Storytelling in presentations: How to improve it

September 20, 2019
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WHY STORYTELLING IN A PRESENTATION MATTERS

Stories tap into people’s emotions. Through storytelling in a presentation, stories draw readers and audiences into your content and captivate them. People connect with stories at an inexplicable level whereby narratives manage to stick to their memories in the most peculiar of ways. Very seldomly are stories related to facts or features. On the contrary, stories refer more to experiences and points of excitement.

Above all, stories bear a moral message behind them; one through which we learn and from which we grow. All of the above might explain why the power of a story outline has been noticeable and repetitive over the course of centuries in human history, as well.

STORIES IN PRESENTATIONS

Now, telling stories through powerpoint is one thing we certainly did not hear of when learning how to add graphs and links to a slide. So we find it perfect to let our Slidebean AI do its magic with design to let you focus on what matters most; giving a presentation with superb storytelling that just sets you aside from the bunch.

Moving forward, we will share with you ways in which storytelling in a presentation connects to specific slides to optimize them; such as the diverse slide content for pitch decks and other templates.

Let’s get on it!

Image contains a person talking in front of an audience

THE TEAM SLIDE

We start with this one because it is possibly the easiest connection between story and template slide. Since we all probably know very well that stories have heroes, all those especially loved characters are easy to reference. Bear that in mind when you look for stories of your own to tell; the hero’s journey is an actual literary thing from which you can draw for attention and in the search for conflict. From Greek Mythology to Marvel, we have all interacted with diverse stories of heroes throughout our lifetime.  

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS BE THE HERO

Now, in terms of presentation slides, we are sorry to say you cannot always be the hero. In fact, presentations are not about you, but your company, product or service. In the case of the team slide, relevant content truly is about those people who give you the ideal team to carry your load forward. Our CEO expands on that a bit here in case you want to take a look.

For the sake of our focus, we truly want to back up what you have to say about the strengths that your founding and key team members bring to your company by incorporating story-driven elements to your slides.

Image contains people talking to each others

Examples thereof would be an authentic quote one of them brings forth or a brief mention of a genuine story that makes it clear just how your founding team is the ideal one to be leading your business given precise market challenges.

For example, for Slidebean’s pitch deck team slide, our founder and CEO has stressed out his TEDx experience and that at Intel while he focuses on the awards our CTO has received, his trajectory and our CDO’s lead in a reputable regional academic scenario. This all serves to drive the point across that the leading team is capable of making money and driving a profitable business.x

A lot to think about, we know, especially when your team slide should be kept very simple; but the effort spent in being concise, clear and compelling about who you bring to the mix is very well worth the while. Trust us.

THE VILLAIN OR...THE COMPETITION?

Just like we know heroes exist as a key element to a story, they would be powerless if stories didn’t have villains.

Now, there’s no need to express yourself about your competition as the corporate Sith or Venom, but do take advantage of storytelling when addressing data and facts on your competition for the sake of your market analysis, for instance. Your culture will determine what is appropriate in your niche. However, there is nothing so dark a good story cannot portray in the light of a rapportive journey.

LEARN THE POWER OF ENGAGEMENT

If anything, stories unleash engagement, and that is beyond valuable in our business; especially for presentation software. Regardless of what we’re trying to do, being able to create content (whether oral or written) is a gateway to having an audience (or readers) become so tuned in with what your characters have experienced or are doing that you’re able to take people on diverse journeys. More importantly, stories allow the possibility of creating rapport in a way that your main message can be clearly understood and, more importantly, absorbed to the level of being appropriated.

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KEEPING IT REAL

Authenticity is at the backbone of the best of stories. Focusing on storytelling in a presentation, should not mean anything is artificial. On the contrary, keep it real!  

When new to storytelling as a way of exercising Marketing, it is possible to start overstating facts or details. Try to keep that to a minimum and just tell things as they are. Simplicity is beautiful.

In that sense, the slide format should help. Rely on the ways in which slides keep you down to keywords, images or concise material to produce your angle from a point where storytelling fits.

THE CLIMAX TOWARDS YOUR CALL TO ACTION

And, of course, we cannot leave climax behind whatsoever when considering the plot. Every story; at least a good one, needs to have a rising point. From an opening as a point of departure, the idea is to reach a peak whereby your call to action will become awfully clear, and naturally subsequential.

Think of a presentation’s structure and how it can be supported narratively speaking by the art and craft of storytelling.

FURTHER READING

We recommend following up on your reading by checking out the importance of narrative structure through one of our founders’ takes on it, actually. In The Narrative Structure of Great Presentations, Vini unsurprisingly, yet smartly goes back to the Harvard Business Review, where executive coach Harrison Monarth has keenly “outlined the importance of storytelling in $4 million NFL Superbowl ads.” Check it out; always a great read!

Create your Presentation

Angelica A.
Freelance and Remote Web Content Writer is the current hat under which Ang keeps on the global move. Writing blogs, website content and (especially) Facebook ads for diverse small businesses, entrepreneurs and international parties is part of the common work under Ang's belt. Otherwise, you'll see Ang riding a motorcycle on their vegan way out of theater rehearsal.
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