Buffalo 7 is a UK-based specialist PowerPoint presentation design agency who was named Creative Industries Business of the Year at the Amazon Growing Business Awards in 2018,
Lauren Garforth, Creative Storyteller at Buffalo 7, explores why, despite being released in 1987, PowerPoint is still a valuable tool for businesses of all levels.
Storytelling is getting a lot of press these days. While it’s true that applying storytelling techniques to presentations can help you to connect with your audience and leave a lasting impression, telling your story is not the same as taking your audience through a step-by-step run through of your company’s timeline, or your LinkedIn profile.
When writing content for presentations, nearly all companies make the same mistake. When all eyes are on you, it’s easy to get the idea that the presentation is about you too.
I’m sorry to be the one to have to break this to you, but neither your presentation nor your business is about you at all, they’re about solving a problem for your audience.
Human beings are just egos in shoes, so you’d be forgiven for thinking your company presentation is the time for you to brag about your achievements so far. But while you’re thinking “what about me?” so is your audience, and they’re the ones you need to convince.
By following just three simple steps, you can craft a presentation story that appeals to your audience’s innate selfishness.
Step one: Make it all about them
Before you even think about opening PowerPoint, you need to step into your audience’s shoes and understand what makes them tick. By understanding your audience, you can tailor your language, your tone, and your information to instantly appeal to them.
You can show them, in just the first few slides, that you understand their current frustrations, connecting with them emotionally, and giving them reason to keep listening.
Step two: Vanquish their villains
Simply empathising with your audience’s struggles is not enough to get them on board with your presentation; you need to show them a solution and, for this, we can turn to Hollywood. Every decent movie has a hero and a villain, and your presentation should be no different.
By now, you’ve already identified the villains in the form of audience pain points, and the heroes can be found in your service or product. All you need to do now is clearly line the solution up to the problem, and show your audience that their worries can be a thing of the past.
Step three: So, what?
A common issue for a lot of presentations is the sheer volume of content. We get it, you’re excited about every last detail of your product, but this doesn’t mean your audience will be. Cutting your content down is easy, all you need to do is ask ‘Why should they care?’. If you can’t answer why your audience will be invested in that message, delete it.
By looking at every message from a seat in the crowd, without being clouded by ego, you can craft a succinct and impactful presentation that answers every audience’s key concern: what does this mean for me?
Interested in improving your Presentation skills? Find out more about what Buffalo 7 do.