What’s the worst horror story you can imagine for a presenter giving a marketing presentation? Falling in love with his or her story!
Recently, I coached a presenter. He was ‘all over’ stories. And truthfully, his storytelling ability was great. If you wanted to sit around the campfire for hours and hours on end.
But, for a business setting, his commitment to ‘storytelling’ was a death sentence. During his presentation, I looked around the room. People were staring at the ceiling. Others were examining their watches as if they contained hidden gold. No one wanted to hear one more colorful word. Not one more elaborate metaphoric example.
Know what I’m talking about? It’s the storyteller syndrome. Gone overboard.
In every part of presenting, there is a risk. You can take a good thing and drag it into the ground by overdoing it.
Clearly, this does not have to happen. Use these 3 tips to make sure you use storytelling to your advantage in marketing presentations.
Tip 1: Stick To The Point
In business presentations, unlike campfire stories, you have to stick to the point. Many audiences are filled with people who are already overloaded and overwhelmed with information.
If you want to keep their attention, you must stick to the point. Watch out for any tendency to drift off topic with your favorite colorful examples.
Hint: if this is a problem for you, work with a colleague. If they notice you are going off track, establish a hand signal to mark the moment. Then, be sure to use this signal to refocus your message and stay on point.
Tip 2: Read Your Audience
Read your audience the same way you read the gauges in your car. Are you running on empty? Does your audience need a bio-break? Are they getting fidgety and restless? Are people edging to the door or fixating on their watches?
Watch for the signs and symptoms of disengagement. If you notice these, switch to a more focused delivery style .
You can win your audiences’ attention if you keep their signals at the forefront of your awareness.
Tip 3: Let Your Audience Speak
Storytelling is not a one-sided activity. Ask questions. Get people talking. Use their comments and questions to infuse energy and creative spark into your story.
Nothing is as exciting as spontaneous interaction. When you use this in your storytelling you will not be at risk of talking to a bored or restless audience.
In addition to participants having a change to speak, other people in the audience often connect with comments made by peers. These comments provoke interaction, discussion and collaboration.
Professional presenters often use storytelling to express ideas, emphasize key points, and engage audiences. With persuasive storytelling, you can inspire creativity and collaboration.
Effective storytelling is the mark of a distinguished leader and presenter. If you want to connect with your audiences, get familiar with planning, preparing and performing with stories.
As one of my clients puts it: “you get better results with better planning.” This is smart business and a smart storytelling practice.
Develop your business storytelling skills so you can communicate effectively to your audience. Persuasive visual stories can help you reach more customers and grow your business.
Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through online presentation skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: presentationstoryboarding.com/