Of the countless ways to engage your audience, few come close to the effectiveness of storytelling. While telling a good story is important, how you tell it plays a vital role. If you want to create compelling presentations that entertain and convert your audience, use the hero’s journey format in your storytelling. 

Why is Storytelling Impactful?

Joseph Campbell’s 1949 book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces” introduces the hero’s journey story structure and its prevalence in worldwide literature. Across three acts, the hero will pursue a goal, face a challenge that prevents them from reaching that goal, and then in their darkest moment, receive help from an external force. With this help, they can overcome the barrier to success and reach their ultimate goal. 

 This story structure isn’t exclusive to books, movies, or TV shows. It’s also a powerful method of structuring your presentation. Positioning the audience alongside the protagonist and taking them along for the adventure is an effective form of engagement. It’s natural for the audience to root for the hero and react strongly to the successes and failures in the story. As your audience experiences the narrative, they grow more attached and anxious to find out how it all ends. 

Storytelling is more engaging than bullet points, facts, and graphs. Stories evoke empathy, as people can more readily relate to the experiences and narratives you share. Eliciting this response will help build trust with your audience, which makes you more persuasive when pitching your product or service. 

How does the hero’s journey look in practice? In your stories, represent your audience as the hero and make their pain points the challenges they face during their journey. You are the intervening force that helps them to overcome these barriers. By providing your product or service, you help them succeed.

When your audience feels understood, they are more likely to be open to your solutions because they trust you. They want to succeed and achieve their goals, and you have brought the answer to them. If you want your audience to walk away from your presentation and complete a desired action, use the hero’s journey story structure.

3 Ways to Incorporate Storytelling into a Presentation

1. Entire presentation as a story.

Formatting your presentation as the story and guiding your audience through the narrative is an effective way to persuade them that your solutions are the answer to their problems. When you can address the audience’s unique concerns with a relatable story, they have more trust in you. 

Building a bond with your audience makes them more receptive to what you have to say and the solutions you can offer them. To use your entire presentation as a story, design your slide deck to hone in on the audience’s challenges, empathize with them, and offer a glimpse at the success they can expect to achieve from your solutions.

2. Add a story to reiterate an important point.

People will remember the most impactful things about a presentation. Your audience is more likely to remember a story than they are facts and statistics because narratives have more impact on their lives and future experiences. Using stories in a presentation can help highlight important topics as well.

Include only one or two stories at most, as too many remove any significance from your presentation. Reserve the story for the most crucial part of your pitch to emphasize the importance of an idea.

3. Use a story as an example of a successful outcome. 

One of the best ways to build trust with your audience is to provide evidence of a successful outcome. The more trust you can foster with your audience, the more credible you become. Using a story as an example to show how your product or service benefitted someone proves that you are legitimate and obtain meaningful results. 

Case studies fulfill the role of a story and show proof of your work. They also demonstrate how you take on and solve particular problems. Testimonials and outcomes from other people and past clients convey to your audience they are not alone in their struggles and that you can provide a long-lasting solution.

Storytelling is one of the best assets you can use in your presentations. Stories are an effective way to relate to your audience and gain their trust, making you more persuasive and establishing you as an authority on the subject. By using the hero’s journey framework, you can frame your audience as the hero and show that success is within their reach with your solutions. 

Do you need guidance on applying this framework to your next presentation? Succeeding in a presentation also depends on supplementing your storytelling with a visual aid. While you focus on taking your audience on a journey, I can create the best slide deck for your upcoming presentation. Book a free consultation to get started!

About Presentation Design Pro

I am a freelance presentation designer, working in PowerPoint, Google Slides, and Keynote. My passion is creating branded presentations that represent you as a trusted professional in your industry, strengthen your brand in the marketplace, and engage your audience with an elevated experience that will convert your prospects and make them remember you for all the right reasons.