Have you tried story telling with your presentations?
Rather than giving an analytical presentation, story telling is often a good way of explaining what you do and how you can help people.
I created this blog post specifically for the members of my local BNI group; however it can be adopted by anyone in business that has the opportunity to present their business.
Presentations About Our Business Can Be Hard
Sometimes it is hard to explain what we do or why people should buy our products or services.
We may believe that we provide better advice, better products and/or better service but our competitors make the same statements and it is hard to differentiate ourselves.
Kiwi’s are also generally not great at self-promotion … maybe we are too humble at times when we should be yelling from the tree tops.
You might know me as a mortgage adviser or broker, and as such a big part of my job is to secure mortgages for people. If I am to present on what I do to a group I could get into the nitty gritty of how we deal with the banks and other lenders, the challenges that we come across and the results that we get for our clients but really that is all quite technical and boring. Most of our clients doesn’t really care what we do behind the scenes, they just want to know that we can arrange the mortgage so they can get the house that they want, they want to know that they are getting a good interest rate and that they can get debt free sooner.
Many businesses are the same;
I don’t really care what my accountant does, but I want to know how the business is performing and what my tax will be.
I don’t really care what the plumber does when installing my toilet, but I want to know it’s going to flush properly.
I don’t really care how the electrician wires up my house, but I want to know that it is safe and the lights turn on.
I’m sure that my clients are the same – they don’t really want to know what it took to get the mortgage for them but they want to know it’s approved and the best that they can get.
Why Story Telling Works Really Well
Story’s are a very good way of explaining how we help people and the benefits that we can add.
When a story is told people can often see themselves or someone they know in a similar situation and can therefore engage in what you are saying.
Good story telling will combine a set of facts wrapped in an emotion which compels people to visualise a situation that they may relate to.
Your part of the story is showing how what you do or can offer has had an impact on the lives of those people within the story.
You may have a number of examples of situations which would make a good story, but story telling needs to be planned out to ensure that you get the desired results.
Here is a simple four step formula that I use when preparing the stories that I want to use in my presentations;
- A story requires a series of facts, so always provide a bit of information to set the scene.
- Stories have emotion. There will almost always be something that made an impact with you, and therefore you need to put that into the story that you are telling.
- Wrap the facts and emotion together to set the scene and then the audience will visualise better.
- Tell the story with passion and focus on how you helped create a positive outcome.
Of course every story will be different and it takes practice to become a good story teller, but using a real life situation as the basis for the story can be a very compelling way to get your message across in a group presentation.