Imagine you’re sitting in a movie theatre with your popcorn, the lights dim and a trailer starts playing. This movie trailer gives you an idea of the main characters, a big problem they must solve mixed in with a tease of an action scene or steamy drama. The best movie trailers leave you turning to your significant other and saying “we need to go see that”. A great presentation can take their audience on this same satisfying journey and emotional rollercoaster.
At the heart of every great presentation is a great story. The whole point of a presentation is to inform and persuade your audience to take some sort of action. The secret to a great presentation isn’t always about the end goal, but the journey to get there.
At the heart of your storyline is a hero. Many presenters make the mistake of thinking either they or their company is the hero. In a truly inspiring presentation, you’re not the hero, your audience is.
Every hero encounters a problem or challenge they must overcome. A compelling story has a problem that is relatable in one fashion or another. Your audience should be able to feel the frustration or struggle this problem creates.
If you think about almost any major blockbuster movie, there is some sort of guide that comes in to help our hero. This guide has already been through & conquered the same problem our hero now faces. In your presentation, your audience is the hero and you are their guide.
A good guide always has a plan, you need to give your audience an actionable plan how to overcome the problem you’ve brought to their attention.
Call to Action
A hero often has objections and might not be ready take action or follow your plan. You need to call them to action, give them a reason why they should act now.
With almost any decision there are two potential outcomes. In your presentation your audience needs to understand what a potential negative outcome looks like if they don’t take action and follow your plan. This is the outcome where the “other guy” gets the girl or the team loses the championship game.
What does success look like after your hero follows your plan? Show them the positive outcome they are about to experience.
Any presenter can take their audience on this same thrilling journey no matter the topic. Try this story structure in your next presentation and leave your audience on the edge of their seats with smiles on their face.