Presentation Skills / Storytelling

Class 51: Visual Storytelling II

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.

Emerges Transformed

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 StructureStar Wars is a wonderful example. Mr. Darvasi addresses these story types in his grade 11 media course.

Some Notes:

  • 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

Turning Points:

  1. The call to adventure: show the audience the gap between what is and what could be
    1. sense of imbalance that the audience will want corrected
  2. The call to action: what the audience needs to do or change
    1. signifies you are coming to end of the presentation

3 Parts:

  1. Beginning: paint reality–>what is–>what could be.
  2. Middle: present contrasting content–>what is–>what could be–>what is–>what could be, etc.
  3. End: making everyone understand the reward of change/action.

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