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10 Tips for…Building a Strong Story

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The story is the thing – understand that you’ve got a strong message and everything else will follow. So many business presentations have little or poor story structure. Here are the 10 steps to follow to help you to make your points interesting and memorable for every audience you address.

This article is part of the series  ’10 Tips for…’. 

1) Put yourself in your audience’s shoes

Ask yourself, “If I were them what would be interesting, useful and relevant to know and understand about this subject?”

2) Brainstorm everything

Put everything you could say on the subject onto a single piece of paper.

3) Consult with key members of the audience

Find out what it is that they want to know – or don’t want to know – then decide what you absolutely have to tell them.

4) Highlight

Go back to your brainstorm and highlight those things that now will feature in your presentation and write your presentation objectives.

For example:

In this presentation I will show X, Y and Z, and explain how we came to this decision. Then I will tell them exactly what I think they need to do, and by when, to make the most of their investment.

5) Build the storyboard

Build it act by act and keep on grinding until there’s a real rational, logical path through the presentation.

6) Create a storyboard

A storyboard should tell the story with key scenes and content from each part.

7) Create the visuals

Create visuals that support the storyboard.

8) Add impact

Make sure your story will have high impact by adding a prologue (introduction) and an epilogue (conclusion).

9) Build your ‘script’

Build it through rehearsal and repetition out loud rather than just writing it out.

10) Write your script

Write it to the level you require. Bullet points are best but in some very important or sensitive presentations you have to be scripted word for word.

Download a handy copy of these tips


This article is part of the series  ’10 Tips for…’. Watch out for our next article where we will be looking at creating great visual aids.

If you liked this, you might also like

The 4 Most Important Steps When Preparing Your Speech

The Questions You Need to Ask to Really Know Your Audience

What is a prologue and an epilogue? Even the Shortest Story Needs Structure

Do You Read from a Script? Should You?

More great articles on Storytelling

Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey

Managing Director at The Message Business
Jim is a serial entrepreneur and the MD of The Message Business, a company which helps international and FTSE 100 companies sell themselves, and their products more effectively. Jim has many years of experience speechwriting, presentation coaching and motivational speaking, all over the world.
Jim Harvey
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