Presentation Management 13: Better Storytelling

Created: Wednesday, February 26, 2020, posted by at 9:30 am


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Original content by AlexAnndra Ontra and James Ontra
Enhanced by Geetesh Bajaj

In the last part of this Presentation Management series of posts, we looked at how interactive presentations can help access content easily and quickly. In this post, we will explore better storytelling techniques that can make your presentations even more interesting and captivating.

Stories are powerful for communicating, teaching, motivating and learning. That’s because stories draw on emotion and scenarios that resonate with us on a visceral level. Better stories get people to act.

Stories are Powerful

Presentations are Stories for Business

A good presentation tells a story about your business. It could be about the entire business or just one product. With your interactive slide library at your fingertips, you can tell a better story, based on your customer’s immediate feedback, on the fly.

You have the ability to present content that you know will appeal to your customer, and you can adjust the story as you learn more about your customer’s situation. By creating a more relevant presentation, you are telling a better story.

The best presenters are great storytellers. They instinctively know how to draw their audience’s emotions to engage them in their message. Presentation management can help all of us, even if we’re not natural storytellers, to tell our company’s story.

Presentations Are Corporate Storytelling

Storytelling is the most important facet of effective presentations. Unfortunately, in the age of PowerPoint, many presenters rely too much on technology and forget how important stories are. To get the results you’re looking for, build your presentations on a foundation of great stories—not the other way around.

James Ontra, Shufflrr

Read more in this post, The Art of Storytelling: Presentations Are Corporate Storytelling.

Corporate Storytelling

Back in 2003, this discipline helped Screenvision sell a new product, called Screenvision Premier, to an old industry of traditional advertising agencies. Screenvision Premier branded the movie theater. Sure, advertisers were willing to pay to project their ads on a big screen to play for a captive audience before the movie started. But what about the rest of the theater, like the lobby space where everyone milled about? Or the popcorn bags and soda cups? Screenvision had a means to brand all elements of the movie experience, but they had to sell it to advertisers. Imagine the media buyer’s incredulous response to a junior Screenvision rep:

You want me to do what with a bag of popcorn?

Using 3-D imaging of the movie theater, complete with moviegoers walking around the lobby with branded bags of popcorn, the junior rep was able to communicate the value of this program.

Your product and logo look great on the popcorn bag that your customer will hold on his lap for 2½ hours.

The imagery helped tell the story of Screenvision Premier. It simplified the message and equipped the sales team to sell a new, novel idea.

In the pharmaceutical world, telling the AdComm about the patients who participated in a trial and how their condition improved — complete with pictures and videos — tells the human story of that drug’s impact. The panel will not see the human element through a bunch of hard data, line graphs, charts and diagrams of molecules. The panelists need to understand the human element — the emotion that moves people.

Presentation management makes great stories accessible to everyone, so whether or not you have the personality of a late-night talk show host — and let’s be honest, most of us do not — you can still tell a story through a presentation that resonates and stirs the audience to act.

In the next post of this series, we will look at making presentations intelligent.

Presentation Management Series: All Posts

All posts from the Presentation Management series are listed on this page, Presentation Management: The Entire Series.


Quiz

First, try and answer these questions. Feel free to read the post again if needed. Then, scroll down to below the author profiles to find the answers.

Q1: Better stories get people to act. Is this true or false?

Q2: In this post, what analogy did we use to tell the human story of a drug’s impact?


AlexAnndra Ontra
 
AlexAnndra Ontra, co-founder of Shufflrr, is a leading advocate for presentation management. She has been providing presentation technology and consulting services to global enterprises for over 15 years.

At Shufflrr, Alex advises Shufflrr clients through the process: from trial, to content architecture, through the launch, training and then on-going software upgrades. She’s hands-on. She is a leading expert in presentation management strategy, implementation, and adaptation.

 

James Ontra
 
James Ontra is co-founder and CEO of Shufflrr.  His 30-year career has focused on the highest profile presentations for world class companies.  His clients have included:  American Express, Bloomberg, Epcot Center, Mercedes Benz, NBC Olympics, Warner Bros. and many more.

His vision and strategy have been driving Presentation Management to become a recognized communication discipline. James combined this passion with technical development to build Shufflrr. Presentation Management is smart communication strategy.

 

Geetesh Bajaj
 
Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional), and has been designing and training with PowerPoint for more than two decades. He heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India.

Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like story, consistency, and interactivity — and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He explains how these elements work together in his training sessions. He has also authored six books on PowerPoint and Microsoft Office.


Quiz Answers

A1: Yes, this is true. Stories are powerful for communicating, teaching, motivating and learning. That’s because stories draw on emotion and scenarios that resonate with us on a visceral level.

A2: In the pharmaceutical world, telling the AdComm about the patients who participated in a trial and how their condition improved — complete with pictures and videos — tells the human story of that drug’s impact. The panel will not see the human element through a bunch of hard data, line graphs, charts and diagrams of molecules. The panelists need to understand the human element — the emotion that moves people.





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