Friday, 20 May 2016


In order to garner audience attention public speaker needs to take them on a journey, leaving them feeling inspired and motivated. They need to structure their speech to get the ideas across; keeping the audience engaged all the way, which is a very tricky proposition.  Story telling is one of the most exciting way to put across your ideas
Why Story telling

You are doing a presentation, so the natural tendency is to start with facts and figures highlighting the facts you want to get across. We think that s the best way. WRONG!! Humans are hardwired for stories. They love heroes, journeys, surprises, layers and happy sometimes tragic endings. Deliver a presentation that captures the hearts and heads of the audience by taking them alongside the journey. Deliver the facts and figures disguised in the story. The moment they start relating to the story, you will have their unconditional attention. They biggest question public speakers face is – HOW? Here I would be detailing few of the classic story telling techniques. Use this and start your presentation with a story – the rest will be history
Journey of a hero
 This is a story structure that is found in many folk tales, myths and religious writings from around the world.

In this structure, the hero is called to leave their home and sets out on a difficult journey. They move from somewhere they know into a threatening unknown place. After overcoming the great trial, they return home as the hero or the all conqueror. You will find this method of storytelling well-crafted in the history in tales of “Hercules”, “Sindbad” etc. The modern day stories also follow this structure – be it the Lion King, Star Wars or the Rocky Series. Every one of them follows this structure.
Using this to shape your presentation can help you to explain the journey that you had to undertook for gaining the wisdom you are going to share. It adds credibility to your message and also encourages the audience to take the journey.
  • Takes the audience on the journey
  • Demonstrates the benefits of taking risk
  • Demonstrates your hard work and encourages them
  • Gives credibility to your message

The Obstacle

The obstacle structure is a way mapping the tension and drama in the story. Its quite similar to the hero’s journey because it also plots certain events building up to the plot as it occurred in the story. The major different from above is that it doesn’t necessary have a happy ending or success. The structure is mainly a series of small increasing obstacles or challenges which sets up the scene for a final conclusion. This is more like a sherlock holmes or bond movie which builds up with small clue and challenges for the final finalee at the climax.
  • Demonstrates how you overcame a series of challenges
  • Slowly builds up the tension in our case interest
  • Delivers a satisfying conclusion


This is the opposite technique of “The Obstacle”. Here the narrative starts with the high octane action and then you step back to explain how you landed up there.
By plunging your audience in mid of the action they will be gripped from the beginning and stay engaged to hear out the end. But while doing this we need to remember of not giving too much of the climax in the beginning. Try to create suspense before you step back. The suspense element is very much needed to keep the audience glued up while you do the flashback.
  • Captivating the audience attention
  • Keep the audience guessing hence involved
  • Getting the message across from the very beginning

Silver lining
This technique is a comparison between “What is” and “What could be”. By doing this we draw the attention to the problems we have in our society, our personal and professional lives. We draw the contrast of our ordinary world with an ideal, improved world.  
The presentation should create and fuel a desire of change in the audience. It’s a highly emotional technique, so your way of presentation should show the emotion, which will surely motivate your audience to support you.
  • Inspires the audience
  • Creates hope and excitements
  • Helps to create a call for action

There are few more techniques that are commonly used in the storytelling way of presentation. For the remaining techniques please visit the next Blog.