Business Storytelling Success Secrets for Presentations  

Leaders often ask me, “How do we use business storytelling effectively in our presentations?” Smart, successful professionals know that stories can make your presentations memorable. Here are my top business storytelling techniques for presentations.

It is important that every story you relate links to a message. Otherwise, you are wasting your audience’s time by being self-indulgent. Your stories are there to help your audience connect and remember your messages, so use your stories purposefully.

There is a humor drought in most organizations. In fact, in any other context, a drought of this magnitude would be declared a global emergency. If you want your business storytelling to rock your next presentation, make sure some of your stories are funny. Watch any TED talk by Ken Robinson, who is a storytelling master. Even the most serious story should incorporate at least one funny line.

Magic happens when you share a purposeful, funny story that is also personal. This is a trifecta. The holy grail of business storytelling.

There is a scene from The Matrix, a 1999 science fiction film, in which Neo (Keanu Reeves) points to a helicopter and asks Trinity, “Can you fly that thing?” She replies, “Not yet.” Then she calls Tank and says, “Tank, I need a pilot program for a B-212 helicopter,” and he uploads it into her brain!

Isn’t this every presenter’s dream? Where your presentation is so good that people immediately get it and remember it? While we don’t have Tank’s program, using business storytelling well is our best bet yet. Stories are Velcro for your audience’s brain, sadly almost everything else is Teflon.

Please comment, I love hearing from you.

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  • Reply

    When it comes to writing, I personally love the ‘Normal-Normal-Twist’ concept of taking the audience down a familiar path, and then zigging or zagging away from the obvious. That’s comedy, but it’s also marketing and motivation. If you tell your audience (whether customers of colleagues) the obvious, then they won’t remember. But if you surprise them, then that’s something they’ll be talking about over the dinner table that night.

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