Facts Tell. Stories Sell. Even Pluto knew that.
So why is there a debate between which is better? In reality, either format for sharing a message, presenting or demonstrating, is worthy as long as it is shared with a story at its base.
How can that be? It’s simple. Although many “authorities or influencers” tend to share with presentations (how many dull, boring, and I want to kill myself presentations have you attended?), if they injected a story into it, you’d be awake and alert absorbing some of the information. That’s why a presentation COULD work.
Imagine this if you can. You’re at a conference on the latest widget to hit the market. Your life revolves around widgets, so this presentation promises to enlighten and inspire you to learn about its features and benefits and go out into the world and sell widgets to everyone you possibly can.
However, 72 slides later, all of which display the ratio of widgets to chrono-gizmos in distribution currently is lopsided. Furthermore, by region, sub-section, micro, and macro market variances, leading economic indicators that affect not only distribution but manufacture, etc., etc., blah, blah, F***ing blah had you asleep before you could say extrapolated dissection of consumer-based economies. What’s the point? Why are you there? Why is this presentation of any value to you other than providing a 2.5-hour nap?
What if things were different? Whether there was a SlideShare, PowerPoint, or some other presentation type, the presenter used stories to make their point?
How would it be if she/he shared a personal event to dramatize the importance of the facts by way of placing the audience in the picture they paint about how widgets helped her family’s business improve, their friend’s life get saved as a result of adding a widget to their vehicle, or whatever the product or service she is discussing impacted someone’s life?
Imagine being drawn into the story being shared that was not only interesting but informative and also educational. Would you have learned more rather than drifted off to la-la land?
This past weekend I had the great opportunity to attend a Speaker Bootcamp Training event in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The sun was shining, the breeze blowing across the now-vacant pool as we peered out the windows at the hotel, just waiting out turn to go on stage to practice our new speeches.
Attendees took turns-minute speech in front of a room full of people, and then receive feedback from two, very serious professional speakers giving a new four that know their stuff.
I had just written the speech the morning of the first day, and it covered a completely new part of my business. Needless to say but I’ll say it anyway, I was a bit nervous. I had heard of the “Pow-Pow” speakers receive in the way of “with-love” feedback on what worked, what didn’t, and what should be done differently.
Boy, did I receive feedback! Knowing I would be taking said feedback to refine my speech to be once again given later that afternoon made me more than shaken.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a center-stage virgin. I’ve been giving speeches for many, many years, and obviously now, quite incorrectly. Although I was told it was obvious I was comfortable on stage, I didn’t know the first thing about a structure for Today’s audiences. I was too old-school. I shared the facts.
My Widget was full of facts the first go around. I got better by sharing how my widget benefited my target audience the second time. On my third attempt on Sunday, I still hadn’t perfected everything I should have included, but I was miles ahead than I was before the first attempt. I used stories to get my message across.
I don’t know if my widget is ready to be shared with today’s audiences yet, but I know I would have bombed if I had been booked to give my old-school canned jargon-based harangue.
My sincere and potent recommendation is to figure out what it is you want your audience to do with the information you’re going to share and find a story from your past or present that puts the message into images in their minds. And just tell the story. After all, facts tell, but stories make all the difference.
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