How to Add Impact to Innovative Presentations with Stories

By Ray Anthony, Barbara Boyd

The best innovative presenters in the world agree on the extraordinary power of storytelling in business or even technical presentations because you can include all kinds of content (facts, statistics, examples, explanations) within the format. Stories have a bottom-line moral along with key messages and learning(s) that reveal purpose.

Stories effectively and efficiently convey novel ideas. They illustrate how to solve problems, reach for opportunities, and deal with setbacks, challenges, and outright failures as well as how to pick yourself up to reach new heights of success. Captivating stories inform, motivate, inspire, and enlighten by triggering an emotional response.

Peter Guber, the former Chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures, aptly said, “Move listeners’ hearts and their feet and wallets will follow.” You can weave a creative tale and use technology, voice, and body language to mesmerize audiences.

When crafting your stories, keep the following tips in mind:

  • A good story involves transformation. First the protagonist faces a conflict, and then finds a cure. As the plot progresses, something important changes for the main characters.

  • Your story fits your audience — their needs, wants, and interests — and has a key point or moral they’ll appreciate.

  • People relate to and value your story because it envelops them intellectually and emotionally. Your story must address the situation and issues confronting your group.

  • The characters in your story come alive. You explain their pain, fear, concern, hopes, and desires along with their decision making, their struggles, and their ultimate victory or personal and professional change as a result of the conflict or challenge facing them.

You can find many superb storytellers when you search online for both motivational and also TEDx speakers; let the ways they masterfully use stories in their presentations inspire you. Browse the library at TED talks.

You can also type “speakers bureaus” in to a browser for a list of agencies that represent motivational speakers who specialize in telling great stories. Go to the speakers’ websites to view their video demo tapes and see the power of storytelling!