Storytelling is a form of communication that has been around for centuries. People love a good story because our brains are wired for narrative. Stories help us connect to the world around us and this can extend to business concepts as well. In presentations, storytelling is an effective way to organize information and persuade audiences. That’s because storytelling gives your audience an emotional experience and reaches into their minds moving them to action. If you want to deliver a powerful and meaningful presentation, you have to get your audience listening intently, and this can best be accomplished through storytelling. Consider the following tips to make your presentation flow like a story.
Create a Logical Structure
For starters, every good story follows a basic structure: beginning, middle, and end. You want to be sure your presentation is structured in a way that flows logically from one point to the next.
- A well-crafted beginning: You only have a matter of seconds to hook your audience so you want to make sure you have a well-crafted beginning. You can start with something interesting to grab their attention such as a mind-blowing fact or statistic, and then introduce the “characters.” In a business presentation these characters may be in the form of products. Once you have introduced your characters you also want to hint at a possible conflict, which in this case might be problems that need to be solved. Much like a good story, this piques the interest of the listeners and leaves them wanting to know more.
- An interesting middle: When it comes to crafting the perfect presentation, many people suggest following the Rule of Three. It states that stories presented in threes are more memorable to the listener. For this reason, the “plot” of your presentation should consist of no more than three main points. During the “plot” of the presentation, you can create excitement by adding a little suspense to your story. You can portray your problem like a villain, while your solution is the hero that swoops in and saves the day. Not only will this keep your audience hanging on to your every word, but they will also be more likely to remember your presentation long after its over.
- A happily ever after ending: Of course everyone loves a happy ending, so conclude your presentation by highlighting the benefits of your product or service. Portray your brand’s features and strengths as the solution to the conflict. Your ending should be uplifting and memorable while reiterating your main message.
Focus on Your Delivery
Even if you craft the perfect beginning, middle, and ending, many presenters fail to connect with their listeners. That’s because a powerful story isn’t just about the structure. It’s also about the way it was delivered. You want to use body language, movement, eye contact, and voice inflection to capture the attention of your audience and engage them in your story. You can also infuse emotion by telling a personal story or using humor. The bottom line is that you need to be passionate about your story if you want anyone else to believe it.