Do you dread presentations? Well, if you do, it’s likely that you may have experienced a presentation where text covered the slides. Or, the speaker may have either read from the slides and spewed out numerical information or industry jargon from an industry that has nothing to do with yours.
Presentations can be more productive, especially when using a conversational approach. The Prezi webinar, “Conversational Storytelling for the Internal Pitch: Persuading Teams and Decision-Makers,” shares an approach where making a pitch starts with a conversation and the presentation revolves around stories that either demonstrate or explain the information.
Why stories? Well, stories are a way to connect with the audience on an emotional level. Emotions often drive decisions, according to the webinar presenter, Spencer Waldron. So, set the tone for the journey by using positive emotional triggers like joy and nostalgia.
As with any journey or any goal, you start by thinking about what the final destination will look like. This vision is what keeps you functioning and motivated. During the webinar, Waldron, a regional director of marketing for Prezi, reminds us that telling a story is a journey and you want to start with the end in mind.
He also mentions that during your journey, you want to tell the audience how and either why you or your organization can get them to their destination. In other words, how will you make what seems impossible possible. To do this you will need to provide supporting information and build trust. Establishing your credibility at the beginning of the presentation, using reputable resources to support your statements, providing information the audience can relate to like case studies, and allowing people to reach their own conclusions are some ways to do this.
So let’s say you are pitching a new project, product, or service. You know that you want to provide the pitch in a persuasive way. Before you shift to the presentation, try asking questions that will help you discover the fear or the pain point more or ask questions that find gaps in the audiences' journey to get to their final destination. This way instead slipping into the generic routine of showing presentation slides you can instead navigate to the parts in your presentation that will help resolve their issues. Prezi Next offers this capability to jump to different areas of your presentation so you can tell the story.
As you tell your stories let them resonate with your audience. Waldron explains that you can make your stories memorable by listing items in threes and by using repetitions and rhymes.
Conversational storytelling is an effective strategy to use when you are attempting to persuade someone in the decision process.
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