” Me, too. Let’s explore why. First of all, the population of Hamburg, Germany is 2.3 million. Therefore, the odds of finding Fritz in the way I just described are 1 in 2.3 million. Are you starting to understand how hard it would be to win Florida’s Gold Rush Limited scratch-off game? The odds are the same.

Now, how many of you out there understand the odds of winning the lottery so much better now than you did before that video?

Yes, Karin, but somebody’s got to win.

Why do you understand the odds better? Think about it.

Putting it in the context of being lost in a city. Going in, I can imagine standing in the middle of Times Square in New York and going, “I got to find so-and-so.”

It’s hard enough to find an address that you know and a person that you know. That relatable story made it more concrete. That’s why I loved that saying. “Data can’t speak for itself. It needs a storyteller.” Now, there’s an added bit to this that you might not like. Stories are way more memorable than data. Unfortunately, I might have ruined playing the lottery for all of you because the next time you go to play the lottery, you’re going to think of that little video.

Data can't speak for itself. It needs a storyteller. Share on X

There’s always hope.

Maybe. I could use that. There’s this great book called Made to Stick. It’s by brothers Chip and Dan Heath. One of them is a Stanford professor. Every year, he proves that storytelling is more memorable than data by running an experiment. On day two of the class, he asks about a dozen students to each give a one-minute presentation. Now, half of the students in the group are supposed to talk about nonviolent crime as a serious problem in the US. One-half of the students talk about the fact that it’s not a big problem. Each student is supposed to include at least 3 or 4 statistics in the presentation.

There are a couple of students though that have stories. They embellish their presentation with stories. After the presentation, everybody votes on who won the debate and then they go on to another topic. What Chip does is he shows a Monty Python movie, just a clip, a four-minute funny movie for them to watch. A few minutes before the class, he says, “Everybody, grab a piece of paper and I want you to write down all of the statistics you remember from the earlier presentation.” Sumit, what percentage of people do you think remembered any of the stats? What’s your best guess?


Jules, how about you? What are you thinking?

Maybe 7%.

She’s going lower. Wendy, how about you?

I don’t know. Howard will know.

I won’t keep you in suspense. Only 5% of the students remember any of the statistics. In one ear, out the other. That’s the same way your business presentations are going if you’re only viewing data. You need to make it more relatable. 64% of the students in that class remembered both of the stories that the presenters told. It’s pretty compelling for storytelling.

If you're just viewing data, you need to make it more relatable. Share on X

I got to thinking about this when I was doing traditional HR. I was in charge of employee engagement for eleven hospitals. We had a 22% turnover in nursing. Our objective was to get down to 8% turnover. We’d analyze the first-year turnover, which was significantly higher. This would’ve been extremely helpful because I’m the opposite of Howard. I’m not a numbers guru or Sam. I’m more of a creative right-brained individual and HR executives are constantly battling with the credibility and the business acumen to discuss data.

You gave me an idea, Karin. It’d be fantastic if I were to describe the day in the life of a nurse or the day in the life of a brand-new nurse that joins a department. 33% turnover, the potential for that nurse to leave the organization and talk about the day of the life in the year and describe because hazing does happen, believe it or not, in nursing. That’s why many nurses leave. Relating it to a story and throwing in those percentages and analyzing the changes that we made in the culture would help the executives, particularly the CFOs to embrace exactly what we’re talking about. It’s a fantastic idea. I can see it applicable in many ways.

Char, what you said was awesome. When you first started the conversation, you said 22% of people. When you said that, I had no real understanding of it. Is that a lot? Is that a little? Do you think a number can make you feel?

If it’s my bank account, maybe.

100,000 people. Does that make you feel anything?

Other than it’s a lot.

Only if I can put it in relation to something else.

Now, I’m going to put this next number into chat. Does that make you feel something? One hundred thousand people in our industry lost their jobs last quarter. That’s exactly what you said.

If you have 100,000 people, let’s say nurses, 22,000 will have left. Think of the lives being impacted, particularly, in the shortage of nurses. Twenty-two thousand is a lot of lives.

It’s huge.

It’s significant, but it’s hard to conceptualize it and explain it in a way that people embrace it. It’s only a number. You’re right.

I’ve got a question here, Karin. Apart from the number, it also depends on how we are bringing the number to life. The example you were giving about the lottery brought a man in a black turtleneck to my mind. He didn’t say, “I’m going to give you a device which has three gigabytes worth of storage because that’s not a number you can relate to. It’s a big number,” he said. “Now, you can carry 1,000 songs in your pocket, which means a lot.” Using data built into a story which have an impact brought numbers and storytelling to life as a marketer.

Absolutely, and Steve Jobs was an awesome storyteller.

It also goes to your experience as well. I grew up in Manhattan. If someone said you’re got to be with 100 people, I would say, that’s nothing. If I was in a small little city and someone said, you’re going to be with 100 people, I might say, “That’s a big crowd.” There’s that aspect, too, to what people bring to the table when they’re getting information.

As you said, Howard, their context and where they’re coming from. Are they from a small town or a big town? All those things make a difference to your audience. Tell us, Karin, as we’re going through this journey, thinking as an analyst, we got a pile of data in front of us and we’re excited to share it. We need to make sure that it’s influential. What are the first steps that we should take to create meaning out of this data set that we have?

Turn it into information by studying it. This means you’re looking for patterns and relationships, then turn it into knowledge by relating it to something else that people would be familiar with and then create that story. That’s the wisdom behind it. It’s all about contrast, too. Annette Simmons wrote a great book and she has this quote in there. She says, “Contrast is key to the structure of any story.”

PSF 39 | Data Storytelling

Data Storytelling: “Contrast is key to the structure of any story.”


If you think about contrast, it’s like the effect of painting two very different color stripes side by side. The contrast makes each element seem more vivid than when they’re seen by themselves. Filmmakers use this to their advantage in the stories that they show us. They measure emotion in what we call beats. A beat is the smallest element of a scene and a single scene can have multiple elements. What storytellers do is they give us the contrast between excitement and depression or anticipation and surprise. It’s always up and down. For example, everyone in this room has heard the story of Cinderella, right?


Wendy, could you do me a favor?


Could you be telling me a mini version of Cinderella? I’m going to show you what emotional contrast looks like and you can feel free to use the points on my slide if you would like. Look for the emotional contrast in this story.

I’m purposely going to try to go for that.

There’s a continuum over here. We have hit high points of happiness and low points of misery.

There’s a girl named Cinderella and it is so sad because she lived with her stepmother and her stepsisters. They treated her awfully and she had no love in her life. All day, all night, she had to clean the house while they went about and did all their frivolous fun things. She was slave labor and treated horribly. There was no love. One day, they got invited to a fancy ball and everyone was so excited. What are they going to wear? When are they going to go? Cinderella wanted to go and there was just no way because she is at the bottom of the pile there in her house. Her stepmother said, “You’re not going.”

She had a magical godmother who said, “Don’t worry Cinderella. I will get you to the ball.” She used her magic. Cinderella didn’t even have anything to wear. Even if she could go, there was no way. Her fairy godmother transformed her shabby clothes into a beautiful ball gown and transformed a pumpkin into a coach and transformed a mouse into the driver to get her racing off to the ball in time to get there and enjoy it after she had spent all day cleaning.

There is this moment where she has a magical dance with the prince. She’s like floating. She’s on air. It’s the most amazing moment and then the clock strikes and the magic is starting to run out. She trips down the stairs. She’s running. She has to be back by midnight. While she’s running, one of her slippers falls off and the coach turns back into a pumpkin and she’s back to her old place. She’s back to her life of misery.

All that magic has come to an end, but the prince finds her slipper as he’s chasing after her. He is determined to find to whom this shoe belongs because when he was dancing with her, she didn’t even know who she was. They go all around the town trying on the shoe and everyone tries to squish their foot in because they want to marry the prince but it only fits Cinderella. It’s a magical reunion for real this time and she lives happily ever after.

You’re a good storyteller. That’s a fairy tale. There are no data on that. How would we do that emotional beat and contrast in a story that contains data?

Just as a visualization of this for our readers. The thought here is that we’re creating highs and lows. You started off saying that there are elements of misery and then there are elements of happiness. As we start out with the story, Cinderella’s low, and that grows and grows. There’s a crisis that creates another point of interest and then we’re up another high. Suddenly, we’re getting low. We’re creating that contrast. Is that where you’re getting at, Karin?

