Why Incorporating Storytelling into Your Next PowerPoint Presentation Is Key
Storytelling is a part of our everyday lives. We spin tales of the weekend to coworkers; we pass on funny things our kids do to friends; and we tell and retell cherished childhood experiences with family. Stories make us human; they help us forge friendships and relationships through creativity and relatability.
So why shouldn’t storytelling play an integral role in our professional lives, too?
Sitting through a dry presentation laden with data, bullet points and statistics isn’t the most stimulating experience. An effective presentation should capitalize on the fundamentals of good narrative. It should be compelling and captivating — grabbing our audience’s attention from the start and keeping them rapt throughout.
It’s no wonder that good storytelling is a tactic used by some of the most powerful public speakers. By turning your presentation into an experiential journey, you can bring a message to life and win an audience over. Here’s how.
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Storytelling Builds a Human Connection
When presenting to clients, potential investors, or fellow team members, it’s possibly your first time meeting them, and your first impression. Intertwining elements of narrative structure into your presentation — such as short anecdotes about personal triumphs and failures — allows you to incorporate your companies’ values in an innately personalized way.
This is more likely to resonate with the audience than, say, a bulleted list of figures alone, as you’re presenting yourself as an expert but also as a human being. This personal and emotional connection immediately builds a sense of familiarity and trust, making you, and your presentation, more appealing.
Effective storytelling requires advanced storyboarding. Knowing where, when, and how to incorporate key points in a strategic and powerful way is an art — you don’t want storytelling to come off as insincere or contrived. If you’re unsure how to effectually incorporate these principles of communication into your presentation, consider connecting with a custom presentation company. Many can often offer training on this very topic and can help users craft a well-organized and persuasive narrative while hitting all of the critical points.
Storytelling Engages an Audience
Using story beats during a presentation is a great way to put your ideas and facts into perspective. Instead of simply reading a PowerPoint presentation back to your audience, storytelling allows communication to flow more naturally and more akin to a genuine conversation. As you add flourishes and supporting details to the presented information on-screen, you can surprise, delight and ignite your audiences’ interests along the way.
Stories allow the audience to imagine how they would have responded in similar scenarios. It also makes the host seem more approachable, creating the potential for questions and engagement at the end of the presentation far more likely.
Storytelling Boosts Knowledge Retention
According to Peg Neuhauser, an organizational psychologist, a story told effectively is remembered more precisely and for a longer period of time than plain statistics and figures. Furthermore, psychologist Jerome Bruner found that pertinent details are 20 times more likely to be recollected if they’re merged into a story — a tale with a beginning, middle and end.
Through effective storytelling, your audience will be able to accurately recall information from your presentation long after it’s over, and when deliberations and decisions are being made.
When a well-designed PowerPoint presentation is supported by a captivating story, you’re putting forward a well-rounded learning experience that caters to all learning styles. Consider incorporating the art of storytelling into your next presentation.