‘Storytelling’ can feel like something for children, but in fact, everyone loves a good story, and they can be the best way to create good material for your pitch or presentation. The best stories usually contain these elements:
- Relatable characters.
- A satisfying conclusion.
Here’s how you might do it:
Define your team: their history, special abilities and the incredible way they work together. You might not think that you and your team are particularly interesting, but your specific character types, your odd affections for types of music, food and fashion really are. Combine this with the way you interact, and you’ve got something unique and powerful. I think that when it comes to visuals of your company, images of ‘happy people’ work very well. A photo of you all laughing – regardless of whether it’s in a work scenario or not – creates a human connection, which is essential for a good business relationship. Images of happy clients are even better.
Your client’s terrifying issue; the one which was genuinely unpleasant for them, and which the people you’re talking to can relate to and, in response, think ‘Ooh, that’s us, we need some help with that’. The other peril you might want to include would be a problem which your company experienced (this is tricky because you want to look good, but it could be one from when you started all those years ago. Or one that is simply misfortune rather than poor judgement). A problem for you or your client can further strengthen the humanity and relatability, which can be pretty powerful. Describing the horrible problem and its consequences sets the scene for the final act:
A Satisfying Conclusion
The finale, where you and your team swooped in like superheroes and saved the day. Here’s where you can describe all the wonderful things you offer, plus demonstrate all the qualities that you want your audience to associate with you: you were skillful, quick-witted, efficient, friendly and executed the whole thing with style. You do this kind of thing every day and you are the very best at it!
Look at your favourite stories and apply their elements to your own story. Remember, the whole story I’ve just gone through might be a one-minute pitch, a 1,000 word article or a 45-minute presentation.
Look at TED.com for thousands of talks, most of which feature very strong stories.