New Yorkers and beyond have been glued to the television during the quarantine. One popular broadcast that proved to be smart, insightful, and sometimes terrifying, can’t be found on Netflix. It’s New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily briefings.
Millions tuned in to catch the governor’s daily briefings through cable news channels, social media, and livestream. In a time where data and numbers can be overwhelming, he has hit a home run with his delivery. He’s taking reporting and analytics and made them – dare we say – interesting and digestible. What’s the draw? The fact of the matter is, he gives a damn good presentation. He consistency presents complicated information in an informative and exciting way.
Just the Facts
What makes Cuomo’s briefings digestible? First of all, his presentations are consistent. Every day he starts with a prologue and then sets up the daily briefing with a beginning, middle, and ending. He reminds us why we are there, to fight COVID, and tells us what we are going to learn.
Next, he sets up Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in every briefing. You know what to expect. Some days the KPIs changes, but they are still relevant to the objective. Consistency and knowing what to expect makes information easier to digest.
What he is presenting could be confusing as heck. Cuomo breaks down the data points into small bite-size pieces. He separates the numbers so you can remember them. He shows the numbers visually with simple graphs and charts – don’t underestimate the power of a good PowerPoint slide.
Also, he doesn’t just present data as graph lines going up and down, he talks to the key insights that the numbers show. It isn’t just see and say. He adds value when he breaks down the points.
He ends each briefing with antidotes and stresses a New Yorker can-do attitude showing that we are all in this together.
In addition to how Cuomo sets up complicated information and numbers, what else makes his presentations so watchable? He is believable. Cuomo is the authority on the subjects and is comfortable talking about difficult information. He never reads the bullets on the slide; he knows his material back and front and can explain the details, without looking at the slides. His tone keeps you interested, and he makes points by changing his voice- it’s never just monotone.
When presented with a report, we want to feel like the presenter is about to give us something meaningful, that will help us understand what’s happening now and what to do next. An excellent presenter should lead us through the journey.
What Does This Mean to You?
In our mission to be lean and strategy-first, we make sure time spent on reporting is meaningful and actionable. And we do it in the FATFREE way, making sure that reporting calls are active conversations led by the staff who is dedicated to your project – not a junior account executive.
The most critical step to good reporting happens before the data begins to flow. We set up a reporting structure at the beginning of the project, not as an afterthought, giving both clients and us a way to track our progress.
Like Cuomo, we start with a set up to bring people up to speed. What is the problem we are trying to solve? What is the objective?
Next, we move on to strategy. First, we must establish KPI’s and show how they relate to their goals. We drill down into the data and find out what the actionable insight behind it is. It’s not enough to show that performance is going up or down. We make reporting valuable by identifying why we see certain results and what we can do to keep moving the needle.
It is also necessary to schedule regular reviews that align with a client’s ability to pivot based on the learnings. Once a month is the standard, but some projects require frequent reporting for quick decisions. As shown by Cuomo, it is essential to add some color and tell a story. Unless they tell some sort of story, that’s all they are – numbers.