As researchers, our key goal in any research study is to effectively answer the objectives of a study and convey the implications of the findings to our client in a memorable and conclusive way.
Traditionally the findings are delivered via a face-to-face presentation, with a slide deck to aid the communication of the results, conclusions and implications for action.
A face-to-face delivery undoubtedly remains the preferred option for our clients, but the tools that we use to deliver the insight are changing. As our presentations evolve, so do the content and structure of the slide deck which forms the basis of the presentation. Indeed, the slide deck itself, (traditionally PowerPoint), receives bad press in some corners and a recent article “Death by PowerPoint” conveys its limitations and misuses. So as researchers it is pertinent to not only deliver conclusive and actionable findings, but also to do this with modern approaches in mind.
So what are the alternatives for delivering research insight? I read with interest an article whereby a research agency had delivered their research findings using video only. The results were presented via a 50-minute video, and supported with a booklet handed to each viewer which accompanied the viewing.
My colleagues and I discussed the benefits and pitfalls of such an approach, rather than the traditional approach of a presentation supported by a slide deck, and subsequent discussion and/or workshop. It was certainly viewed as a novel approach, and a modern one at that – particularly with knowledge of the ever-increasing consumption of content via video in our personal and working lives. Of course such an approach would require a very large budget, for producing what was a slick video output for a large global client. But a further question raised was how propagandist such an approach may be. A traditional presentation tends to involve a degree of interaction and a flow of questions and answers during the course of the presentation. But a 50-minute video is certainly a “final” product, and perhaps one with a message that has to be accepted by its viewers. That said, there is no doubt about the power of video and film in immersing and engaging an audience, and it is certainly a medium that ought to be paid attention to by researchers.
As our presentations evolve at B2B International, we find that an increasingly mixed-media approach provides both the detail our clients need, together with a more immersive and memorable experience through the use of video, audio and data visualisations. Indeed the feedback from this approach is that the output is extremely “user friendly” and communicates the messages effectively and helps to engender buy-in of the research across all levels of the organisation.
Examples of our data visualisations and video output: