A lot of people tell us, “I don´t need to use this storytelling thing in my line of work, nor do I have to make presentations.”
And they’re right. A lot of jobs don’t require PowerPoint. But for many others, storytelling can be a crucial, vital tool for getting a message across.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you start a presentation with “once upon a time.” But you do need to organize your message so that it has a beginning, a middle and an end.
The objective here is to provide the listener with a logical thought progression and guide him/her to the conclusion you want to be reached.
How does this get done?
Planning and organizing your story is the shortest and the best way to convey ideas efficiently and effectively and in an interesting way.
And, look, if we analyze what people actually do at work, we see that most workers actually do need to convey messages. For example:
A Lawyer needs to lay out facts and describe events and situations. A lawyer needs to hold a jury’s attention. A lawyer needs to convince a judge. The best way to do all this? By telling well-structured, well-reasoned stories.
A Civil Engineer needs to talk to staff, to impress on them the importance of safety protocols, the cost-effective use of materials, job deadlines. Such messages need to be organized and presented so they’ll be absorbed. The best way to do this? By telling well-structured, well-reasoned stories!
The Manager develops and oversees people and processes. What’s the best way to convince somebody that a company is on the right track, or that something requires attention and adjustment? By telling a well-structured, well-reasoned story!
The Craftsperson needs to persuade people that handmade products are better than factory-produced. The best way to do this? By telling well-structured, well-reasoned stories!
The Scientist needs to get approval for every project, be it to secure funding or to get the project implemented. The best way to get this support? By telling a well-structured, well-reasoned story!
And the Fisherman? Well they say that fishermen can tell tales better than anybody. They’re expert at it!
See? The list is endless. Actually, if we look carefully, we’ll find that working people need to convey messages at many critical points in their careers. Some have to do it every day. They’re looking to sell something. Looking to get a raise. Looking to get a promotion. Looking to attract new business.
The fact is that we’re all communicating all the time, and in every walk of life, be it by phone, web site, social network, e-mail.
And if we know what we want and who is our target audience, we can come up with a story that will get us the outcome we’re looking for.
Now, developing a well-structured story isn’t easy.
First of all, the writer has to do a kind of diagnosis. The writer has to be aware of the presentation environment/ scenario, the time allotted, the profile of the presenter, the intended audience and the goal of the presentation.
So before starting in on a stream of thought, you need to know how and to whom you’ll be conveying your message.
All done? Okay. Building the content can be a piece of cake now! Just invest whatever time it takes to organize your ideas in an interesting, provocative way.
And what is that?
Well, you already know now, don’t you?