Humans love stories, from the days of folk tales to the new Spiderman film. Stories take your audience on a journey, they show the benefit of taking risks and they demonstrate the greater reward at the end. There are many different story structures which I talk about here.
Take the following example- assume that you’re pitching a new type of earmuffs that aid a good night’s sleep:
‘Josie left the house with tired, puffy eyes, trudging through the autumn leaves to reach the nearest coffee shop- the sound of the next-door neighbours arguing at 5:30am hadn’t only woken her up, but in the daze that followed led her into a nightmare that startled her awake only half an hour later. It wasn’t a good morning for Josie, but unfortunately it had become an unwelcome routine of late’
This introduction to Josie is not only emotive, but relatable- it demonstrates the problem of unwelcome noise in the night making you tired- which is where you give Josie another alternative.
‘Josie’s going to bed, it’s been a long day and she’s already dreading the thought of getting up in the morning. She opens her drawer and looks at the ear muffs that Jason from accounts suggested. Jason was always so lively and she admired him, even if she had just turned him down for a drink at the Queen’s Head. Although it looked like it may be uncomfortable and she was sure it would come off in the night, she placed it around her head and hit the pillow.’
Here we’ve addressed the objections that the audience may have about the product, and suggested that they are about to be resolved.
‘Josie wakes up, it’s been one week since she started using the ear muffs. She peels them from her head and lets the noise of chirping birds in. She’s woken up one minute before her alarm for the second day in a row and she’s been up in time to have breakfast again. She’s been so productive this week that today’s going to be stress-free, and she’s looking forward to her drink with Jason later.’
Although I’m not suggesting using storytelling as a basis for all your presentations, utilising elements of it has been known across the board to be an effective tool in bringing the audience with you through your presentation.