How to Use Storytelling to Boost Presentation Engagement

 

Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication. That’s because the human brain has an embedded need for narrative. Stories help us make sense of the world around us and they can influence the way we think, act, make decisions, and persuade others. In presentations, stories are a highly effective way to engage audiences and share information. People can’t resist a good story, and they help us believe in things and remember them. In fact, storytelling is such a powerful tool that almost every expert speaker utilizes it in their presentations. Crafting a good story requires a lot of thought and preparation. There are certain components that must be present in order to create a meaningful story. Here are some ideas for using storytelling to enhance your presentation. 

Make Sure it is Relevant

Sure, everyone loves a good story but it also needs to be relevant to your message. Otherwise, you leave your audience wondering, “What does this have to do with the topic?” Your story should have at least one point that connects it with your overall message. The purpose of the story is to put information into perspective, not just to entertain. Therefore, make sure your story supports the information in your presentation. 

Evoke Emotion

Think about the last time you saw a movie or watched something on TV that made you cry. The fact is, stories resonate with us as humans and they cause us to feel certain emotions. Stories have a way of tugging at our heart strings and evoking real emotion. Great communicators know how to use stories to provide their audience with an emotional experience. 

Make it Personal

If possible, tell a personal story in your presentation. Stories that have a personal touch are more likely to resonate with the audience and draw them in. This is a great way to connect with your listeners and create a memorable experience that will last much longer.  Personal stories help audiences relate to you and they make you appear more genuine and sincere. 

Include these Elements: A Problem, A Hero, and an Enemy

Every good book, movie, or story includes these three elements. All good stories need a problem, a villain, and a hero that comes to save the day. Whether you are telling a fairytale, a personal story about your own life, or a business-related issue, you will find these same elements. This draws the audience in and leaves them on the edge of their seat wondering how the problem will be solved. 

 

You Want to Build Trust with the Audience

Finally, you want to build trust between you and your audience. In order to do this, you need to find common ground. Build your story around what matters most to your audience. This means you need to research your audience ahead of time and find out more about them. What is their history? What obstacles do they face? What experiences do they share? Telling a story that is personal to their audience will make them want to listen and hear what you have to say.