Including clear takeaways and calls to action in your visual narratives

Crafting a clear takeaway or incorporating a call to action in your titles or subtitles is an essential part of engaging with your audience and ensuring that they understand the true meaning of the data insights.

Provide a clear takeaway

What we mean by a clear takeaway is a concise and impactful explanation of why the data insights matter. We need to go beyond just describing a chart and directly address the audience’s key concerns, questions, or interests. After identifying the primary message or main takeaway you want your audience to derive from the visual narrative, designing succinct statements that convey the main message and provide a quick summary of what the audience should learn from the visual narrative supports overall effectiveness of a visual narrative.

Example: Let’s say we have data on customer satisfaction levels after using a new product, instead of simply showing a chart with percentage improvements, we can make our takeaway more compelling by framing it this way:

Title: “85% of Customers Report Improved Satisfaction After Using Our Product!” 

Subtitle: “Here’s why it matters to our business growth…”

In this case, highlight supporting evidence, through the use of a statistic, reinforces the key message.


Give a call to action

This is where we explicitly request or encourage our audience to take a specific action, such as approving a budget or making a decision. After determining the specific action you want your audience to take after engaging with the visual narrative, crafting and strategically positioning a concise and compelling call to action using action-oriented verbs encourages immediate audience response.

Example: Imagine we have data on cost reduction resulting from an energy efficiency program within our organization. Instead of presenting the raw numbers, we can make the message more actionable by formulating it like this:

Title: “Implementing our Energy Efficiency Program has Reduced Operational Costs by 15%!” 

Subtitle: “Tap into further savings by approving the proposed budget for next year.” 

The call to action aligns with the overall objectives of your visual narrative and ensure that it provides value to your audience.


Notice that we’re not just presenting data in both examples – we’re telling a story. We’re compelling the audience to think, engage with the material, and, most importantly, take action. 

To sum up, incorporating a clear takeaway or call to action in your titles or subtitles is highly effective in enhancing your data storytelling, which in turn, makes your visual narratives more engaging, impactful, and actionable. Keep this in mind as you create your own data stories, and don’t hesitate to make bold statements that inspire action and curiosity among your audience.