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We all are expected to present, whether it’s the results of a study, the latest sales data, a new business plan, or the launch of a new campaign. Generally, the information being conveyed appears in a detailed report that has often been distributed already. The presentation becomes a review of the numbers, facts, ideas, or conclusions offered in a serious, straight-forward manner backed by information-rich slides lifted from the report.
Despite the value of the content, many presentations fail to engage the audience, let alone persuade them to action, because of a simple misunderstanding:
The deck is not the presentation. The presenter is the presentation; the deck is a prop.
Historically, marketers, researchers, advertising and public relations professionals have depended on the content to guide their presentations, often relying on a structure borrowed from the scientific method to make their case. This rigor is appropriate, and can best be appreciated when reading a report. But an over-reliance on due diligence can be mind-numbing in a conference room, and the audience may tune out before the conclusions and/or call to action is reached.
The key to creating more impactful presentations is understanding what you are really trying to communicate, answering the basic question, “So what’s the story?” and allowing that to shape your entire presentation. It’s also necessary to know the primary purpose of your presentation—to inform, explain, defend, or persuade.
Alternative structures and tools are considered by exploring how various art forms organize and deliver information that communicates a “story” while engaging the audience from beginning to end. Examples are provided from film, drama, literature, and music. Particular emphasis is given to the art of story-telling. Story-telling techniques provide a powerful set of tools that enable you to communicate your message(s) in an engaging manner. Lessons derived from masters of the art can be incorporated into business presentations in two ways—by shaping the structure, and by guiding the delivery of the content.
In this workshop, you will learn how to distill the building blocks that form “the story,” and how to communicate your messages in a truly creative way. This will be a highly interactive session in which full participation, on both the individual and group levels, are critical to success. Participants should bring in one or two examples of recent presentations they’ve made, sufficiently sanitized, that they can share with the group.
Storytelling Techniques for the Business Presenter - Learning Objectives
What is the true nature of a presentation?
How do you determine what the key message—the story—is that you want to communicate?
What are traditional ways of presenting information of this type?
What are the challenges inherent in these traditional ways?
What alternatives might be considered in organizing information?
What can business presenters learn from the arts?
How do certain art forms organize information?
How do various art forms hold the audience’s attention?
What is the role of a story-teller?
What makes story-telling successful?
How can business presentations apply storytelling techniques related to structure/flow?
How can business presentations apply storytelling techniques related to delivery?
How can my own presentations become “stories” that engage the audience while communicating key information and a point of view?
Storytelling Techniques for the Business Presenter - Who Should Attend
The workshop is intended for anyone responsible for presenting information of any type to management, peers, outside audiences, etc. This would include professionals in the marketing, market research, public relations, and advertising sectors, on both the supplier/agency and corporate sides. The learning can be appropriate at any level within the organization, and may be especially relevant to those in the middle-to-higher level who are called on to present not only information, but to draw conclusions and make concrete recommendations.
Storytelling Techniques for the Business Presenter - Cancellation Policy
All Training Intensive cancellations and requests for refunds must be submitted to the AMA via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cancellations received four weeks prior to the event start date will receive a refund minus a $150 early cancellation fee. Cancellations received after that date will receive a refund minus a $300 late cancellation fee.
Registrants wishing to cancel may send someone to take their place without penalty if they send a written request with the replacement person’s name to email@example.com at least two weeks prior to the event start date. No refunds will be given after October 9, 2014.
A conference registration may not be shared by two or more individuals. Space is limited and on-site registration cannot be guaranteed. Separate cancellation policies may exist for pre-conference programs, tutorials, and other associated events. Hotel and transportation reservation cancellations must be handled by the individual registrant directly with the hotel, airline and/or other company.