As an Event Planner having to give presentations of the coming events to staff and clients, I find it easier to start always with the story behind each event. Is not only about why we are hosting that event and for whom it is but also about showing the importance of each individual, the role (character) they play in each phase and in the outcome. Feeling part of the event itself makes it easier for everybody to stay tuned and enjoy.
Presentations without a story, will make your colleagues, staff, colleagues or friends bore to tears so I have put together 5 of the most used storytelling techniques for your next presentation.
- MONOMYTH / HEROE´S JOURNEY
In the Heroe´s Journey or Monomyth, the hero is called to leave his home and sets out on a difficult journey. He moves from somewhere when they know into a threatening unknown place. Is only after overcoming a great trial that he returns home with a reward or newfound wisdom.
- Audience goes on a journey
- Show benefits of taking risks
- Newfound wisdom
You can find an example of this technique here: The Heroe´s Journey Examples
2. THE MOUNTAIN
The first part of the story is giving to setting the scene and is followed by just a series of small changes and rising actions before a climate conclusion.
- Overcoming different challenges
- Builds tension
- Delivering a conclusion
Have a look at this interactive plot diagram.
3. NESTED LOOPS
Layer three or more narratives within each other you place your story in the center and use the stories around it to elaborate or explain the central principle. The first story you begin with the last story you will finish.
- Using analogies
- Showing a piece of wisdom passes to you
- Explaining where your inspiration came from
“I remember when I first met…He told me…that he met (SOMEONE) who said to him…”
Example from LOU at NLP Techniques:
“I remember a few years back, I went to a Gary Halbert seminar. I couldn’t believe when I first saw him, very casual, laid back. He didn’t seem like this multi-millionaire direct response advertising genius that he was. He started the seminar with a story, ‘One of my mentors when I first started out in this business was Victor Schwab. I never actually met the man. I learned from his writings. Powerful stuff. One important lesson I took away from Schwab is, “You not only need to keep in constant contact with your customers, you also need to keep receiving a constant stream of important messages from people who can teach you and improve your life.” “I took my NLP Practitioner training in New York City. Some time later I received my NLP Master’s Certification in….”
The best speeches succeed because they contrast with an ideal, improved world. They compare what is with what could be. By doing this, the presenter draws attention to the problems we have in our society, personal lives, or businesses. The presenter creates and fuels a desire for change in the audience.
- Inspiring the audience to action
- Creating hope and excitement
5. IN MEDIA RES
Or “in the midst of things”, you begin your narrative in the heat of the action, before starting over at the beginning to explain how you get there.
- Starting with the action
- Backtracking showing how things were before
- Picking up again after the action to follow the character´s goal
Example from Dostoyevsky´s “The Gambler”:
At length I returned from two weeks leave of absence to find that my patrons had arrived three days ago in Roulettenberg. I received from them a welcome quite different to that which I had expected. The General eyed me coldly, greeted me in rather haughty fashion, and dismissed me to pay my respects to his sister. It was clear that from SOMEWHERE money had been acquired. I thought I could even detect a certain shamefacedness in the General’s glance.
More info on IN MEDIA RES
You have the techniques now, go out and inspire people with your story!
Watch Joe Sabia: The technology of storytelling | TED Talk | TED.com
More inspiring videos on storytelling at How to tell a story | Playlist | TED.com. I really enjoyed Andrew Stanton´s “The clues to a great story”.
My name is Paula Arango Menendez and I am currently Marina Rinaldi´s Event Planner. I´m a Project Planner pursuing a certificate in Digital Media in Northwestern University´s Social Media Marketing Specialization. Feel free to reach out or connect with me at @paulaarangomen
Topics: Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing, High-quality Content
Target Market: CMO, SEOs, Marketers, Event Planners