Complete Guide To Nail Business Presentations With Storytelling Using PowerPoint

December 24, 2021
Complete Guide To Nail Business Presentations With Storytelling Using PowerPoint

Guide To Nail Business Presentations With Storytelling Using PowerPoint

Most employees hate presentations. Some don't even like looking at slides. But ever wondered why some of your colleagues nail their presentations and convince everyone? 

The best presentations always use visual stories, and it's an approach that works for several reasons. This helps keep their attention and allows you to impart key messages by building up to them in a relatable way. Telling a story with your presentation slides is a great way to get your audience engaged in your presentation. 

Here is a step-by-step approach to making your next business presentation captivating with the power of storytelling using PowerPoint.

1. Start with a hook

Hooking your audience with your first slide is vital in building a captivating storyline. Your first slide must make their jaw drop, demanding the audience continue listening and stay engaged to find out how you accomplished such a feat. Start with a bang, literally and metaphorically.  Telling effective visual stories in your PowerPoint presentations will keep the audience hooked and entice them to stay longer and pay attention to the rest of your presentation.

There are many types of hooks. It can be a joke, a story, a question, a shocking fact or anything that hooks, or you can even combine different hook techniques and get creative to attract your audience's attention.

Capture your audience's attention, draw them in with a provocative story that provokes the question, "What happens next?"

2. Create a mental picture

To make your slide layouts more engaging and memorable, you need to include visual elements. Visual cues are easy-to-identify objects that stimulate your audience's senses, which trigger an instant emotional response. 

People remember images more than words. Visuals can be used to emphasize, clarify, or restate concepts and ideas, ultimately helping them paint a picture in their mind. Learn how to use your visuals and presentation design wisely to engage your audience. 

3. Create suspense

Once you know they are engaged, it is time to introduce the main point. The more specific you can get about what you're trying to convey and why it matters, the better.

You can create suspense and make what you're saying more interesting by making the audience curious. When curiosity is triggered by something new and unexpected, it creates tension, one of the most powerful human motivators. If your presentation can get your audience wondering about what's next, they'll be more likely to stay engaged.

The most common type of story used in presentations is one where there is a challenge to overcome for something good to happen. This type of story typically utilizes the "hero" format and the main character who has a problem that needs to be solved. The best stories usually have an unexpected twist at the end, keeping the audience guessing how things will turn out.

4. Bring characters to life

Choose your characters carefully. Who are the people at the heart of your story? What do they want out of life, and how is it related to your audience and key message?

The most common way to do this is to create three characters for your story. By creating a main character, an antagonist and a supporting character, you'll have the necessary elements to tell a captivating story arc.

For example, suppose your presentation is about lowering customer service costs. In that case, your main character might be the company's customer service manager who doesn't want to lower costs because that means less budget for him. Your antagonist might be the CEO, who demands lower costs. Your supporting character is the IT director, who comes up with the solution of using live chat instead of phone calls or emails to lower customer service costs without any quality.

This creates conflict in the story and keeps your audience engaged till the climax.

5. Get rid of the bullet points

We use bullets because it is easier. We are more concerned with getting information across quickly than entertaining our audience.

However, sales presentations are not just about informing your audience on the features of your product but also about making the audience care about your product. The more engaged an audience is, the more likely you will get them to buy or get convinced.


So make sure you avoid boring bullet points throughout your talk. Weave your whole presentation like a story from start to end with a narrative structure.

6. Use strong visuals to support your key message

Add powerful visual aids to your presentations to draw attention and help you make a point. Show visual support for your story with images, video, charts and graphs. Broaden the context by bringing in personal stories, or examples that help reinforce your point by using storytelling in presentations to create compelling content. 

If a picture is worth 1000 words, then a story is worth 1000 pictures, then why not try to make every picture so intriguing that it triggers that imagination of your audience.

A captivating presentation grabs attention with powerful visuals, builds on your key points with compelling stories and scatters nuggets of useful information throughout the talk. Make sure you have images that reflect that message.

Now organize them according to their sequence in the story. A combination of strong visuals and the right sequence is the perfect formula to tell effective visual stories in your PowerPoint presentations. You can include compelling captions for each image to make the relevance better. 

7. Support your claims with data

Incorporate the right statistics or facts to emphasize your point. Make a list of justifications for your claim. It will serve as the basis for your story. Once you have identified the key moments, use various visual aids such as charts and graphs in PPT to make those moments stand out more vividly for your audience.

For example: if you want to emphasize the importance of customer satisfaction among your target customers, show a chart on how customer satisfaction has increased over time with all the hardships the characters have gone through and then support it back to your main idea.

If you can't use data points, you can also make your stories powerful through anecdotes – short, real-life examples illustrating a point or reinforcing a message. You can tell anecdotes yourself or ask others to share theirs with you. Anecdotes are powerful ways to engage an audience and encourage them to share their own experiences with your talk. And makes your presentation worth remembering

8. Make the climax worth their time.

A great climax leaves a lasting impact in your audience's mind making your presentation unforgettable. The purpose of your presentation should be to make your audience think differently than the audience did before they heard you speak. And the climax should be their takeaway as an afterthought.

According to presentation expert Nancy Duarte in her book Resonate, this can come in dramatization, provocative images, or shocking statistics.

You can spark a key piece of wisdom or advice that helps them overcome their obstacles and change for the better. This key takeaway should be a short, memorable phrase or sound bite. This is very powerful and used by famous Ted speakers.



Inspiration is great, but it won't get you very far without a strong plan, strategy, and practice. And a great presenter is often the difference between a successful presentation and a boring one. 

Every employee needs to learn storytelling using PowerPoint to nail product launches, pitches, and business presentations. And learning this skill with your team has great benefits altogether. 

Make every presentation of your team count and improve their confidence with an immersive, gamified experience that assists learners in sharpening their storytelling abilities.

And your team will thank you later, and you will start noticing their words and ideas flow out of your team naturally by choosing the best method according to the objective for your tale.

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