June 11, 2020

10 Ways to Turn Presentations into Stories That Wow

We’re addicted to compelling stories…

Stories entertain us. Stories inform us and tell us right from wrong. They make us feel for people or care about events. They motivate and inspire us to act. It’s no wonder that stories are central to how we learn. But structuring your event presentations to be stories can be tricky. Try these storytelling structures, tactics, and techniques for event presentations that wow.

Overcoming the Monster

In this structure, the main character sets out to defeat a powerful evil force that is threatening his or her home. It’s good for succeeding despite the odds, sharing life lessons, and demonstrating how you, your team, and the company became stronger through diversity.

Rags to Riches

In this structure, a hero from humble beginnings gains the thing they want before losing it and having to fight to get it back. It’s useful for demonstrating the importance of owning mistakes, the benefits of taking risks, and how you, your team, or company earned their present-day success.

Voyage and Return

In this structure, the main character travels to an unfamiliar place, meeting new characters and overcoming a series of trials. It’s useful for showing how it’s important to own up to your mistakes, the benefits of risk taking, and how you, your team or company earned their present-day success.

The Quest

In this structure, the hero and his or her comrades set out in search of a specific prize, overcoming a series of challenges. She or he may have flaws, which have held them back in the past. It’s good for talking about the importance of sticking to your convictions, and the power of teamwork.

The Monomyth

In this structure, the hero sets out on a difficult journey, and after overcoming a significant obstacle, returns home with a reward and newfound wisdom; something that will help his or her community. It’s good for explaining what has brought the company to the wisdom you want to share.

Converging Ideas

This structure can show how different strands of thinking came together to form a product, a sales plan, or an idea. It’s useful for showing how great minds (or perhaps great partnerships and alliances) came together to innovate.

Technology Talks

Consider integrating interactive technology into your next presentation. Here are a few that work great!
• Tweetwallpro.com
• Zoomph.com
• Polleverywhere.com

The Mountain

The first part of this structure is in place to set the scene. It is then followed by a series of small challenges and building action before a climatic conclusion. It’s a bit like a TV series, all building up to a big finale. You can use it to show how your company overcame a series of challenges and to deliver a satisfying conclusion such as “we reached our sales goals!”

Outside World In

Integrate music cues, clips, tangible props, short animations, and sound effects. Also, consider enlisting someone in the audience to add a different perspective to the presentation.

Image Domination

Make the presentation predominantly image-based and take it up a notch from there with 2D/3D treated imagery. Imagery is much more memorable than bullet points.

There you have it, classic and not-so-classic storytelling structures, techniques, and tactics to help you find the story at the heart of it all — and truly engage your audience. And remember, not all pieces of information need to fit neatly into the structure. If the key bits of information can be organized into a coherent structure, then everything else will fall into place.