Superior Presentations 74: Tell Colorful Stories Because...

Tell Colorful Stories

Stories in your presentation can paint pictures in the minds of your audience and connect emotionally.

Notice the visuals in this story and feel the emotional connection.

At the age of seven my son, Chris, started playing mini soccer. The field was tiny to accommodate the youngsters' short legs, stamina and attention span. The goal posts were fluorescent orange pylons set about five feet apart. The kids hadn't grasped teamwork so they clustered around the ball like bees around a flower as the ball rolled aimlessly around the field. You almost never saw the ball but you knew it was inside that moving cluster.

At one game you can imagine my pride and excitement when I noticed my son, Chris standing downfield in position to shoot on goal. Incredibly the ball escaped the cluster and rolled lazily towards Chris. I excitedly jumped up and down on the sidelines yelling, "Chris, get the ball! Chris, shoot the ball!" He moved awkwardly towards the ball then stopped. He ignored the ball and my sideline antics. Instead he stared up in the sky in a catatonic state. Incredibly, every player on the field also stopped running and did the same. My curiosity overcame my frustration and I looked up along with every parent on the sidelines. I half expected to see the alien mother ship hovering over the field. Instead there was the most perfect rainbow I've ever seen. It curved from one horizon to the other. The bands were vibrant in all their colors from red through to violet.

The referee knew when to admit a losing battle. He blew his whistle and announced, "Time out. One minute to look at the rainbow." A minute later he blew the whistle again and called, "Play on." The game resumed. I don't remember if Chris scored a goal that game or who won. That seemed unimportant after the rainbow.

What did you see while reading that story? Notice how the words in the story can plant vivid images in your mind.

Did you see the rainbow?

Did you see me jumping on the sidelines?

Did you see the cluster of children following the soccer ball?

You don't need slides to convey images. You can do it with colorful stories.

What did you feel?

Did you feel both my excitement and frustration as a parent?

Did you feel the beauty of the rainbow moment?

Did you feel as if you were there?

An effective story conveys images and emotion. Those are the two most important senses to reach your audience. They also make it easier for people to remember your message.

Inject more color and emotion to your stories.

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