The symbiosis between the story and the speaker
For a presentation to be successful there must be symbiosis between the story and the speaker.
Communication between living beings is one of the oldest behaviours known to man. And this behaviour is not the exclusive domain of human beings; all of the planet’s inhabitants need to interact for one reason or another. Whether by gestures, sounds, smells or simply a look, it is a fact that communication is a universal necessity.
Nevertheless, some beings have a greater capacity for interaction and aggregation than others. And it is in humans that this behaviour is considerably more noticeable. We are all able to interact but, even so, some are more skilled at doing so than others, whether because they are more confident, have better diction or are simply more inclined to communicate.
When it comes to speaking to more than one person, our ability to express ourselves verbally is extremely important because we want the message to be delivered and understood by all of our listeners. But this requires more than simply being a good communicator.
Above all, it is essential that the message we want to convey is sufficiently interesting and engaging to make the audience sit up and take notice.
Good stories can always captivate an audience. And it is to this end, and establishing a connection with the corporate world, that the way in which content is put forward in a presentation is becoming increasingly important. A story plays a pivotal role in a speaker’s success as it allows a sequence of mental connections to be made that will help develop the presentation in a simple, organised and intelligent way. The construction of the presentation, based on this structure, will not only help the speaker feel more at ease, since he or she will be able to visualise what they plan to say, but will also help reduce the need to rely on supporting content.
Nevertheless, and as has already been mentioned, not everyone has an inborn capacity for verbal communication, and many need to train their oral skills. In other words, through practice, everyone will be capable of expressing what they want to say in a manner better suited to their ability.
To achieve this improvement, a speaker must be thoroughly familiar with every part of their story. How? By telling themselves the story over and over, and by practising the various bridges between the various key points, until they know exactly where they are in their speech at any given moment.
Speakers must also understand themselves, identifying the kind of communicator they want to be and what makes them feel most at ease. A more sociable person might be able to use a more informal approach, through a humorous register, for example. Conversely, someone who is shyer may be best advised to use a more formal and reserved register.
Generally, certain aspects are shared by all and can be more important than one might think at first glance:
The speech should be clear, simple and not monotonous, while the main message should be referred to several times and in several different ways;
The speaker should try to forge an emotional bond between the story and the audience;
Eye contact should also be established with the audience while speaking;
Good summarising skills are important so that the audience is encouraged to act on the basis of the main message being presented;
The presenter should dress comfortably and not worry about anything other than the presentation.
In general and simplified terms, speaker and story need to be coherent and should function in perfect symbiosis.
At Slide Lab, we believe you do not have to be the best storyteller or the best communicator to make a successful presentation. If we have a well-structured and inspiring story to tell, along with someone who is well trained and confident in their ability, we are sure to shine!