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Using stories for different topics

Many people believe that their topic for a presentation does not lend itself to the use of a story to enhance its message.

At the Australian Institute of Training and Development (AITD) National 2014 Conference the presenters that had the most impact were those that used a story to add relevance to their key points. They each used visuals to add value and enhance their points.

Those that did not follow this practice lost the interest of their audience.

The following is a summary of how three of the presenters engaged their audience,

#1 Nigel Paine

Nigel used the story to show us how 'one size fits one'. This was about how learners want to have learning to fit them.

He was animated by his topic and it came through with his movement on stage. His use of PowerPoint slides added value to his key points – images and minimal text were used.

#2 Marigo Raftopoulos

Marigo's topic was gamification. Gamification is the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems.

Marigo told both personal and other people's stories to emphasise her key points on the importance of games in the learning context. She used powerful images to emphasise her points through her stories.

#3 Blair Rorani

Blair delivered a session on how to make a visual impact through your story.

He gave examples of how statistics alone have little impact. For example, 7,500,000 is just a number. However, when you add context then it is something that your audience can relate to: 7,500,000 – the number of loaves of bread wasted everyday.

Context and images clarify and enhance your message.

Each of these speakers had different topics yet they were able to use the story to enhance their message and make their point. No matter your topic, engaging your audience through the use of story and powerful images will have a positive effect on their understanding of your message.

How do you use stories and images in your presentations?

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Maria Pantalone

Maria Pantalone is the author of Success Talks: Conversations with Everyday Leaders. Maria works with individuals and teams to make communication their strength so that their message is heard. She provides tailored programs in presentation skills, business writing and effective communication as a leader and team member. Maria’s programs help her clients to excel in their role and be recognised as leaders in their field.
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