Absolutely. I didn’t ask Sam to do that, but he narrated the rest of that slide for me. There are three things. The snatch, the catch, and the dispatch. Stories have beginnings, middles, and ends. In the beginning, you want to snatch the listener in. You want to grab them. You want to hook them into your story. There’s always a catch though, isn’t there? It’s either going to be something that maybe is an opportunity that you can take if you want it or something goes awry. That emotional contrast between the snatch and the catch is what sells a story. The dispatch is the resolution of the story. Thanks for that, Sam.

PSF 39 | Data Storytelling

Data Storytelling: That emotional contrast between the snatch and the catch is really what sells a story. The dispatch is the resolution.


That’s a piece that I’ve often struggled with because as we’re trying to be influential or draw a motion to the particular set that you’re trying to influence others, you typically are trying to influence people’s like, “You need to pay the living wage or whatever.” You are trying to influence people to spend more money. Having this roller coaster creates interest and engagement, is that right?

Yes, and you can do it with data, too. Maybe you are working with a new client and at the beginning of the story, you’re in what we call the neutral zone. It’s status quo. When you sign a new client, you’re up here. You’re happy. There’s that emotional contrast. They become a client. They’re a good client for a while and then you notice that profits are going down. Why are profits going down? That’s another emotional contrast that you see in the data. You start to look at the data. You turn that data into information and you turn the information into knowledge.

You notice by looking and using your background experience and knowledge that the reason why profits are going down is that travel costs have increased dramatically, let’s say. You tell that story with those emotional ups and downs. People will remember that more than you say, “We did great with them for the first few years and then everything went awry,” and giving numbers. It does draw you in.

That’s a helpful tool. What do you think, Sumit?

One of the things that I always try to practice in my presentations is to bring in a number that people can relate to. I was talking to the CHRO of a startup in India. Their annual attrition rate and their employee turnover rate are about 35%. They were like, “This is the industry norm,” and stuff like that. I told them, “You are effectively replacing your entire organization every less than three years. You’ve got a whole new set of people. Do you think it’s industry standard and you don’t want to fix it?” They’re like, “Now that you say it.” What I’ve found is that depending on the action that you’re trying the other person to take, the way you phrase information matters.

Let’s say, I was a doctor. There are two ways I could break news to a person. I could say, “99.99% of the people with your condition die,” if I’m trying to push them into palliative care and sell them that solution. Whereas if I’m trying to get them to take up, say an experimental drug, I might say, “There is a 0.01% chance, a very slim one but if we experiment with this medication, there is a chance that it can save you.” The chances of taking the treatment are higher in that case.

Karin, what are the other aspects that we can use? This is a great tool for talking about taking a person through the story of creating those highs and lows, those crisis moments, and so forth. I’m not that creative sometimes. I have to think about, “How do I do this?” Are there points on how we can think about that data and what are the crisis moments? Let’s take a situation.

I did mention before the living wage and that’s a big factor, especially as we heard the recent news in California. We were talking earlier about how they’re thinking about increasing the minimum wage up to closer to a living wage and that’s on discussion, but we know that’s a big issue in the world. Also, there’s equal pay, gender pay between men and women where women are paid 82% on every dollar that a man earns, and things like this. If we look at some of these issues, what are some ways that we can create this story out of that? Can you walk us through that?

The leap between data, information, knowledge, and wisdom is between information and knowledge. There are two important questions that you can look at and you can ask yourself about the data to form what Nancy Duarte calls your data perspective sentence. Most stories boil down to 1 sentence or 2 if you think about it. The first question after you look at the data, you want to say, what action is the data asking you to take or what discussion is it asking you to have?

The second part of your data perspective sentence also has to share an understanding of what risk would happen if you did nothing. Take the example that you talked about, the pay example. If we do nothing, what’s going to happen? If we take the recommended action that the data are asking us to take, which is equality or we discuss it, which is what we’ve been doing for too many years. That’s going to help you boil down your story and then you want to make it personal because you need to make it personal. Tell the story of a man doing that job and a woman doing that job and what he can provide for his family and what she can provide for her family. Make it personal. Bring emotions into it.

