Published under: Content Creation, Presentation, Storyline

It’s Wednesday afternoon and you find yourself staring at the corporate PowerPoint template, ready to start another boring deck of death-by-powerpointslides to roll-out a new initiative. Seriously, why bother? No one really listens and those that do only listen so they can pull out a few statistics to hurl back at you later.

Maybe it has something to do with the presentation…those mind-numbing templates with the cheesy clipart depicting a bubbly stick man climbing the stairway to success and then reappearing at the end of the presentation with a question mark floating over his head. Ugh.

Framing your message as story instead of succinct directive of bulleted list will be met with much more interest. Facts and figures can win an intellectual debate, but individuals are more than intellect, they are emotion; tapping into that emotion is the key to true engagement.

Crafting a story that reaches your audience on an emotional level requires honesty. Too often, in a professional setting, we are scared to say anything negative; petrified that if the picture is anything other than rosy-pink we will be slated as a nay-sayer.

The guts of the story come from the dark side. It is the struggle against the negative that makes the story impactful and truthful and in turn, believable. The next time you have to present a new policy or pitch a new partnership, throw out the bullet points and consider the pains that made this new venture necessary. Decide how you will discuss this pain in a way that enthralls your audience and makes them wonder whether or not the story will have a happy ending. Don’t be afraid to talk about the ugly, it provides an awesome contrast to the shining success and promotes your ability to overcome.