Messages matter more to people when they’re relatable on a human level. Typically, only stories elicit that kind of response. You can repeat stories you’ve heard, but audiences feel more affection for presenters who reveal their own challenges and vulnerability by giving personal anecdotes. Choose ones that are appropriate for the occasion — they’re relevant and have the right level of drama.
Think of stories in advance so that you have an arsenal you can draw on again and again. Brainstorm past events, such as important times in your life — childhood, adolescence, young adulthood — what you learned, and who you learned it from — teachers, bosses, mentors. Jot down any stories you remember and the emotions they might elicit.
Keep a catalogue of these stories to help you prepare future presentations.
Today’s Management Tip was adapted from the HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations.