Connect with Your Audience by Telling a Story

People love stories because they put situations into perspective and help people connect with them in a real life setting.  Stories are compelling and cause people to experience a range of emotions. When it comes to giving a presentation, a carefully crafted story allows audiences to relate to the brand and connect with the speaker. Stories stick with people and will provide a memorable experience for the audience.  They will remember the story and how it made them feel, thus helping to create a deeper connection between the speaker and their audience.  Storytelling is one of the most effective strategies when giving a presentation because it allows for a personal connection and tugs at the heart of the audience. The following tips will help you learn how to incorporate a story into your next presentation.

Make sure your story has a clearly defined message.

One of the biggest mistakes in telling a story is lack of clarity.  You don’t want to leave your audience wondering, “What does that story have to do with the presentation?”  While it might be tempting to build a story around the product you are pitching, the best inspiration for a story is you. Talk about your professional journey including your failures, challenges, and successes.  Relate this to the overall topic of your presentation to create a meaningful story that engages your audience.

Remember…every story needs a complication.

Every meaningful story must include an unexpected situation where a character is forced to make a choice. You can use this as a tactic for beginning your story.  When you begin your story with a complication, your audience is immediately captivated and wants to know how the scenario is going to play out.  It is the perfect way to build curiosity within the audience and the story is even more compelling when the character who is forced to make a choice is you.

Pictures are powerful.

Pictures are a powerful way to evoke emotion from your audience.  Effective pictures can educate, inspire, and produce stronger reactions than words alone.  By using pictures during your story, you can craft a story that will strike an emotional chord with your audience.

Do not ramble.

You might have an incredible story to tell but if it goes on for too long you will lose the attention of your audience.  Your story should be just long enough to make your point and have an effect on the audience.  The best way to avoid rambling is to rehearse your speech until you have the language just the way you want it.  A great story is all about the delivery.

You do not have to be a natural storyteller to incorporate a story into your presentation.  You can captivate the audience with a personal connection, how you overcame a complication, powerful pictures, and an effective delivery.  Telling a story that relates to the presentation is one of the most effective ways to capture your audience and deliver a memorable presentation.