Often as presenters prepare their PowerPoint presentations, they put greater focus on the technology and end up creating a presentation with a message that is not engaging. By using a story-based structure to outline and develop your content, you can engage your audiences and produce a compelling and persuasive PowerPoint presentation.
For thousands of years, people have used stories as a primary means of communication. Structuring your PowerPoint using a story framework will help the audience grasp the information better and hold their attention. Here are a few benefits from using a story structure to develop the content for your PowerPoint.
A story structure:
- Helps keep the audiences’ attention
- Relies on visuals to support it, so each image will have a purpose
- Aids the presenter in keeping a clear focus
- Engages audiences through the use of emotion
- Imparts a sense of credibility from the presenter
- Helps better organize information for the presentation
- Builds the anticipation from the audience
How to structure your PowerPoint using a story format:
In Beyond Bullet Points: Using Microsoft PowerPoint to Create Presentations That Inform, Motivate, and Inspire, written by Cliff Atkinson, he suggests using a story template to develop your presentation with the following three acts:
First, start with Act I and define the setting and protagonist, or main character. This act includes information that will help set the stage for the audience and make the information that will follow meaningful. The story’s conflict is also presented in Act I, which explains why this presentation matters to the audience. A solution should also be presented that will be used to convince or persuade the audience.
Use Act II to move the presentation forward by applying logic to persuade the audience. In this act, the presenter provides the evidence that the solution presented in Act I is what is needed. This act may include data, graphics, or other visuals to back up your claims. Each piece of information included should support the original claim.
Finally, use Act III to conclude your presentation. This act connects each of the previous points to reinforce that the solution, as well as the protagonist’s resolution, is correct. At this moment, the audience will decide if they agree with the solution or recommendation that was first presented in Act I.
The Beyond Bullet Points story template is available for download on Microsoft’s website. Using a story-based format, along with a professional PowerPoint designer, you can create a compelling Power Point presentation that will engage and persuade any audience.