This one under-used hack will make your business presentations skyrocket!
January 30, 2017
January 30, 2017
Five minutes to go and people are still streaming in…
Your palms are a bit sweaty and you’ve got butterflies in the pit of your stomach but the sweat is quick to dry and the butterflies are just little ones. You’ve done this many times and the audience that you stand in front of doesn’t intimidate you anymore. You wonder what they are thinking as you give your business presentation though. Are they bored? Are you getting through to them? Is it even worth your time?
What if you could employ one under-used, and easily applicable hack and guarantee to skyrocket the effectiveness of every single business presentation you will ever make again?
This hack is simple: make the switch from fact-dumper to storyteller. This is THE most effective and powerful thing you can do to improve your presentations.
Why storytelling works.
Human brains are simply wired to crave stories.
We all intuitively know this. Consider how much more likely you are to watch a good movie than to sit through C-SPAN. Or, think about how much better a story-based advertisement reaches you as compared to a dry recitation of product features.
Science confirms this. The latest research from such acclaimed researchers as Dr. Paul Zak (from) and Dr. Uri Hassan from Princeton University tells us that stories do a better job of reaching people, result in better memory retention, and drive actions infinitely better than facts alone.
How to use storytelling to bring your facts to life.
Use a business story arc to present your facts. A business story-arc is simply the “story,” from the perspective of a particular person (main character), of how an urgent and familiar problem (tension leading to climax) has been solved by a product or service (resolution of tension).
Be conversational. Think of your presentation as a chat with friends in your living room (trust is everything and we trust people who speak to us, not at us).
Use a personal story IF it’s clearly and obviously in your business story arc. Personal stories that don’t clearly help reinforce your message are just a distraction.
For example, if you are speaking about your unique, independent advisor-based financial product, the main character might be your audience, the problem could be biased and confusing commission-based advice that is costing lots of money and delaying retirement, and your product can then be introduced as the solution that resolves the problem. Keep things easy to understand and avoid confusing industry jargon; these are the two best ways to keep your presentation conversational. Finally, if you or a friend had an experience with money that either illustrates or fits in with your story arc – use it to make things even more story-based and personal!
Now your turn!
Did this article help you in approaching your next business presentation opportunity? Do you have a good idea for a business story arc for your product or business? We’d love to hear from you in the comments or on social media!
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