There are hundreds of principles that guide the construction of a good story. And one of the major ones is to express the maximum with the minimum effort and in the least amount of time. So we’ve applied this idea here by limiting our list to only the 5 points (ok, 6, if you count the one we just described)  we feel are key to a good story.

1) Structure your story in 3 acts (like a play). Make sure there’s a high-impact climax at the end of the second act. This climax, or high point, must be an absolute and irreversible event in your narration. And the end of the third act should also have a strong impact, since this ending is what your audience will remember longest. To better understand each of the three acts – Click here.

2) Get your audience to believe and trust your story. For only when you win the trust of your audience will you be able to sell your idea. For this you can use Walter Fischer’s Paradigm Test for Narrative where the author argues that we are “narrative beings” who experiment with and understand life as a series of continuous narratives. – Click here.

3) Create a main message that will guide your entire story. This message will determine what should go into the story what should stay out of it, what comes before and what comes after. The main message has to be a single sentence (a slogan) that recaps the meaning of your narrative. It’s important that this main message be a strong and simple phrase that’s crystal-clear to the audience, so it will be remembered for a long time.

4) Define who or what is the protagonist of your story (by protagonist we mean: the main character in your story). Understand what is the protagonist’s main desire and what forces can stop the protagonist from achieving what is wanted. To do this you must create a character strong enough to overcome all the obstacles you bring up in your narration.

5) Understand that a PowerPoint presentation should not be just a PowerPoint presentation but rather a visual story with a beginning, middle and end, seen like a movie, with a sequence of images that create an emotional connection with the audience. Only in this way will your visual be able to establish a strong connection with your audience and win their hearts and minds.

For more strategies to capture audience attention, click here.

So now you know: for your next presentation, write a story that applies the five 5 key principles.  If you do, you’ll end up with not just with a story but a great story that moves your audience.