- Every presentation I ever give I do the same thing, I start with a story. Starting with a story gets people's attention, no matter what the topic is, and book ending the start and end of a presentation with a story creates tension and suspense and relatability that makes presentations more effective. I actually got this tip from Guy Kawasaki who's a well known business leader, former evangelist for Apple Computer. Guy Kawasaki has this technique where every presentation he gives he starts with a personal story and a photo, and in fact I saw him give a presentation one time years ago where he explained this method.
He started the presentation with a personal photo of his bookshelf and his house, and he says that every presentation he does he starts with a photo from something from his personal life regardless of whether this story has to do with the topic he's about to talk about. What's interesting about this is he knows, and it's true, that by conveying a personal story in the beginning of a presentation, people will be more likely to connect with you as a person, and more likely to pay attention, even if the story isn't related at all. If it's loosely related or very related, that's even better.
Your why, why you got to this point, why you're giving this presentation is often a very easy story for you to work in, can be one of the best presentation tools you use. Whether you're a business leader getting on stage, whether you're trying to sell something persuasively in a presentation, or even if you're just giving the regular status update meeting at your job, starting with a story is one of the most effective ways to bring people into your presentation.
- The science of great stories
- The elements of effective storytelling
- Building relationships via storytelling
- Selling with storytelling
- Building and engaging audiences
- Using storytelling frameworks like the Ben Franklin method