The best salespeople are great storytellers. They take their listeners on a journey with enough detail to keep them engaged, and enough mystery to let them draw their own conclusions. The goal of any power point presentation is to tell a compelling story with words, graphics, and pictures. Even professionals who do not consider themselves salespeople are selling something. Whether the presentation includes an immediate call to action or a simple hope for a shift in mindset, the ultimate goal is always the same; show credibility, prove common ground, and bring the listener to the side of the presenter.
Even in a professional setting, it’s OK to get personal. In a recent article published online at Entrepreneur.com, renowned storyteller Kambri Crews gives an example of how a story can draw an audience into a presentation.
If you’re selling cochlear implants, you could cite research, case studies, and list pros and cons, but if you show a video of a child getting their cochlear implant turned on and their reaction to hearing their mother’s voice for the first time, customers will remember that.
Telling your story with the help of a well designed power point presentation engages the listener in two ways. The visual aspects of a power point presentation are powerfully supportive to the story as it unfolds, and the story being told keeps the listener engaged as the power point presentation takes them on a carefully planned journey.
Be sure to keep the audience’s priorities in mind as the story unfolds. A presenter that experiences the presentation with the audience, and is sensitive to their reactions has the advantage of common ground. Audience engagement can be difficult to achieve, and good presenters know that nurturing excitement by interacting with the listener throughout the presentation fosters positive relationships.