Keep your audience riveted by adding anticipation to storytelling


ellenfinkelstein

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For months, I’ve been wanting to write a blog post about 2 new features in PowerPoint 2016 that are available if you have Office 365 (meaning that you pay a monthly subscription) and you belong to one of these free programs:

  • Office Insider: For consumer Office 365 customers (individuals)
  • First Release: for commercial Office 365 subscribers

But I couldn’t get access to it! It was very strange and I was the only PowerPoint MVP who didn’t have it — although others had difficulties earlier on. I got messages saying I didn’t have access to PowerPoint! Other messages said that my account didn’t exist. Read on and I’ll tell you what happened…

Did that make you want to read on?

When you tell a story, you can keep your audience glued to their seats by starting the story, interrupting it, telling them you’ll finish it at the end and then going on to other material. Of course, the story needs to be relevant to your topic. In this case, my story’s topic isn’t relevant, but it’s a model for the topic of this post.

Perhaps you scanned down to the bottom of the post to read the end! But in a presentation, people have to wait until you finish the story. This is a powerful technique to keep their attention. You can use it for training, sales, and even internal proposal and progress presentations.

Why is storytelling so powerful?

By itself — without an interruption — storytelling is powerful because everyone loves a good story! We’ve grown up with stories and they put us in an enjoyable mood. And once we hear the beginning, we want to know the end.

Stories are also a way to provide a specific example. Generalities are fine, but they’re hard to relate to. You’ve probably heard how fundraisers find that they raise more money when they tell the story of one starving child than when they provide statistics about how many children are starving.

This technique is called a loop

Starting a story at the beginning and not finishing it until later on is called a loop. You can say, “We’ll find out what happened later on” or something like that. The story’s conclusion should make the same point as your presentation. In other words, the point of the story should illustrate the main point of your presentation.

Some storytellers use nested loops, creating 2 or more stories. This is common in TV episodes, where there are multiple sub-plots.

You can use anticipation in many ways. For example, the title of your presentation can be intriguing:

  • How I Overcame Death by PowerPoint
  • Why I Couldn’t Get Access to Morph & Designer
  • What I Discovered When I Asked People on the Street about Their Smart Phones

Then you can start the story, interrupt it, and finish it at the end.

I have an older blog post about how to create intriguing slides that you might also find interesting.

So try using interrupted stories in your presentations and see what results you get!

Have you used this looping technique in your presentations? What was your experience? If not, think of a way you can use it in your next presentation and share your idea in the comments! And please share this valuable content using the Share buttons below.

Oh, and you want to know what happened, right? After contacting Microsoft people for months via email, I called support. After 4 hours with 2 people, I was finally able to access the right version of Office 365 but it still wouldn’t update to the version with Office Insider or First Release. Finally, someone gave me a back-door method of installing Office 365 directly from Microsoft servers and that worked! So, a blog post on Morph and Designer, 2 great new PowerPoint features, will be coming out soon. Watch for it!

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Ellen Finkelstein – View the original post .

 

About the author

Ellen is a PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional, a Microsoft award), one of only 11 in the United States and 40 in the world. Her well-known website at www.ellenfinkelstein.com offers many PowerPoint tips, a blog, and the free PowerPoint Tips Newsletter. She specializes in training speakers and presenters to convert Death by PowerPoint to Life by PowerPoint; communicate clearly and powerfully; and design high-impact, persuasive and professional-looking slides.

She is an Amazon bestselling author. Some of her books and e-books are PowerPoint for Teachers: Dynamic Presentations and Interactive Classroom Projects, How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 (and three earlier editions), Slide Design for Non-Designers, 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know, The Lost Art of Persuasion, and others. She has written numerous articles on presenting and PowerPoint for Microsoft’s website and blog, Inside PowerPoint, SlideShare.net, PresentationXpert, Presentations magazine, and more.

Ellen Finkelstein has done training for Citrix, Brainshark, Disney, Microsoft, Pennsylvania State Education Association, Maharishi University of Management, State University of New York at Buffalo, State University of Illinois, Vastu Homes, and others. She does on-site training, 1-on-1 virtual coaching/training, and live workshops.

http://www.ellenfinkelstein.com Read other posts by


Published On: 15th Mar 2016

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