In the pieces that you mentioned, you said, “Think about the consequences of not doing something.” Also, think about the benefits of taking action, doing something, and how it would change things for the organization and make it personal. That’s great. Can you tell us other ways? When you’re coaching people on how to do storytelling, what’s the common approach that you take? Is this typically in a workshop? Are you working with people individually to craft their stories? Do you help them craft the story themselves?

I don’t do much of that. I go into companies that want to learn how to tell stories better and I give presentations like this one. I’ve got three that are typically what I will present on. One is the art of persuasive storytelling because stories can cause people to act. That’s a very short 90 minutes. I also run a three-hour workshop that does the same thing where we work in small groups. I give you scenarios and I teach you specific tools on how to come up with a story.

The workshop is a lot of fun. Wendy has taken one of my writing workshops before so she knows. It’s interactive and it’s a lot of fun. The other one is this one. I do a one-hour presentation guaranteed to give you a different perspective about using data in stories. I also throw in a little bit about how most of us present data in such an unattractive way that’s just bullet points and gray text on a white slide because I do like to make things pretty and interesting.

Let’s dive in a little bit there. Storytelling can be verbal and it can be non-verbal. When we’re doing it in a nonverbal fashion and creating slides, perhaps as visual aids do to help with the storytelling, what are the best practices there? For instance, often, I worry if I have a visual aid up at the same time, is anybody listening to me or are they going through the visual aid? Just dive into that, Karin.

If you can imagine what a slide full of data looks like, let’s look at an ugly slide for a second. For those of you who are reading, you can imagine this, I am sure because we’ve all seen slides that look like this. This is what a typical data slide looks like. It’s awful. This doesn’t tell you anything. Most people, even Sam, if he is telling a great story that goes with this data, nobody’s going to be listening. What are you looking at? You’re looking at those bold numbers. You’re not even looking at the information that’s not in bold. You’re lost. That is what I call a lost in the sauce data slide.

One thing you should do when you’re presenting your data is to consider it your job to provide context for your audience. The better you know the audience’s needs and challenges, the more likely you’re going to be able to do that. Seriously consider what it is you want the audience to know or to do because of seeing this data.

PSF 39 | Data Storytelling

Data Storytelling: One thing you should do when presenting your data is to consider it your job to provide context for your audience.


For example, Char gave a number, 22% of nurses are leaving. Char, if you had 100 little stick figures on a slide and you made 22 of them bright red and the rest gray. That’s a way of giving a visual image of what that looks like and it works well. See context and use color to aid in your understanding as well. If everything on your slide is in one color, then nothing’s going to stand out. You need to pinpoint 1 or 2 items on the side that draw people’s attention.

I like that idea. What I would do is also put a slide that demonstrates the productivity, volumes of work, and the number of patients that each nurse has to take care of in a day. Show that slide, show those red individuals disappearing, and compare it to the amount of patient workload.

I like the way your mind thinks.

I had to have this conversation and it’s hard to get buy-in about culture programs, talent management programs, or processes and get full buy-in until your nurses are so unhappy, dealing with COVID, or what have you. Also, there’s not enough of them and there’s complete burnout. How do you take data and relate it to burnout? I would’ve probably utilized this back at that table when I was having these conversations with those types of slides. That would’ve been a lot easier than saying, “We need to have an employee engagement survey.” What does that mean? How does that make a difference in our culture? This is fantastic.

Data is limited. It’s limited to recording the past because it catalogs numerical artifacts. That’s what data is. It’s stuff that’s already happened. For us to communicate data, what we’re doing is shaping the future truth. Think about it that way and if you can tell that story the way that Char just described, it would be impactful and memorable.

The way to appeal to the decision-makers in a company is to analyze their pain points. I’ll talk about Amazon. Amazon has been facing a 39% decrease and they’re attempting to relate it to the pandemic and how Amazon was profitable for several years. Now, they’re starting to see a decline. I did this. I’m multitasking and do that a lot. I was analyzing employee cultural aspects of Amazon.

For example, they are only a three-point something on Glassdoor with employee culture. We’ve been seeing a lot of aspects around Amazon in their cultural issues and what they’re trying to address. It’s a matter of trying to analyze employee culture versus the productivity or profitability of a company and how do you connect the two? It’s on the news.

