At the 3rd session of Outstanding Presentations Workshop, Bruce Gabrielle spoke on “Storytelling Secrets for Boardroom Presentations.” Bruce is the author of Speaking PowerPoint and he leads workshops for businesses, consulting firms, associations, and business schools.
Some of the points he made:
- When people listen to a story they go into a “story listening trance” or “narrative transport.” The body relaxes, the mind finds fewer reasons to disagree, and the brain activates learning centers.
- Metaphors are like mini-stories
- A story must have a “slope effect.” It has a beginning, middle and end, but life must get better or worse. It’s in the slope that we learn.
- A story has a “vividness” effect. The number 1 thing that creates the trance is using picture words.
- Every story must have a hero. A story must have someone that you care about. There needs to be a “friendly face.” This distinguishes a story from a statistic. For example, we care more when we hear a story of one baby dying than we do when we hear that 700,000 babies die annually; this is called statistical numbing.
Bruce gave us some specific tips for creating effective stories. Here are a few of them:
- Think “beginning-middle-end,” trends instead of just today. This creates the story slope.
- Find a human face. Add pictures of people.
- Turn facts into quotes.