With research, telling stories around data sets can be hard. However, if you use a little imagination it can be done. The key is to give prominent space to your headline and then build your visual to fit. Below are a few ideas on how to do this...
1) Picture Perfect
Images are a great way to convey emotion. But, since data can take up so much space, it can be hard to incorporate the right imagery in our reports. Try stretching and lightening up your data so you can overlay the key information on top of your image.
2) Split Screen
If you are showing a timeline or other linear data, split your screen in half and keep your headline at the top. This gives you a lot of width for displaying your data.
3) Hype The Type
Big bold typography is a great way to get your headline across. Again think about ways to nicely fit your data around your headline, or scrap the data altogether and just leave the text if you want to make it even more obvious.
4) Third’s the Word
One of the simplest ways to force yourself to write a narrative in PPT is to reserve a third of your page for text and the remaining two-thirds for the data or other visual. If you keep it in a consistent spot on each slide and use a large font size, you’ll have a nice narrative that people can easily follow from slide to slide.
5) Fits Like A Glove
Another idea is to wrap your headline inside of your data. This can be tough depending on the type of graph you are using, but if you play around with different graph types and orientation, you may stumble on a nice way to frame your headline.
At the end of the day you still need to organize your thoughts in a connected way and write more intriguing headlines to achieve a truly “narrative” report … but good design can go a long way in helping you frame your story.