Sometimes, educating an inbound marketing client can be difficult, especially if you fall into the same old rut of making a PowerPoint with word-heavy slides, mumbling through it and expecting people to remember what you said. As attention spans shrink, and cell phones allow for easier access to email (and Angry Birds), the challenge has become finding an entertaining way to earn and maintain the attention of those in the room.
And what's more entertaining than telling a story? Everyone loves a good story! At Kuno, we have been talking at length about using storytelling to capture leads on your website and keep potential buyers intrigued while you nurture them through the sales funnel. Why not use that same technique to educate clients, potential buyers or even C-suite members? (You can even borrow a few tips from fiction writing.)
A Real-Life Example
A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a presentation on blogging basics to one of our clients. The group was eager to get started and contribute to its brand’s quality content strategy but had little prior knowledge as to how it’s done. Instead of boring the group and risking lost interest in the project, I wanted to make it fun, intriguing and encouraging. I decided to take the group on a journey—“12 Steps to Writing a Successful Blog.”
This is my first endeavor with Prezi, so please be kind!
Truthfully, the idea of a “journey” stemmed from one of the templates on Prezi, a virtual whiteboard platform that allows your topics to become interesting conversations rather than slideshow presentations that often morph into naptime. The template, which consisted of a starting point, footsteps through several other parts of the journey, and an ending point, immediately framed my presentation as one of the most popular types of storytelling structures: The Quest.
In a story using the quest structure, the hero often travels to find treasure and must overcome evil and other obstacles. The story ends when he or she reaches the treasure. In the real world, this is often how clients feel at the beginning of a project they are not sure how they will complete, but know it will, in the end, better the team and the brand. Also, in a quest story, the journey is long, much like the ongoing challenge of blogging—it certainly cannot be a one-and-done effort.
In the quest I presented, "12 Steps to Writing a Successful Blog,” I tried to understand how the group felt at the beginning of the blogging project—fretful. However, I provided the information necessary to overcome the challenge. The journey became highly encouraging, and not to mention interesting, for the client, stemming an hour-long discussion on the topic.
A Few Words on Prezi
If you have not yet given Prezi a try, I highly urge you to. The platform allows you to elevate your presentations from boring monologues into two-way conversations, which enables your audience to see, understand and, most importantly, remember your ideas.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine if your ideas became a story with a flow, narrative and compelling visual details. Your images and words intertwine to deliver your lesson. Prezi gives you the opportunity to “construct a story arc, where visual context leads the viewer on a path of discovery.”
This is not meant to be a sales pitch for the platform, and there are a few downsides to Prezi still (you can’t use bold or italic copy—ugh!). So if you have another presentation solution, we would love to hear about it in the comments below. And please share with us your presentation success stories!
photo credit: Kalexanderson