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The Storytelling Style of Presentations

Here’s a reason why it may be a good idea to present using a storytelling style.

I sometimes dread attending workshops because of the presenter’s style of delivery. They sometimes have the habit of only showing a PowerPoint presentation using a lot of bullet points with small letters that make me tired and sleepy. On many occasions they will only read the bullet points back to the audience and we just have to listen without understanding the deeper message of what is actually intended by the presenter. Sleepiness can be held in the first 10 minutes, but if it is over 15 minutes the eye will no longer hold. To keep myself alert, I often get ‘busy’ fiddling with my mobile phone. As I turn to the left or right of the room, I have noticed that the good old mobile phone has become a loyal friend to many other attendees too; helping to keep them awake. I think you get the picture.

This is what happens when the presenter creates the sildes too close to the day of the presentation. They do not have the time to rehearse their speech. In addition to that, their actual knowledge on the subject could be quite shallow.

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The trick to keep the audience engaged is to tell stories or examples to emphasize the bullet points. Yes, it’s a lot of work to dig for relevant stories but that is the hallmark of an expert. If you claim to be an authority in your field, you should have an abundance of stories and examples to share. You many not have stories for every point but the least you can do is to display an image next to your bullet point to give a “picture” of your bullet point. Pictures speak a thousand bullet points ~ Confucious Version 2.0.

The story telling style of presentation is certainly more interesting to hear especially if we can inject humor into our story. Try to remember when we were kids. You most likely paid serious attention when mum & dad told stories.

Go ahead and try out your story telling skills during your next presentation. You will certainly get a more attentive crowd. Their facial expression will tell you so.