Incorporating stories into your presentations engages your audience like no other tactic if done right. Using stories in your presentation to connect with your audience makes your message relatable rather than spewing out a bunch of facts, figures, and goals. Yet, not all storytelling is created equally. Here’s how to make your message land in the real world.
Make it personal
The road to a business goal via a personal story may not seem tangential, but when you can get to the core of what an issue is really about, you’re certain to grab people’s attention. Perhaps you’re having trouble getting people to participate in meetings, and you feel it’s because they don’t think they’re being heard. When was a time in your life when you felt like your opinion didn’t matter? Share a particular instance, then bring it back to the issue at hand.
Paint a picture
If you’ve ever been house hunting, you’ve likely encountered a real estate agent who shows you the cozy nook where you can curl up with a book and cup of tea or the lawn on which you can watch your future children run around. Likewise, you want your audience to see how their lives would be transformed if they pursue the goal you’re campaigning for. Maybe that means getting people more time or the tools they need to do their jobs better. How do you want your audience to feel after investing in your initiative?
Keep it relevant
Use one or both storytelling methods to enhance your message, not distract from it. You may have a funny story to tell about your nephew, but unless it’s connected to what you’re trying to accomplish, it’s probably not worth weaving in. The general rule of thumb is to open a presentation with a longer-form story that engages the audience and makes the data more attainable. Then, use quicker stories to illustrate a point you just made to tie people back to the reason for the presentation.
The bottom line is storytelling is the easiest way to show people you’re human. How do you want to connect with your audience on an emotional level?