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We talk a lot about storytelling, in particular presentation storytelling in this blog. We know that when done right, stories transform audiences, lock in messages and drive action. That’s why we talk about them so much.

One chap who knew a fair bit about crafting a good story was Charles Dickens. He understood that the art of a great story isn’t just about getting the mechanics right (narrative arc, plot development etc.); it relies on creating emotion.

“We need never be ashamed of our tears”

Charles Dickens

Crafting stories with emotion or, put bluntly, getting people to care is a storytelling superpower. It engages audiences, prompts them to connect and lock into a message, and, of course, triggers a response. This emotive ingredient is used to great effect by today’s storytelling big hitters, Pixar. In his excellent TED Talk, Andrew Stanton, creator of ‘Toy Story’, says that there is a single commandment of storytelling – make me care.

Now while this might be of interest to any budding authors, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with corporate presentations? How do you translate Dicken’s tears into a compelling corporate pitch presentation?

The answer is simple – show your audience that you care about what matters to them.

Demonstrate empathy with and understanding of the challenges they are facing.

Show them that you’ve walked a mile in their shoes and have felt their pain.

Prove that you ‘get it’.

Then, and only then, should you start talking about how you are uniquely placed to fix the issue. This step-by-step approach is a vital ingredient in Eyeful’s Audience Pathway Model structure – you need to empathise and demonstrate understanding before you even think about sharing information about your solution or business. It’s also one of the reasons that starting your presentation with a series of slides talking about your business, team or global office locations is bound to fail. Sorry.

Remember – show them you care, and then build from there.

Recommended Reading:

Presentation Storytelling, Pixar Style: https://eyefulpresentations.com/blog/presentation-storytelling-what-would-pixar-do/

Macca Hacks – Presentation Lessons from The Beatles: https://eyefulpresentations.com/blog/three-presentation-hacks-from-paul-mccartney-no-honestly/

The Presentation Lab – Storytelling Bible: https://eyefulpresentations.com/why-eyeful/the-presentation-lab-book/

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