Storytelling Tips for Better Presentations

business meeting charts

Storytelling has been used since the beginning of time to derive deeper meanings of situations and life experiences. Storytelling is used frequently in marketing and branding to appear more relatable and engage customers to become more invested in what you are providing. However when it comes to presentations, it’s hard to have the same passion as you do when telling a story. According to an article by Masterclass, they have seven tips for how tell a story effectively. I have tailored these seven tips to align with presenting insights and information effectively in the workplace.

Here are 7 ways you can incorporate storytelling tactics into your presentation:

  1. Choose a clear, central message. When creating a presentation, you should build it around your central message or theme you want to get across to your audience.
  2. Embrace conflict. Great stories have many hardships and obstacles to create depth to the story for the protagonists who may or may not overcome them. When presenting, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Don’t second guess adding information that is less attractive. People want to understand where there are obstacles or lower satisfaction areas are so they can improve and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  3. Have a clear structure. Help guide your audience gradually through the information, especially if it is heavily quantitative.
  4. Mine personal experiences. Many storytellers look to their own experiences to craft narratives. When presenting insights, be sure to back your claims up with hard proof or data, such as customer quotes to make the audience relate to what the customers are feeling.
  5. Engage your audience. Make sure your presentation is eye catching and captivating while also remaining clear and easy to digest.
  6. Observe good story tellers. I personally love to listen to Ted Talks to understand different ways people get their research and opinions across to the audience in a compelling way.
  7. Narrow the scope of your story. Keep it simple – less is more. I’m one of those people that when I’m telling a story I make sure I tell every unnecessary backstory before getting to the main point. I think one of the best skills to learn is that it’s easy to fill a page with words, but it takes time and thought to cut words down.

All in all, it is in good practice to incorporate the power of storytelling into the business world. What tips do you use to be an effective presenter/storyteller?

-Jocelyn van der Geest, Senior Research Analyst