Storytelling techniques have been used time and time again to convey a certain message. Our forefathers used storytelling to teach and also to give caution. The Bible and the Quran are also in story format, giving us the lessons of life through parables.
As human beings we don’t care about the facts and figures, people care about things that touch, move, inspire them. If you show people how much you care about them but not how much you know, they will listen to you. Facts and figures will only come after an individual has decided to take up the product or service, they just need to know the numbers or important information regarding the product.
For any business pitch, you have to ensure that the crowd is always with you, if you loose the crowd within the first few minutes, chances are that they will never follow you through the rest of your presentation.
Some of the great story tellers include Steve jobs and Oprah Winfrey. Their Commencement Address at Stanford University was awe-inspiring. Not because they just spoke, but because their art of storytelling charmed the audience in a way that shall always stay in the students minds as they can pull-out their message of life from that talk.
Take note of the following DONTS in a presentation
- First rule of storytelling methods is never to start by saying, “I am going to start a story”
- Steve Denning mentioned, never say “I am going to tell a true story”, he retorts that all stories should be true
- Signal it as a true story by indicating time and place, “Last week, in a the Supermarket”. This also makes the stroy conversational
- Other words you can use to introduce a story in a presentation can be “for example”, “to illustrate”, “that reminds me” etc..
- Alternatively you can launch into a story during the presentation and ignore a segue
As a presenter, also ensure your stories are driven by purpose; stories are told for different occasions, they could be meant to break the ice if you are meeting new people, to make people laugh etc. For a Business person, ensure you have the goals that you want to achieve in a presentation, but ensure that your story leads them to the message.
When you present people with a proposal, they always say, “We will get back to you”. If you are a sales person and the only answer you keep on hearing is “I’ll get back to you,” the people you are presenting to will NO LONGER trust you. And to achieve your sales goals and targets you have to change how you are presenting. And the only way to ensure your service or products sell, you have to relate the solution to a real life situation that your products obviously seem to solve.
The art of story-telling is an amazing means to draw customers to listen to you. You could use it to sell your products, but bear in mind any lies can be detrimental to your business. Use story telling to talk about the efficiency of your products.