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Storytelling Brings Along a Point

 

by Bob Goodyear

Storytelling in business presentations is a big topic today. It’s something that has been discussed for the last several years and continues to grow. If you Google the term “business storytelling,” you’ll find over 30 million references. The importance of storytelling in business has become essential.

I’ve written about storytelling several times. I’ve written about how to construct a story, where to put a story in technical presentations, and why to use stories. I want to expand on the why.

Recently I was a guest teacher at Brigham Young University – Idaho. I was asked to give my top 5 tips for improving business presentations. One of my tips is the idea of “tell a story, make a point” for every point that you want to make in a presentation. As I dug down into the topic a little more with the students, I drew a very rudimentary drawing of a blimp dragging a sign. I pointed out that while it’s important to tell stories, they must have a point. I wrote the word “Story” on the blimp. I then wrote the word “Point” on the sign.

Why tell stories?

My point with this illustration is this. When you tell a well-constructed story there is a point to it. When people in your audience remember your story, they will remember the point that comes along with it. In essence, the story is the mechanism that allows your audience to remember the point. The point is dragged along by the story.

I’ve sat in many presentations. Most of them have been forgettable at best. The ones that I remember are the ones that use storytelling efficiently.

Technical presenters that I have worked with are worried about telling stories. They hear that they should use stories but they’re afraid that they might lose their credibility. When they have heard this advice, they think that they should tell a story like Humpty Dumpty. While that might wake up the audience, if there’s no point to the story that relates to the subject then indeed it is nothing more than a fairy tale. Use stories to get your audience’s attention back and then make the point you want.

 

Bob Goodyear is a veteran speaker on technology who understands the communications challenges that technical professionals face. Find out how Bob can help your organization with its presentation. Reach Bob by email or by phone at 404.790.5855.

Photo Copyright: dazdraperma / 123RF Stock Photo
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