In any presentation, you want to engage your audience. You want them to think about and remember your words and feel an emotional connection to your message.
What’s the best way to accomplish this?
Carmine Gallo studied 500 of the most popular TED Talks and found a pattern:
- 65 percent personal stories
- 25 percent facts and figures
- 10 percent information to back up the speaker’s credibility on the subject
In short, the key factor for better presentations is something I’ve been telling you since day one: stories.
But note that Gallo said “personal” stories, meaning stories that involve the speaker. Since you want your audience to know what you do and how you help people, when you tell stories in your presentations, articles, blog posts, or anything else, look for ways to include yourself in those stories.
Here’s a template for a client story you might use that shows you doing what you do:
A client had a problem and came to you. Opposing forces (other parties, the law, factual issues, etc.) worsened the problem and/or made it more difficult to resolve. You worked hard, overcame difficulties, and solved the problem.
As you tell the story, turn up the heat by describing the client’s pain–how the problem affected them emotionally, financially, or physically–and the relief they felt when you eventually solved the problem.
If possible, also describe how you felt. Show your empathy for the client’s situation. Mention how you struggled with some aspect of the case before you conquered it.
Yes, this type of story is easier to tell when you’re dealing with litigation but with a little effort, you can also tell an effective story about a simple transactional matter.
If a client wanted you to review the lease for their new business, for example, you can talk about the problems they might have encountered if they hadn’t had you review the lease, and the excitement they felt about their new business, which you helped them start.
Make sure your presentations include stories. Because facts tell but stories sell.
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