Presentations as Storytelling
(material here comes from the book resonate: present visual stories that transform audiences, by Nancy Duarte (Wiley, 2010):
One reason presentations are boring to watch: no identifiable stories. Here is a recognizable story patterns:
Relatable and Likable Hero
Situation: Jake Sully is a paralyzed ex-Marine who is selected for the Avatar program, which will enable him to walk through a proxy Na’vi body in the land of Pandora.
Encounters and Roadblocks
Complication: Jake falls in love with a Na’vi woman, Neytiri, in Pandora. As the humans encroach on the forest seeking valuable minerals, Jake is forced to choose sides in an epic bottle.
Resolution: Under Jake’s leadership, the Na’vi defeat the humans. Jake is permanently transformed into a Na’vi and gets to live on Pandora with Neytiri.
Duarte describes other story forms, including The Hero’s Journey Structure. Star Wars is a wonderful example. Mr. Darvasi addresses these story types in his grade 11 media course.
- Stories have a beginning, middle, and an end
- Films can be divided into 3 acts: set up, dramatic action, resolution.
- Presentations share these characteristics:
- clear beginning, middle, end
- identifiable structure
- a turning point that captures the audience’s attention
- Beginning and end are much shorter than the middle
The Presentation Form
- The call to adventure: show the audience the gap between what is and what could be
- sense of imbalance that the audience will want corrected
- The call to action: what the audience needs to do or change
- signifies you are coming to end of the presentation
- Beginning: paint reality–>what is–>what could be.
- Middle: present contrasting content–>what is–>what could be–>what is–>what could be, etc.
- End: making everyone understand the reward of change/action.