The role of storytelling in presentations (and why you need them!)
We’ve all heard about the importance (and benefits) of storytelling, and many of us have probably been on the receiving end of an engaging presenter who manages to tell great stories – and just how memorable and relatable they were.
Storytelling gives us the ability to connect and inspire people to take action by presenting an interesting narrative that our audience can relate to and be able to see themselves as part of your story. So if you want your audience to buy into your One BIG Message™, you have to offer more than just colorful presentation slides!
In this article, I explain why storytelling is a vital component of a clear, powerful, and persuasive presentation:
A story should build trust
We use storytelling in presentations not just to add interest and engagement, but to build trust. Your audience has to feel part of your presentation. It has to speak to and resonate with them.
One of the best ways to do this is to really understand who you are presenting to and what situations or characters they’re going to relate to best.
- What knowledge do they have about my topic?
- What challenges are they facing right now in relation to my topic?
- What archetypes are common in their world right now?
- Where do they want to be in 5 years time? What aspirations do they have?
Answering these questions will help you craft a truly engaging story that causes them to take action and remember what you have said.
A story has a problem and a solution
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Disney film, an action thriller, or a real romantic feel-good movie, every story has a problem that needs to be resolved. The same applies to your business presentations. Make your idea/product/service the solution to their problem and take your audience on a journey so they can see how it’s going to help them.
Casting your story
Imagine your story as though you are directing a film or a play. Who are going to be your main characters? You’ll need a hero, a guru, and a villain.
What’s important here is that YOU are not the guru! You’re just a voice that can help them get unstuck on their journey. Try and make the audience the hero of your story because then it will become personal to them. The hero will go through multiple conflicts to find a cure (this could be a mentor/guru, or some incident, or a thing that causes CHANGE).
By making your audience the hero, they’ll be able to see how your idea/product/business could become a part of their lives, solving their actual problems.
The transformation is a crucial moment in your story. It comes just as you think the hero is about to lose everything and your story is on a cliff-hanger. The hero faces their greatest fear and then a transformation takes place that makes them stronger. At this point, the audience has become part of the story and will rejoice with the hero as they felt a connection with this character.
So now you have a better understanding of the role of storytelling in presentations, and why it’s so important to persuade your audience. Now, you need to start creating them.
Download my FREE 6 Cs of Effective Storytelling to help guide your story and put your One BIG Message™ into ACTION.