Making Numbers Count

8 Days


Cohort-based Course

Learn how to translate your numbers into clear, impactful messages

Course overview

Turn numbers into clear, captivating insights—no graphs required

You're giving a presentation on climate change. Finally, you land on your big moment: "Livestock are responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse-gas emissions." You look up to a few nods and a yawn.

You take this class. You present again. You say: “If cows were a country, they'd be the 3rd highest producer of greenhouse emissions in the world—behind only China and America.” 🇨🇳 🇺🇸 🐄

🚀 Understanding, interest, and a genuine conversation: that's the power of a "number translation."

🧠 Learn the principles of neuroscience behind communication—and why numbers are inherently un-sticky

📚 Practice a 4-part framework to transform messy data and overwhelming reports into clear messages

👟 Master a 3-part framework to turn any abstract idea into a motivating action

🫶 Get lots of hands-on feedback from someone who literally wrote the book on the topic

Who is this course for?


Writers, marketers, and professionals who want non-visual tools to express any quantitative or numerically-based idea


Data analysts, scientists, and numbers people looking to reach a broader, more general audience


Anyone who wants to think of number-related messaging as a fun creative challenge—not a mind-numbing chore

Key Outcomes

Understanding numbers in a completely different way

You'll learn the neuroscience behind numbers, how data and figures fall under the more general umbrella of communication—and you'll learn to love numbers.

Communication and presentation superpower

You won't just be learning how to make pretty graphs—you'll develop the ability to give your audience an "AHA!" moment, whether they're in the boardroom or reading at home.

Tailor messages for any audience

Need to reach a diverse group of people? You'll get research-based tips on how to maximize impact and make every point land.

An arsenal of tools and techniques

Deliverables, baby! This class includes a 35-page workbook.

Grow your professional network

You'll be in a cohort-based group of smart, interesting professionals whose work also bridges the worlds of numbers and words. You'll make contacts from around the world.

Level up your decision-making

Here's an unexpected treat: thanks to the newfound mindset shift in how you approach and think of numbers, you'll have an easier time making smarter choices.

What people are saying

        Fantastic—I couldn’t believe how many insights were packed in!
Sue York

Sue York

Head of Training and Development, Australian Research Society
        I never thought that numbers could be interesting, but this made me think about communication in a completely different way. Karla is THE expert on this topic. Paid for itself 10x over.
Alex Rogers

Alex Rogers

Experience Designer
        As a data visualization consultant, it is important that I can take millions of data points and hours of research, and convert my findings into easy to understand stories. Karla's lessons were key in helping us craft killer client presentations and marketing materials. Want to increase your communication ROI? Look no further!
Jason Bryll

Jason Bryll

Principle, Parable Associates

Meet your instructor

Karla Starr

Karla Starr

Coauthor, Making Numbers Count: The Art and Science of Communicating Numbers

Karla Starr is the coauthor of the bestselling Making Numbers Count, which she wrote with Chip Heath (Made to Stick, Switch). Her first book, Can You Learn to Be Lucky?, was a Fast Company book of the year.

She has taught data storytelling and information design with Section4 and given workshops on data communication to thousands of students at some of the world's largest organizations.

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Course syllabus


Intro & Overview

  • What are numbers, even? Why do our brains have such a hard time dealing with them? Why no one thinks they're a numbers person—and how to overcome that.
  • Getting to Know Each Other Funsies
  • Homework!


Simplify & Clarify

  • Don't Highlight the Whole Chapter! We'll talk information hierarchies, formatting, data visualization, and finding your big idea.
  • Clarity, now! In this class, we'll differentiate between abstract and concrete concepts.
  • Intro to advanced techniques to hook your audience, spanning the worlds of neuroscience, storytelling, magic, and performance


Captivate & Motivate

  • Make the Strange Familiar and the Familiar Strange: using number translations to overcome bias.
  • Motivation Station: Learn the 3 simple steps to crafting an energizing message. (AREN'T YOU A LITTLE CURIOUS??)


Putting It All Together

Data is a pixel; real life is a movie. Data is an ingredient; real life is a dish. Context is EVERYTHING! This class will be a lively discussion where we share our projects, articles, presentations, and reports. I'll share best practices on how context changes the way we need to share and discuss our numbers.

Course schedule

3-5 hours per week
  • September 18-25, 2023

  • Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

    1:00pm - 2:00pm EST

  • Weekly projects

Free resource

Making Numbers Count cheat sheet

Here, we have a cheat sheet of the book!

Get this free resource

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if I can’t make a live session?
I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
Do you offer scholarships or purchasing power parity?

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Be the first to know about upcoming cohorts

Making Numbers Count


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