A debate about a contentious complex issue with lots of people in a room is unlikely to go anywhere. If you are asked to make a presentation to run such a meeting, here is what you need:

  • Data slides with one issue per slide that clearly state how data (or logic) supports your point. One issue per slide is important, you want people to really understand what you did, and more importantly, you don't want other debates about other issues when getting people to buy into your analysis.
  • A logic flow that chains all these data slides together into a coherent argument. This is your typical stand up presentation: clear visuals, that deliver a compelling presentation
  • Then, when the fireworks start, a slide that actually groups all the issues and arguments on one page, even if this means cramming in more information than you usually would on one slide. Don't try to put all the data on this slide, but give each issue a physical location on the slide. Maybe project it on a whiteboard so  you can write on it, and spot when people making the same point again, discuss a completely unrelated issue, disagree about the validity of the source data, dispute the validity of the analysis, etc. etc. Collapse the issues people agree about to create more space for the contentious arguments.

Good luck!


Cover image by Peter Nguyen on Unsplash

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