Presentations Are the Stories for Business

The best presenters are great storytellers. The CEO is often the best storyteller in the company. Motivating people to act is integral to her and the company’s success, and stories do that better than statistics. Salespeople tend to be good storytellers as well, since their success is directly related to their ability to connect with customers. But employees in every department and function need to be good presenters. A research scientist can present a bunch of numbers with charts and graphs, and bore everyone to tears. But a great research presentation will tell the story of what that research means on a human level, with relatable characters and real feelings. That’s more interesting and more memorable.

Imagine a Federal Express presentation to see what we mean. The FedEx company story is not just about the logistical genius of strategically placed shipping hubs combined with a fleet of trucks, cargo planes and ships, and a workforce of 250,000 delivery experts. Those are certainly elements that make the company successful. But the corporate story is about helping businesses succeed. Think of a hardworking executive under pressure to meet a deadline. The executive is tired, stressed and fearful of failure – of losing a client and losing her job because she might not deliver. All are strong emotions that we can relate to. Using FedEx, she can work until 9 p.m. and still get her product delivered to her client by 9 a.m. the next day. She gets more time to work, and her client is pleased to have the product on time. The sale gets closed. Everyone is happy. For this FedEx presentation, you could use images of stressed executives and combine them with facts about FedEx’s locations and guarantees of timeliness. But you will remember that the executive was able to turn a harrowing situation into a success story.

So let’s make the business world a better place, one presentation – one story – at a time. Here are some tips to help you craft better business stories, and then organize them in your presentation management solution so that your team can repurpose the slides and decks for their individual meetings.