The Essential Elements of Storytelling

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When presenting to people, whether for personal advocacies or corporate requirements, an excellent storytelling strategy never fails. The truth is that you don’t need to own or be a business video production company to employ storytelling chops to your presentations at work. Just acknowledge the essential elements and put them appropriately in your presentations.

Have an Attention-grabbing Beginning

Elicit desire and grab your audience’s attention with something that resonates with them. Don’t say “I am here to present.” Begin with something that drives closer to home. For example, if your audience is a bunch of widows, you can talk about the pain of loss in connection to what you are trying to promote. This takes a lot of practice, but it always works.

Own the Story

People won’t care much about the facts unless you wrap them in a story that you can own. Share a bit of yourself in the presentation and own the story being narrated by hooking it to a powerful personal experience. This kind of personalization can go a long way.

Have a Well-defined Conflict

Before you can agitate your audience to going to a solution, they must first acknowledge the problem. A well-defined business problem or conflict in your advocacy is something that needs to be clarified at the beginning. Some people get away with presenting the problem in the middle as a matter of style. But if you are a beginner in this storytelling exercise, it will help to simplify and put the conflict at the forefront of your presentation before you start giving options.

Steer the Story with a Powerful Middle

Three friends talking and laughing taking a conversation in a train station

Use powerful visualization methods to steer the story midway. Add enough details but not too much that it will paralyze your viewers. Give enough leg room for people to digest. Solicit feedback. Getting a show of hands and asking questions is an effective way to connect to your listeners more.

Use Storytelling to Propose Options

Once the problem has been laid out, present at least three options. Position your preferred option as the middle choice and make the others incredibly tricky if you want to steer them to a specific solution. Too many choices can lead to paralysis, so stick to providing three in your professional narrative for starters before daring to venture out with additional options.

Put in a Cliff Hanger or Two

If you can elicit a cliff hanger situation to compel your viewers to act quickly, this is also very effective. Try to put a consequence like “If we don’t do this, this will happen.” And it will be more convincing and can take your target viewers or audience to take action based on what you have just reported.

Lead Your Audience to a Satisfying Resolution

Have a final punch by leading to a satisfying resolution for your project proposal or advocacy. Don’t leave people hanging too much, or they will not have fun. Make sure that they will wrap up with the knowledge that listening to you was worth their time and energy.
It takes a lot of practice, but a sprinkle of expert storytelling here and there can take you to places, personally and professionally.

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