For example, I’m trying to help my daughter consider a career change right now. I’m suggesting that she look at the employee culture of these organizations in Fort Collins. Let’s look at the data. Let’s look at their pain points. How can you address those pain points? It’s interesting because I’m trying to have her look at the data of the organizations because she’s seen some horrible companies and the way they treat their employees. I said, “Let’s help you find the organizations and their pain points. How can you go in and help them fix those problems?”

I love that you said pain points. Storytelling is a very emotional thing. You have to have empathy. You have to empathize with the person whom you’re going to be sharing the information with. I create a little empathy map and I draw it on a board and it’s got three sections. What do you think the person is thinking or believing about any given topic?

Storytelling is a very emotional thing. You have to have empathy. You have to empathize with the person you will be sharing the information with. Share on X

For example, your daughter and choosing. What is she saying or doing about it and then, what’s out there in the universe? What data is out there in media, for example? You do those things in an empathy map to get to the pains and the gains. What’s keeping them up at night? That’s the pain. You use the gains to position what it is you want them to do, that persuasion.

In an HR interview, you never want to say, “I’m a people person.” The hiring manager for an HR person is going to go, “No. HR people are not people lovers.” They want to see an HR person who knows the numbers and the data and is able to identify the pain points and how we’re going to use that data to address the problem. I’ve had to grow in that space in my career because when I started, I didn’t understand numbers and people on that side unless I talk to Sam or Howard, or even Wendy. You’re good at numbers too, Wendy.

In the final few minutes that we have, if we can think about some questions? Karin, can you tell us a little bit more about how people can get ahold of you and learn more about the topic of storytelling with data and how they can get your help?

I’d love to come and speak at your organization. It would be great. Connect with me on LinkedIn. You can check out my website. I’ve got lots of examples. These are a small smattering of courses that I offer. I teach for a global clientele all over the world on a variety of topics.

You also mentioned Nancy Duarte. What is the book that she has?

It’s called DataStory. It’s an awesome book. It’s all about explaining data and inspiring action through stories.

The huge light bulb moment for me was thinking about how it has to compare to something else to have meaning. For me, that’s my big takeaway. I’m excited about that. It seems so simple. I don’t know why I haven’t thought about it that way before. Thank you for putting that. Even those examples you gave us like the 100,000 in the chat, I immediately had to compare it to something to make it worthwhile for me. Those simple examples were pretty enlightening for me. Thank you.

You’re welcome. That’s great.

To add to what you were saying, Wendy. The number 100,000 brings me to another point when you’re using numbers, you might want to contextualize them as well. I live in a country of 1.5 billion people so 100,000 isn’t a lot. It’s like an extra-large wedding gathering.

What I learned is the journey of taking data. Start with data, turn it into information, knowledge, and then wisdom. I thought that was important what you mentioned there. Also, think about putting the data in that context. What you mentioned about taking action or what happens if we do nothing? That creates that crisis. What happens if we do something? It creates an opportunity for us as an organization and thinking about developing your story in an interesting way there. I thought that was great. Thank you.

You’re welcome. It’s that analytical process moving from data to action. When you’re talking about data, you’re trying to make sense, but when you’re moving to action, you’re trying to make meaning. That’s the difference.

Thank you so much, Karin, for joining us here on the show. It’s a pleasure.

It’s my pleasure.

I will see everybody next time.


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About Karin Rex

PSF 39 | Data StorytellingKarin is a professional facilitator specializing in virtual classroom delivery and an instructional designer/developer focusing on e-learning and virtual classroom designs. She has 25+ years of experience with a global clientele.

For organizations that want to take their face-to-face training into the virtual classroom (Zoom, Adobe Connect, WebEx, GoTo Training, etc.) or have them redesigned as asynchronous e-learning (Captivate, Storyline, Rise, Lectora), Karin has developed 3 storytelling classes for SAP. The Art of Persuasive Storytelling (90 minutes). The Art of Persuasive Storytelling Hands-on Workshop (120 minutes). And Storytelling with Data (60-minutes). She facilitates these courses several times each month. Karin has also provided train-the-trainer coaching for the Chinese facilitators.


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PSF 36 Karin | Intuitive Leader