Learn all about the power of storytelling and how to leverage storytelling to deliver more effective presentations.
The Power of Storytelling
Our entire lives revolve around stories.
During prehistoric times, cavemen used signs, sounds, and drawings to tell tales about hunting.
In Ancient Egypt, stories were told to entertain and narrate—about the afterlife, kings, and wars. Those storytellers, called maa kheru, passed information down from generation to generation. They also wove complexities like humor and satire throughout their tales. Egyptian hieroglyphs are thought to be man’s first example of written language, developed over 5,000 years ago.
Stories have been around since man could communicate. But why have stories proven to be so powerful?
By allowing us to connect, understand, and relate to each other, stories are more than a simple recount of an event or facts. We see ourselves reflected in the stories others tell.
Through stories, we understand ourselves and each other better. Stories help us make sense of the world we live in.
Listening to a good story lights up the pleasure center of the brain. And when paired with visual storytelling, people remember 65% of what they heard—verses 10% without visuals.
So what does this tell us about visual storytelling?
Well, your audience is very engaged. And much more likely to take action.
Used effectively, storytelling enhances the connection your audience makes with the content you’re presenting. But how can you incorporate storytelling into your presentations in the most meaningful and impactful way possible?
Let’s dive into 4 strategies to leverage the power of storytelling to drive the effectiveness of your presentations.
4 Tips for Effective Storytelling
Think about the most boring presentation you’ve ever sat through.
Chances are, it was dull—maybe you even found yourself nodding off at one point.
Why? Because that presentation lacked a story. Without a story, presentations can flop.
Facts alone can’t elicit a strong response in most viewers. And relying only on data to do the talking isn’t a great strategy to make a real impact on your audience.
Instead, weave a story through your presentation and watch it come to life. Here’s how to do it:
Choose your message
Your story should have a purpose. What are you trying to convey? What’s the moral? The message? Focus on creating tension and suspense until the climax. Whether it’s a humorous story or a more serious one, make sure the central theme is clear.
When you choose your message, make sure it’s relevant to your audience. Your story should play off the experience and interests of your viewers. Also be sure your story supports the information in your presentation.
When you’re creating your story, ask yourself how you can have your audience relate and empathize with your message. A good story will tap into your audience’s emotions. What emotions should you be evoking? Do you want your audience to leave feeling motivated? Should the presentation spark action? Or perhaps underline a certain core value?
Consider using metaphors and analogies to strengthen your story. Create your story with the goal of immersing your audience. Draw them in so they’re connected to what you’re saying.
Have a clear structure
Your story should have a beginning (incident), middle (action that builds into a climax), and an end (a satisfying resolution). When creating the structure, be sure it ties in with your message.
Also make sure to cut any unnecessary slides or talking points. Keep things tight and purposeful. Each part of your story should draw the audience in, making them wonder what will happen at each turn.
Create a compelling call to action
Your call to action (CTA) should tie in directly with your story. Although your presentation should leave your audience wanting more, the audience should not be confused about what’s coming next. Instead, make sure they know the answer. Keep your CTA short, simple, solution-oriented, and enticing.
Stories to Push Your Business Forward
Stories, when properly told, are universal. They help shape our perspective, help us understand others, and act as a vehicle to pass on knowledge and morals.
Using storytelling will keep your listeners engaged in what you’re saying. It’s not just about entertainment—it’s about motivating action.
Incorporating engaging, persuasive stories into your presentations is a powerful form of communication and is one of the most engaging ways to connect with your audience. No matter the purpose of your presentation, you should be using storytelling to help your audience make a decision.
Interested in learning more about effective design and presentations?
Contact Zamora Design to learn more. With deep expertise in storytelling and presentation design, we tell stories that incite action in ways that are compelling and beautiful.