Presenting… Narrative

Experience: The difference between memorable and miserable presentations?

Many people find giving a presentation to be one of the most stressful tasks possible.

The sickening feeling in the pit of the stomach just before that dreaded call into the room will be well-known to most presenters. But whilst anxiety is the main cause of meagre presentations, I wanted to find out what the main cause of a good presentation would be.

I turned to TED, the home of “Riveting talks from remarkable people” and found an interesting talk from Nancy Duarte on incorporating narrative into presentations. She argues that this creates an experience for the audience to remember. Nancy is as an expert in presentation design and principal of Duarte Design.

She makes some convincing arguments, such as assigning narrative character roles to aspects of the presentation. Nancy describes the audience, for example, as taking on the role of the traditional hero (Luke Skywalker), whilst describing you, the presenter, as the educator of the hero, the one who teaches the hero to restore the equilibrium (Yoda).

A very intriguing metaphor, which I intend to incorporate into a hopefully stress-free presentation that I will be giving next week.


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