3 Short Points Most People Miss in Storytelling
Now you should have found the right story to include in your presentation. (Read 4 Approaches to Crafting Data Memorably). It relates to the bigger picture of the point you want to get across and enhances the data and statistics you are bringing to the table. Great! Now you are ready to rehearse your presentation (you know that old saying practice makes perfect?). Just a side note, Steve Jobs practiced his famous commencement speech in 2005 months before going on stage. Don’t underestimate practicing and when you practice, consider the following three points that most people miss.
1.) Use real people in your story. This makes it more believable, even if people don’t know you or the person in your story very well. It brings you one step closer to the audience and conveys a real and authentic connection.
2.) Be descriptive. Don’t just say, “I had lunch,” but give a bigger taste for your audience to feel and smell the surroundings. Like, “I watched the waiter trip close enough to our table that the steaming hot plate slammed down with a boom, making the juicy chicken fillet bounce from the Tagliatelle and causing the deep red tomato-basil sauce to spray onto the snow white tablecloth.” Alright, so you got a picture of what lunch was like. Tease your audience to see, hear, smell and taste the surroundings. Make them feel like they were there: “Emotional arousal helps the brain learn.” – John Medina
3.) Add the small details. What time of day was it, what people were wearing, what was the weather like, did Julia style her hair this morning and did Ben get his early morning coffee? Okay, we don’t need to know absolutely everything, but adding some details will make your story much more believable and real.
Bonus: Work in a small repetition in your story, like a key phrase you want to brand your presentation with. As for example Barack Obama’s famous, “Yes, we can!” or Martin Luther King’s repetitive “I have a dream…” speech. Your phrase might not make it to the global podium, but there is a good chance your audience will remember you, and by the way, you just dropped the perfect presentation Tweet into their hands! (Stay tuned for What’s a Presentation Tweet?)
For more tips on how to tell a story check out Deliver a Knockout Presentation with Storytelling.