I would love to speak at your event. My customizable presentations aim to help you process, visualize, present, and communicate your data.

I am committed to participating in conferences and events that are diverse and meaningfully inclusive. If you would like to have me join your event, please read this example speaker rider and tell me which criteria you have implemented in your event.

Please see below for more information about the topics I can cover for your organization, or contact me to discuss your speaking needs. My Portfolio includes some recent presentations I’ve made and includes a few videos to see me in action.

TEDx - Jonathan Schwabish

Speaking Topics

Data Visualization Done Differently

The data visualization field combines data analysis, graphic design, journalism, and statistics and aims to help analysts in a variety of fields provide their audience with greater insights into their research or products. In this presentation, I lay the groundwork for how to use data visualization to more effectively communicate. This presentation will demonstrate different types of visualizations and their uses, as well as how to avoid creating graphics that result in ineffective and inaccurate perceptions of data. These guidelines will prepare you to create clearer, more accurate, and more visually appealing graphics.

This presentation is perfect for audiences looking for an overview of data visualization best practices.

Better Data Communication

A first step to improving the way you communicate data and analysis is to have some basic understanding of best practices and strategies. In this talk, I lay out three principles for better data visualization: Show the Data, Reduce the Clutter, and Integrate Graphics and Text. I also lay out three principles for better presentations: Visualize, Unify, and Focus. Together, with the help of examples, both good and bad, I demonstrate how anyone can more effectively communicate their data and elicit insight.

This presentation is perfect for audiences looking for a targeted review of ways to improve the way they communicate their data.

Better Presentations

When faced with the prospect of giving a presentation, researchers and analysts often simply convert their reports to slides: text is converted to bullets, and figures and tables are simply copied and pasted. The problem with that approach is that presentations are a fundamentally different form of communication than are reports or journal articles. In this presentation, I give you the conceptual underpinnings behind giving better presentations, and the tools and techniques to put them into practice.

This presentation is perfect for audiences looking to improve the way the present their work in front of an audience and is the focus of my new book, Better Presentations

Applying Racial Equity Awareness in Data Visualization

How can analysts, researchers, and developers apply a race- and ethnicity-conscious lens to their data analysis and data visualization work? How can we take a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI) perspective to our research, data, and visualizations? Just as we carefully consider our written words, we should be equally careful in how we visually present data to our readers, users, and audiences, including the words we use in and around those visuals. Taking a DEI perspective means considering how the specific lived experiences and perspectives of the people and communities we are studying, as well as our readers, will perceive information and carry that information forward. In this talk, I discuss a variety of techniques that data visualization producers should consider when creating visuals with this DEI approach.

This presentation is perfect for audiences looking to improve how they communicate with and about people and communities of focus, and is the focus of my June 2021 Do No Harm Guide: Applying Equity Awareness in Data Visualization.

Elevate the Debate: A Multilayered Approach to Communicating Your Research

To make a difference in today’s policy ecosystem, scholars must think beyond the academic journal. Many resist the idea of developing a communication strategy, thinking either that it doesn’t matter, that someone else will do it, or that their work will be naturally discovered. Developing a commu­nication strategy—and implementing that strategy—recognizes the importance of making research accessible to wider audiences, decisionmakers, and policymakers. In this talk, I provide a high-level review of the Elevate the Debate book and provide you with key skills to effectively plan and communicate your data and analysis.

This presentation is perfect for audiences looking to create a strategic plan to communicate their work and is the basis of my 2020 book Elevate the Debate: A Multilayered Approach to Communicating Your Research.

Visualizing Text: A Tour of Qualitative Data Visualizations

When thinking about visualizing data, most people likely first think about quantitative data and making charts like lines, bars, and pies. But there are also graphs that communicate qualitative data, non-numerical information collected through means of observations, interviews, focus groups, surveys, and other methods. With qualitative data, we can build narratives and tell stories around qualitative results in ways that can be more difficult with quantitative data. Downloading a big data set, running regressions, and creating tables may provide more generalizable results, but readers don’t connect to them the way they connect to a story. Qualitative data can help tell those stories. In this talk, I discuss a variety of different data visualization types and approaches that can be used to communicate qualitative data.

This presentation is perfect for audiences working with and trying to visualize qualitative data such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, or observations.

Data Currency — Unlocking Value With Visualization

Most organizations recognize the innate value of data, and are beginning to trade in its powerful currency. But this has not wholly erased the challenges data and analytics leaders face when trying to illustrate how data can unlock potential business value. Enter data visualization. In this talk I share insights into using visualization to spark cultural shifts within organizations. I explain how making data visual and digestible allows decision­makers to see how data fits into the organization’s bigger picture and helps leadership tackle emerging problems like managing the ever­growing volume of structured and unstructured data.

This presentation is perfect for audiences who want to improve or change the way their organizations process, analyze, and communicate their data and analysis.

Once Upon a Time: From Data to Stories

The word “stories” has become synonymous with visualizing and presenting data. But contrary to what most people actually mean, most of us do not tell stories when we visualize data. In this talk, I investigate how we define storytelling and contrast it with a definition of storytelling to demonstrate how most of us are not really telling stories with data. Drawing on a variety of sources, I distinguish storytelling from narration and annotation. I then examines how different fields use—or fail to use—stories in their analysis, and why and how they should do so.

This presentation is perfect for audiences who are trying to tell stories with their data and want to learn better ways to do so.

Details and Logistics

My presentations are usually 35-45 minutes with additional time for Q&A and discussion. I also offer shorter presentations, half-­, full-­, and multi-­day workshops; breakout sessions; and panel presentations. I often tailor my presentations to the needs of your organization and event.

I am flexible in working with your presentation equipment and set-up; please contact me to discuss the details.

Past Speaking Events

I have enjoyed presenting to many audiences on each of these topics. Please take a look at a few examples from my Portfolio or see the Testimonials page.