Monthly Archives: March 2017

How Movie-Style Storytelling Takes You Farther

We all want our work to have more value and influence––anything that can help us to make a bigger difference. Here, step-by-step, is how movie-style storytelling takes you beyond normal storytelling to get it for you.

Make it simple and you make it easier for your stakeholders to grasp

Stakeholders are overwhelmed and weary from the endless parade of charts they see everyday. So if you make your presentation concise, you’ll automatically feel your stakeholders’ appreciation, and with it, their cooperation. The screenwriting strategy of emphasizing three key points will also help them remember much more of what they heard.

Make it visual and everyone will grasp it in the same way

Because pictures enable you to deliver much more information than text, and in a fraction of the time, making your presentation visual will make it even easier to be simple, concise and understood. But it will also ensure everyone understands it in the same way. And because a photograph in particular feels much more real, it will also raise your work’s credibility. After all, seeing is believing.

Make it tailored and they’ll be more likely to use it

Tailoring your story to the natural learning and working style of your stakeholders will make it so much easier for them to use it. If you’re speaking to an exec, deliver a quick, but memorable package they can take with them and use to lead their teams. If you’re speaking to engineers, give them the data in a way that lets them spend time with it so they can own it. Both will greatly increase your chances for adoption.

Open strong and they’ll listen

The first five minutes are when your stakeholders will decide if you’re worth listening to. Open strong, relevant and clever and you’ll get them intrigued. Create a sense of urgency and they’ll have to listen to you.

Frame your facts in human action and your stakeholders will care

Pure facts are too abstract to evoke emotion, so instead of numbers, show people who personifies those facts and you’ll instantly make them relatable. Show their struggle and need and you’ll increase your stakeholders’ emotional investment because they’ll see someone they can help.

Give them a joinable cause and you’ll see the action you’ve been waiting for

Once you’ve sparked your stakeholders’ desire to help, give them the keys by showing how. Show them not only the opportunities, but all the assets they can leverage and initiatives already underway. That maximizes inspiration, while minimizing the risk of going at it alone. If you’ve got a rallying cry and/or an anthem, even better.

I’ll go into detail on all these steps in upcoming blogs. So stay tuned and we’ll get you set. Or if you don’t want to wait, click on over to Amazon for the paperback version of “Get to the Heart,” or to iTunes for the interactive version.

Storytelling That Truly Works for Corporate Presentations

In the last blog, I promised a method of storytelling that will consistently engage and inspire your stakeholders, is easy to learn and applies to real corporate presentations. That’s because it’s based on exactly what execs and stakeholders have been asking for: being simple, quick, visual and powerful. I actually found this method of storytelling in a very familiar place: the movies.

Why movies?

Besides being universally loved, movies are incredibly persuasive and memorable. Just look at these five lines from movies. How many do you recognize?

Theres no place like home.

Go ahead. Make my day.

“Toga! Toga! Toga!”

“I’ll make him an offer he cant refuse.

Use the Force, Luke!

I’ll bet you can identify most of those—and they’re all from movies at least thirty-five years old. The most recognizable quote is from a film released in 1939.

What if your projects had that kind of resonance? Can you imagine your colleagues as they leave your presentation, quoting your words and evangelizing your ideas as they walk into another meeting?

Yeah, but doesn’t that mean you need video?

Nope. There are definitely times when video is advantageous. But I know that PowerPoint decks are your bread and butter, so first and foremost, I want to find movie strategies you can bring to your deck.

So let’s map the strategies of screenwriters, directors and editors, and apply them to the kinds of decks and presentations you actually do.

Movies cut to the chase

Watch your favorite movies or TV shows and you’ll see how concise they are. That economy is baked into movies and TV because fewer scenes and shots mean less time and budget. So screenwriters are trained to cut scenes that aren’t necessary, because they discovered we don’t need the incidental stuff in between. We not only don’t miss it, but we actually remember more of the story because the important scenes aren’t bogged down by unimportant ones.

The same is true for presentation decks: if you want your stakeholders to remember more, cut out the unimportant slides that get in the way of your key points.

Movies make that chase real

Because movies use a visual and sensory story format, they make stories even more real for us, with far less effort from our brains. They show it to us onscreen, so we see it, hear it, and feel it. Not only that, we experience it in the same way as the people next to us. With words or charts or bullets, there are often multiple ways your information can be interpreted, but with a visual, people align with it and are able to absorb and share your information correctly.

Movies make you scared and excited to be in the chase

A film will take its message one step further by making you feel what the characters feel. They make it emotional. And that’s what gives movies so much power. They make us forget about our own world and go into the hero’s experience, leading us into their cause.

It’s a power that few other forms of communication possess, and you can harness that emotional power so your stakeholders feel the need you want them to feel and inspire them to join your cause.

In our next blog, I’ll bring a method to that magic and lay out exactly how movie-style storytelling gets you from A to…making a bigger difference for your work and yourself.

 

Get to the Heart – Episode 6: The Challenge Statement

Especially in the beginning of a presentation, engagement comes from evoking a sense of urgency. In this blog episode, you’ll learn how to do that, so your stakeholders will feel like they need to listen to you – and listen to you right now.