Using Storytelling in Business Presentations

storytelling presentation skills

Impact the Audience With Storytelling

Successfully presenting your thoughts and ideas, and effectively impacting others with your message, can be a gateway to better relationships, more productivity and an enhanced bottom line.  Delivering a successful presentation requires that you truly connect with your the audience, and storytelling can quickly establish that connection.

Most presentations promote a concept, or an idea you wish to convey.  Your hope is to persuade the audience to a certain manner of thinking, and the use of an appropriate story, if practiced and perfected, can easily drive your point home.  Storytelling is entertaining, informative and perhaps the best way to captivate your audience, provided the listener can directly relate to the story.  There are many important considerations, the first imperative is to know your audience, the second to narrate the story in such a way that they are able to quickly identify with it.

Appropriate Use of Stories

Consider storytelling as a prop, and relate your story to the specific needs of the audience, so the story you tell will aid the listener in following the subject matter.  Get a feel for the company they work for, or the group they associate with, as well as the needs they have or challenges they may face.  Develop an understanding of what may motivate them, be it to make a dramatic change or simply improve upon an already productive path.

Storytelling has a great impact!  For instance, remember the last time you couldn’t lay down a good book, reading late into the night?  Or how you felt, on the edge of your seat, while listening to the inspirational message of an ‘against all odds’ success story?   A story well told has the power to change opinion, and not just one opinion, but the opinion of the masses.

Connecting With Your Audience

Finally, use sincere language in your storytelling and your listeners will respond. The actual words you use are very important, so, choose them carefully. Practice your presentation multiple times, in private or with family and friends, before giving it to an audience.  If you feel disconnected at all with your topic, your audience is sure to feel disconnected as well.  Effective stories in a presentation will make your content sticky, and will be appreciated and remembered, long after the presentation is over.   And you, as the speaker, will be gratified and very likely achieve your desired outcome!

34 Responses

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  7. I don’t like stories that are very long. Some presenters tend to go on and on and on… Get to the point have a couple quick stories and move on.

  8. I don’t like stories that are very long. Some presenters tend to go on and on and on… Get to the point have a couple quick stories and move on.

  9. I need to remember to use stories more in my presentations. I usually just stick to the facts and it can be quite cumbersome for the audience.

  10. I need to remember to use stories more in my presentations. I usually just stick to the facts and it can be quite cumbersome for the audience.

  11. I was listening to a speaker the other day and his stories were so inappropriate for the audience he was speaking to. He should of been mindful of his audience and put his stories together with that in mind.
    David

  12. I was listening to a speaker the other day and his stories were so inappropriate for the audience he was speaking to. He should of been mindful of his audience and put his stories together with that in mind.
    David

  13. I was just about to create a presentation. Never knew that story telling can have a great impact. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I was just about to create a presentation. Never knew that story telling can have a great impact. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Storytelling is powerful and most of us can relate – especially if it has to do with family, kids, in-laws etc! THis makes your audience laugh and relate.

  16. Storytelling is powerful and most of us can relate – especially if it has to do with family, kids, in-laws etc! THis makes your audience laugh and relate.

  17. More than any words you say in your presentation, your audience will remember what they “see” in their minds while they are listening. Everybody loves a good story. No matter what our culture, we grow up feeling that hearing a story is somehow a reward. Stories are the best way to explain the complex, motivate, and train. The art of storytelling is essential to effective public speaking.

  18. More than any words you say in your presentation, your audience will remember what they “see” in their minds while they are listening. Everybody loves a good story. No matter what our culture, we grow up feeling that hearing a story is somehow a reward. Stories are the best way to explain the complex, motivate, and train. The art of storytelling is essential to effective public speaking.

  19. When people ask me to help them turn their presentations into stories, I begin by asking questions. I kind of psychoanalyze their companies, and amazing dramas pour out. But most companies and executives sweep the dirty laundry, the difficulties, the antagonists, and the struggle under the carpet. They prefer to present a rosy—and boring—picture to the world. But as a storyteller, you want to position the problems in the foreground and then show how you’ve overcome them. When you tell the story of your struggles against real antagonists, your audience sees you as an exciting, dynamic person. And I know that the storytelling method works, because after I consulted with a dozen corporations whose principals told exciting stories to Wall Street, they all got their money.

  20. When people ask me to help them turn their presentations into stories, I begin by asking questions. I kind of psychoanalyze their companies, and amazing dramas pour out. But most companies and executives sweep the dirty laundry, the difficulties, the antagonists, and the struggle under the carpet. They prefer to present a rosy—and boring—picture to the world. But as a storyteller, you want to position the problems in the foreground and then show how you’ve overcome them. When you tell the story of your struggles against real antagonists, your audience sees you as an exciting, dynamic person. And I know that the storytelling method works, because after I consulted with a dozen corporations whose principals told exciting stories to Wall Street, they all got their money.

  21. While I don’t like it when presenters give long ,drawn out stories, I do enjoy short stories in presentations. It gives the presentation a sense of realness and makes it more organic. Many presentations are very technical and factual, so it’s nice to see ones that are more laid back and entertaining. It gets tiring to only focus on facts rather than thoughts and views.

  22. While I don’t like it when presenters give long ,drawn out stories, I do enjoy short stories in presentations. It gives the presentation a sense of realness and makes it more organic. Many presentations are very technical and factual, so it’s nice to see ones that are more laid back and entertaining. It gets tiring to only focus on facts rather than thoughts and views.

  23. A good story gives a presentation some personality. Facts and figures get REALLY boring without a story to tie them to.

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