Better Storytelling

Stories are powerful for communicating, teaching, motivating and learning. That’s because stories draw on emotion and scenarios that resonate with us on a visceral level. Better stories get people to act.

Presentations are stories for business. A good presentation tells a story about your business. It could be about the entire business or just one product. With your interactive slide library at your fingertips, you can tell a better story, based on your customer’s immediate feedback, on the fly. You have the ability to present content that you know will appeal to your customer, and you can adjust the story as you learn more about your customer’s situation. By creating a more relevant presentation, you are telling a better story.

The best presenters are great storytellers. They instinctively know how to draw their audience’s emotions to engage them in their message. Presentation management can help all of us, even if we’re not natural storytellers, to tell our company’s story.

Back in 2003,this discipline helped Screenvision sell a new product, called Screenvision Premier, to an old industry of traditional advertising agencies. Screenvision Premier branded the movie theater. Sure, advertisers were willing to pay to project their ads on a big screen to play for a captive audience before the movie started. But what about the rest of the theater, like the lobby space where everyone milled about? Or the popcorn bags and soda cups? Screenvision had a means to brand all elements of the movie experience, but they had to sell it to advertisers. Imagine the media buyer’s incredulous response to a junior Screenvision rep: “You want me to do what with a bag of popcorn?” Using 3-D imaging of the movie theater, complete with moviegoers walking around the lobby with branded bags of popcorn, the junior rep was able to communicate the value of this program. “Your product and logo look great on the popcorn bag that your customer will hold on his lap for 2½ hours.”

The imagery helped tell the story of Screenvision Premier. It simplified the message and equipped the sales team to sell a new, novel idea.

In the pharmaceutical world, telling the AdComm about the patients who participated in a trial and how their condition improved -- complete with pictures and videos -- tells the human story of that drug’s impact. The panel will not see the human element through a bunch of hard data, line graphs, charts and diagrams of molecules. The panelists need to understand the human element -- the emotion that moves people.

Presentation management makes great stories accessible to everyone, so whether or not you have the personality of a late-night talk show host -- and let’s be honest, most of us do not -- you can still tell a story through a presentation that resonates and stirs the audience to act.