More than any words you say in your presentation, your audience will remember what they “see” in their minds while they are listening. Learn the secrets of great storytelling. Everybody loves a good story.

The art of storytelling is essential to effective public speaking. No matter what our culture, we grow up feeling that hearing a story is somehow a reward. Stories are the best way to explain the complex, motivate, and train.

Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling

By Emma Coats

These rules were originally tweeted by Emma Coats, Pixar’s story artist. Number nine on the list—when you’re stuck, make a list of what wouldn’t happen next—is a great one and can apply to writers in all genres.

1. You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

2. Keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different. (more…)

When you open your presentation, you have just thirty seconds to command your audience’s attention. Don’t waste your opening words. Prepare a winning opening and give it extra attention as you rehearse your presentation.

A relevant and compelling quote is one way to open a presentation and engage your audience. General Eisenhower said, “Leadership is the ability to decide what has to be done and then to get people to want to do it.” When I talk on leadership, I might start with that quote. I’m also a believer in quoting others besides Dead White Men – not that many haven’t said wonderful and true things. (more…)

When you deliver a presentation, have a conversation with senior management, or network in your professional community do you sound intelligent, powerful, polished, articulate and confident?

To sound more intelligent:
Pace your words, speaking just a bit more slowly to allow yourself time to select the most appropriate vocabulary and to give the impression of thoughtfulness.

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Congratulations! You’ve been asked to moderate a panel. This is a great opportunity to build your reputation and add value to your customers. Moderating a panel can be more challenging than delivering a keynote speech. My video and the article that follows will help you successfully moderate a panel:

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Use this Hollywood formula for successful storytelling and make your presentation powerful and persuasive.

The hero or protagonist in your story is not necessarily a heroic character – just the person through whose eyes we see the story. (more…)

Powerful and persuasive presenters recognize the importance of the pause.

Alan Alda says, “It is the space between the lines that makes it a great performance.” (more…)

I’m a believer in learning through repetition and practice. However, as we practice and rehearse our presentations we need to ask ourselves, “Am I practicing to improve or to reinforce bad habits?” The reality is that we are doing both.

You’re familiar with the expression, “Practice makes perfect.” No, not necessarily, but practice does make permanent.

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Success stories are essential to powerful and persuasive sales presentations.

Success stories are at the heart of effective sales conversations.

Powerful and persuasive sales conversations always include success stories that show how products or services have specifically worked for past customers or clients. Your prospective client might be trained to resist a sales pitch, but no one can resist a good story.

When it comes to using success stories in your sales conversations:

  • How do you sell to competing companies within the same industry?
  • What happens when you can’t mention a past client by name?
  • What’s the best way to share past success stories? Tell them, or use testimonials?

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