How will you fare when you are asked to do a presentation?
A young man working in a large professional services organisation was asked to do a presentation to his peers on a technical aspect of new legislation affecting superannuation.
Most of his audience would be senior in age and position. Although he was considered expert in the area, he was daunted by it.
I couldn’t pretend to comprehend the convolutions of this small but impactful change, but recognised it had consequences.
Where there are consequences there are always stories that involve a result, ramification, or repercussion.
Here’s how story works in a presentation
A wide body of scientifically validated research shows that stories release neurochemicals in our brains. One focuses attention, the other, if the story is emotionally charged and character driven will invoke trust and a willingness to co-operate. That’s how we learn.
To engage his audience’s attention and persuade them of his knowledge, he needed to tell stories.
Even the most obscure, legal minefield, houses stories. It wasn’t hard to find them. A personal story on how he had become so knowledgeable was a good start. Stories of how it had impacted a peer and a client, a logical follow up.
Telling these contextualised stories helped him to reflect his expertise in his presentation with confidence.