July 1, 2020

Visual Storytelling: The Future of Presentations?

PowerPoint presentations have become an integral part of many offices today, but often feel monotonous and stale to many employees, customers and potential customers. Audiences quickly become bored while the presenters try so hard to win them over. 

Even with an extremely innovative and sophisticated product idea or marketing strategy, a standard PowerPoint presentation can fail to get the audience on board — it can lack visual appeal. Visual storytelling can help by providing a modern and creative way of designing presentations. You get the most out of conventional PowerPoint presentations and grab the attention of your audience.


Visual storytelling: the next generation of presenting

Presentations are one of the most important tools in companies to introduce products and services, but also to introduce company concepts to the own employees. Everyone in the audience expects a professional presentation, regardless of the presenter. Content is presented using the most modern media in order to best illustrate the topic.

Digital projectors, notebooks and tablets, along with the necessary presentation software, are widely used to support the presentation with images to underscore one’ s own words. The visual presentation takes the listener by the hand and accompanies him or her purposefully through the presentation so that in the end, even complex topics are easily understood.


Visual storytelling is the spice in the presenting soup

A presentation made up of nothing more than text runs the risk of losing the audience’s attention and causing them to quickly switch off. Attractive infographics and dynamic video material are essential to get the presentation moving so that the focus in the meeting room is maintained.

A visually appealing presentation reaches several channels of the audience’s perception at once; this allows them to follow the presentation with anticipation until the end. Even content that’s difficult to digest becomes palatable. Visual storytelling makes the presentation more compelling for the audience.

More and more, visual storytelling presentations are replacing standard PowerPoint slides. It’s an innovative presentation technique that attracts the attention of every audience.



Conventional PowerPoint presentations are a thing of the past

Unfortunately, PowerPoint slides that have been dispassionately designed have become par for the course in many companies, without any attempt to rethink presentations. Many employees, managing directors and business partners have developed a real aversion to these presentations, which not only leads to fatigue in the conference room, but also drags the attention of the audience into the basement.

Audiences no longer want a presentation that includes bullet points or lengthy run-on text, but content that is presented in a visually appealing way. Many studies prove this point. If you ask the audience about the general content at the end of a “by the numbers” presentation, most people no longer know exactly which topics were discussed. Even fewer listeners can remember details of the content.


Visual storytelling adds greater impact and a personal touch in meetings

Storytelling in presentations has become an important part of corporate communication. It infuses presentations with more personality and keeps the audience engaged right to the end. The audience is not only provided with abstract information in visual form, but the presenter also adds an emotional touch that makes the audience feel more involved.

The audience can internalize the content much more profoundly and firmly and leaves the presentation with a positive feeling.

The audience becomes a part of the story through the use of pictures, animations, videos and audio files. Particularly important aspects are a coherent design of the presentation as well as the right choice of appealing pictures and graphics. Through a combination of visual instruments, which are finely tuned to the presentation, every presenter is guaranteed success. The following points are especially important for effective visual storytelling:


1. Moving images and animations attract the eye

Outstanding presentations aren’t dependent on any one trend or fad but contain a timeless elegance that impresses all audiences. For example, 3D effects, which were once all the rage in presentations, have fallen by the wayside – they’re just not a suitable tool for visual presentations today. Earlier 3D has now been overtaken by flat design, which brings graphics and diagrams closer to the viewer in the 2D version.

One of the most frequently used tools for presentations is the morph effect in Microsoft Office 365, which allows presentations to be refreshed with self-created animations and transition effects, even for presenters who lack the necessary skills. As a result, anyone, no matter what their presenting experience, can create visually professional presentations that far surpass the content of standard PowerPoint slides. This dynamic effect is especially popular for content marketing and tutorials.


2. Zoom effects: not just for webinars

Webinars are the latest presentation format and are extremely popular with both speakers and viewers. The presentations can be accessed and viewed from any location. At the same time, the creator has a cost-effective way of making the content available to a wide audience without always having to present in person each time. But webinars also have a disadvantage, namely that the presenter cannot personally perceive the reaction of the audience.

These types of presentations can be enhanced with zoom effects, which allow the viewer to easily focus in on the infographics used. Zoom effects are not only offered by tools like Prezi but, since Office 365, also in PowerPoint. Users can take advantage of zoom effects for infographics in several ways: they can be used in presentations as well as on social networks or in content marketing.


3. Interactive presentations: a dialogue with the audience

The aim of any presentation is to reach the audience and leave a lasting positive impression. But how do you manage such a presentation, which deviates from the standard? The solution is dialogue-based presentations, which let the audience participate, like in an interactive play. The presentation shouldn’t get bogged down in complex details, but it shouldn’t be too superficial either.

Slides shouldn’t be overloaded with text and require a uniform structure that runs like a thread through the entire presentation. Equally important is the two-way exchange of thoughts with the audience. The topics on the slides need to be not only concise, but should also reflect the main statements and main arguments of the presentation. Handouts that are distributed to the audience before the presentation and summarize the most important points are  a good way to reinforce your own content.


Visual storytelling presentations not only keep the audience entertained, but also actively involve them in the discussion. They work in any industry and for any target group.

Even without expertise, presenters can transform common PowerPoint slides into artistic and dynamic creations that leave a lasting impression. For content marketing and corporate communications, visual storytelling is the way of the future and will continue to establish itself in successful companies.





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