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visualstory

Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters

It’s all about the story.

The folks at Hubspot are at it again with their kick-ass content generation machine.  They recently released an article entitled, “7 Lessons from the World’s Most Captivating Presenters” – it’s awesome.  Each time I read one of their hard-hitting tidbits, I find myself wondering how they do it.  How do they crank out fantastic content on blogging, branding, marketing, SEO, inbound and more, consistently and at a rapid-fire pace?  Sure they’ve got a staff of hundreds of people but the consistency and excellence is astounding, almost always.  Perhaps they’ll let us know someday with a blog post about their own systems (hint, hint Hubspot).

We are somewhat unique in our approach. We use a Cultural Audit to find which Jungian archetypes are part of an organization’s beliefs, behavior and stories. We use these archetypes to shape positioning and create strong messaging that pervades every step of the branding process – from business cards to mission statements.

The Hubspot article is a perfect example of the fact that your company’s stories should be pervasive, well-crafted, and well-aligned with your overall brand.  It’s empowering to see an article about using the craft of storytelling to create world-class presentations.  Real life examples show that the best presenters are actually just powerful storytellers.  Wouldn’t you like to win the hearts and minds of your audience as effectively as Steve Jobs did?

In any case, go read the article yourself, but if you only have a few minutes now just take a look at the slideshare presentation below.  There are 10 lessons they call attention to in the presentation (which are aligned and perhaps expanded from the 7 the article refers to):

  • Craft a story that captures both heart and mind
  • Create slides that lead your audience to say “yes”.
  • Start by telling us why we should care
  • Show us how your product will make our lives better
  • Use simple language free of jargons
  • Use metaphors to give meaning
  • Ditch the bullets points permanently
  • Don’t just tell us, show us
  • It’s not a presentation, it’s a performance
  • There is no shortcut to excellence

Slide 13 and 14 provide great visual context for why presentation storytelling works, “we live our lives in images and stories”, NOT in bullets.  How many Powerpoint presentations have you made that are so full of bullets, the text is spilling off the page?  And you struggle with whether or not the font size is too small to be read by your audience from a distance.  I’m certainly guilty.

There is great power in story, in simplicity and in truth.  This article was a fantastic reminder that all your audience really wants is to connect and to understand how your service or product can make their lives better.  I’m listening!

Image credits: hubspot.com

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