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We talk a lot about storytelling, especially its use in presentations.

We make no apologies for this – we know the power they hold over audiences (frankly, we can’t believe more people aren’t screaming from the rooftops about what an incredibly potent tool presentation storytelling is).

One size doesn’t fit all. Stories come in many shapes and sizes, from the overarching narrative arc (think presentation structure and planning) to the perfectly placed anecdote to illustrate a point or focus the mind. In whatever form, storytelling has the power to build powerful connections with audiences, translate complex or challenging ideas and, most importantly, drive action.

It’s that final point that is the most powerful – stories make stuff happen.

They have been the vital spark that lit the blue touchpaper. They have prompted some of the most critical shifts in society and played a crucial role in overhauling prejudices and pathing the way for new thinking.

Stories have changed our world.

More importantly, stories CONTINUE to change our world.

It seems apt to be talking about the power of stories during Black History Month. The inspirational storytelling techniques used by Dr Martin Luther King literally changed millions of lives around the world. It’s a remarkable example of a strong story structure, delivered with passion, commitment and an end goal in mind.

Maya Angelou’s vivid imagery captured the attention of people of all colours and creeds:

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!”

The action of this statement continues to inspire and be shared today. Look no further than Lewis Hamilton, who has taken this powerful imagery and embedded it within his own inspirational story

Lewis Hamilton - Presentation Storytelling - Eyeful Presentations

And more recently, President Obama used story to underpin his most important messages throughout his time in the White House:

Now, of course, these three people are extraordinary historical figures – we owe each of them a debt for using their talent, passion and commitment to help make our world is a better place than it was before them.

But the real takeaway for me is how they used structure (MLK), imagery (Maya Angelou) and anecdotes (Barack Obama) – in short, story techniques – to share their message and spark essential change.

That’s how powerful storytelling is…

Further Reading

Presentation Storytelling – https://eyefulpresentations.com/presentation-solutions/presentation-storytelling/

Bespoke Storytelling Training – https://eyefulpresentations.com/presentation-training-courses/sales-and-pitch-presentation-training/harnessing-the-power-of-your-story/

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