A storytelling presentation works in a similar way to a play or a film. The template is the stage, the slides are scenes, and the action is played out by the characters and elements you introduce.
Problems drive conflict in stories, which in turn creates tension and fosters interest. The same is true for presentations.
Problem Solving Presentations – We Love ‘Em
Think of the ‘problem’ in your presentation as the ‘villain’ of the piece – the solution to which can be your company, product or business approach (a.k.a. the ‘hero’). This set-up creates drama and can turn what might otherwise be a dry recitation of facts into an engaging narrative.
Your villain can be anything that presents difficulties your audience can identify with – think about what problems your work is solving and how.
But just how much time should you spend establishing the hero-villain dynamic? The villain’s role is indeed essential as it demonstrates the need for the hero and helps to amplify and sell its benefits, but it should not form the focus of your presentation.
Instead, spend around 20% of your total presentation time setting the scene with your conflict at the front of your mind. You’ll find that once your villain is clearly established, the rest of your story will flow easily from this point and it will become easier to describe the effectiveness of your solution.
Ending a Presentation
This narrative structure also offers the chance to form an impactful ending, and gives you a resolution to work toward with your content.
A scenario in which your hero defeats the villain and creates a positive new setting acts as an effective close to your presentation and allows you to neatly tie up any narrative threads.