Keeping your audience entertained and immersed at the same time while trying to deliver your most vital statements with clarity can be challenging. So you ask yourself, what can I do to give better presentations?
Well, the answer is not as complicated as you may think. The solution is to use engaging stories. It may seem implausible but telling stories is key to many presentations. Whether it's a TED talk, a networking event or a business presentation talking about a sales pitch, telling stories that present your ideas is a powerful way to keep listeners enthralled.
In this article, we discuss how incorporating storytelling into your presentations can be the most effective way to give stronger presentations and the five tips that will help you structure your stories competently.
Successful presenters often use the same approaches as great storytellers by taking the audience on a journey and setting up variances that must be fixed. A thought out and befitting story is an effective tool that makes your message much more compelling and attractive.
So, how does storytelling help?
In a basic sense, everyone is hardwired for storytelling. An eloquent yet easily understood story will stick in your mind for years. Storytelling is used in almost every known culture, and resembling heirlooms, they are passed down through generations. Because people like narrative structures, it is easy to persuade, evoke emotions, and grab the attention of the listener.
When you share a captivating story, your audience empathises and relates to you through those stories. It improves trust and encourages action. By improving your storytelling skills, you will simultaneously improve your presentation skills. It will be easier to persuade your audience of the value and weight your ideas and words hold. Here are the five tips for storytelling that you need to follow to help you become better at giving presentations and enhance your public speaking skills.
Make a single incident the centre of your story's attention
A fantastic story usually moves towards a significant moral. However, one exciting incident from your story holds a vital moral element. That must be your focal point. Instead of narrating a novel-like story, bringing a deep focus on a single incident can help shape your presentation for the better.
An excellent example is when actor Will Smith recounted a full year of his life in just two minutes but using a defining incident. As a child, he rebuilt a wall with his brother that his father had knocked down, and he shared a life lesson that made for a terrific story.
Attract and get your audience engrossed with the "Hook"
Providing a teaser of what's to come or beginning by recounting the end of the story is usually considered a great hook. You may be familiar with the movie "The Hangover", which used this approach. It proves to be engaging as you begin your story at the most thrilling part, which will create suspense for your audience.
However, it would be best if you did not give away too much of the action when starting the story, as it would potentially ruin the audience's curiosity. Contemplate hinting at something unforeseen transpiring. You can provide your listeners with enough information to get them interested.
The importance of the 5 W's
The five Ws are who, when, where, what, and why. These question words allow you to understand the complete scope of the subject you plan to discuss in the most efficient manner. If you are not able to pinpoint what makes your story memorable and compelling, odds are nobody else will either. It is recommended to start your story with the when, where and who aspect.
As a matter of fact, public speaking coaches frequently highlight the implication of starting the story with "when" it occurred. Once you have that out of the way, you can effortlessly describe the what and why elements.
Details are crucial. Not too much, and not too little
Effectively using details can paint memorable pictures in the minds of your audience. Public speakers can also display literal images that appeal to and influence the listeners’ emotions. If you’re recounting a true story from your own life, picking significant points to include can be challenging.
Details in stories control how a listener views the presentation. Many individuals tend to fit every detail, boring their audience with facts that weaken the moral of the story. Use too few details, and your presentation will suffer. It would help if you used enough details that make the structure recognisable without overwhelming the audience with unnecessary information.
End your message with a powerful and motivating call for action
Once you have reached the end point of your story, you need to naturally fill in why you’ve chosen to share that particular story. You need to make sure your audience understands the main point of telling the story and how your story is connected to your presentation’s call to action. Ending with a resolution, moral or piece of advice will help show the audience the advantages of taking action. Consider how you want the audience to feel about your message and wrap it up using a clear call to action that motivates the audience.
Remember, these steps aren't as essential as the story you tell. Once you have a good story to tell and are confident enough to deliver the key points effortlessly, you'll be able to influence your audience to adopt a new perspective and create a message that is easy to outline, remember, and retell.
Don't forget that practice always makes perfect, so make sure to spend ample time refining your skills so that you may set yourself and your presentations apart from the rest. Take the time to make different versions of your story at different timings. This will help you test and see what version would best fit the topic you will discuss in your presentations. Often, a concise story appeals to the audience more than a longer one.
All The Best
Public Speaking Coach Scotland