Are your colleagues presentations boring you to tears?
This is common in nearly all corporate environments. Our colleagues tend to abuse our senses by delivering presentations full of statistics, figures and facts with slides that could boggle anyone’s mind.
We struggle to comprehend what they are saying. We end up leaving the presentation no more knowledgeable about the topic than when we walked in.
There is one saviour for this problem, storytelling. We have delivered courses to numerous corporate clients about how to insert storytelling and personality into presentations. These have been successful with many participates commenting that the course has changed their presenting style for the better.
For those of you still struggling with your own presentations or sitting through your colleagues, we’ve put together some handy guidelines to improve boring presentations.
Remove mind-boggling slides
Can you understand this slide?
This is from the worst powerpoint delivered by a public CEO in 2010.
This type of slide is not uncommon in presentations around the country. Overloaded with information it is difficult to read, difficult to comprehend and difficult to look at.
While we understand you sometimes do need to convey a wide range of information in your presentation, there are better ways to do it.
Why not use one single image or graph instead? Keep the key visuals on the slides and put all the other information in your presenter notes underneath? Your audience responds better to the information you say rather than the information they can barely read on a slide.
Another way to reduce these types of slides is turning your statistics into stories. If you need to tell your audience about a new product feature, customer feedback or the results of a survey try and create a narrative around it. Introduce characters and a storyline to make your statistics more engaging. This will help your audience understand your presentation.
Introduce a hero
Every story needs a hero. Someone to root for, to engage with and someone who can carry your story to the finish.
This is the same for your presentations. Having a hero or a main character your audience can root for and relate to throughout your slides can help them engage with what you’re saying.
A hero does not have to be Wonderwoman or Batman, it can be a product, a new initiative or even you.
Introduce your hero at the beginning of your presentation, make sure to make your audience aware of what their task or goal is. Is it a new product that needed to succeed? A survey that was sent to all customers? Tell the journey of the hero, how it struggled, where it succeeded and where it needed help.
At the end of your presentation reveal what happened to your hero. Did they succeed or fail?
This tactic will engage your audience and leave them hooked on the outcome of your story.
Play with their emotions
Stories evoke emotion. There is a science behind storytelling, your brain reacts to different types of stories. Knowing this can help you engage with your audience on a deeper level and keep them enthralled.
If you want to get your audience on side, tell a personal story about yourself. While you don’t have to reveal your biggest secrets make sure the story has emotion. It could be about a time you might have failed in work, or when you struggled. This will help your audience get to know you and see that you are just like them.
Another way to get your audience engaged is to tell a funny story. Laughing invokes emotion and allows your audience to all be on the same level. We are aware we’re not all comedians, show maybe show a funny video from YouTube.
Stories with suspense also work. They keep your audience hooked and focus all their attention on what you’re saying. Not revealing the end of the story is also a sure way of keeping your audience engaged.
So, next time you have a presentation to do in front of your colleagues remember these key tips and if you have one colleague that struggles to keep their audience awake, maybe pass this post on.
Here at All Good Tales, we believe that storytelling can help your team improve their presentation skills and build their confidence. We’ve already helped teams from Failte Ireland, DAA and Guinness Storehouse build their storytelling knowledge. We’d love to help you out with a free consultation. You can call Gaye on (01) 254 1845 to organise yours today. We also run courses that give you practical information on connecting with customers. For more information or to book your place, click here.
Originally published at allgoodtales.com on July 30, 2018.