Queen Elizabeth I at the Globe Theatre, by David Scott
A common format used in most modern online events is a set of various facts, slides, diagrams, graphs and speeches by invited speakers with comments from a presenter. In essence, the presenter here sews all the components of an event together.
This approach does not work very well. There are even numbers to back this up. For example, do you know how many visitors remember isolated facts stated in a presentation? 5%, give or take. On the contrary, it has been proven that people remember information “folded” into a meaningful story 22 times better than when information is simply conveyed as raw data. According to a similar study, 63% of listeners were able to recall stories that they heard during a presentation.
With this in mind, it is worth trying to incorporate the plot of one or more related stories for your performance.
✔️ Based on a true story
Before you jump into writing your story, decide what facts, ideas and conclusions you want to present. Consider where in your story it would be easiest to introduce them.
No matter what tale you choose, it should not sound far-fetched or artificial. For this purpose, it is better to use real life cases that are related to the theme of your presentation. If there is nothing from your own experience that is sufficient, ask your colleagues and acquaintances or rummage through the net.
Let’s take our Roi4Presenter service as an example. When talking about it, we tend to refer to the very real experiences of presenters who have wasted substantial effort coordinating audience participation and speakers for a specific presentation at a specific time. This is a familiar story, repeated many times with different people. When we talk about this problem, we always have sympathetic nods from sales managers.
✔️ Diving into a context
A good story must unfold against an appropriate background that is presented to the viewer. A great example is Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet:
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
Only four lines, and we are already familiar with the story’s context. “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” is a more modern and no less remarkable example of quick immersion into the world in which the story unfolds.
Context provides a great opportunity to organically place those very facts and indicators, which are poorly remembered on their own, into your story. That is why the concept and scenery when working on a story should be given no less attention than the main plot.
✔️ All(most) fictitious characters
Most stories, aka presentations, need a main character. And this character must be no less realistic than the story itself. At first thought it seems logical that the ideal character is the presenter themself. It feels right, and what can be easier than the first person “Once I…” point of view?
But in reality, this is not the best option. Because no matter how rich your life story may be, if you host online events often, you will run out of anecdotes pretty quickly. Or, you will be doomed to retell one good story, like a parrot, time and time again.
Telling a completely fictional story takes a lot to sound believable. So, what’s left is to gather some images and tell stories from the point of view of their main characters. This decision unties the presenter’s hands. In one image, you can combine the aspects of different people, and in one story you can combine elements from different stories.
✔️ Add jokes and stir
A little bit of humor will brighten up any story. The main thing is to not go overboard with witticisms, never use old, hackneyed jokes and make sure that all comedic elements, whether they are jokes or caricatures, fit organically into the story and are directly related to the presentation’s topic.
Humor should help the audience to remember the main ideas, facts and conclusions, not distract from them.
✔️ Allow your audience to share their stories
It’s time to recall that the majority of presentation attendees – more than 90% – are willing to play an active role in them. Usually, they are left with only questions at the end of the event and filling out lead forms, but what if you invite one of them to share their story that relates to the presentation?
Of course, spontaneous performance is a big risk. However, you can announce this opportunity in advance and invite those wishing to speak to contact the presenter ahead of the presentation. Then you will have enough time to prepare everything and can mitigate the risk.
Even a performance from one viewer transforms the entire audience into defacto co-authors of the presentation, contributing to the warming of leads along the way.
✔️ A happy ending is mandatory
The most important part of every story is the ending. This is where key ideas, thoughts and conclusions from the presentation should be concentrated. Ideally, you should focus the audience’s attention on this point with the most relevant portion of the story. In this way, the attendees are guaranteed to remember the information with which you end your story.
At the same time, the final should be a traditional happy ending. The classic plot arc looks like this: You start a story with the protagonist’s problem and the conditions he or she is forced to solve. The story develops with the character trying to cope with the situation, while showing all the nuances and details of the problem. The finish is solving the problem thanks to the product or service that the presentation is dedicated to.
However, there can be many options, schemes and plots for a presentation-story. The main thing is to make it clear and exciting. By doing this, the presentation will surely be remembered.
Good luck to everyone and high income! And don’t forget to use ROI4Presenter, the best service for webinars and presentations!
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