1- A long or fast speech or story, typically one intended as a means of persuasion or as an excuse but regarded with skepticism or contempt by those who hear it.

2- To reel off; recite.

3- Speak glibly or at length.

A good story can be shared around a campfire and ignite a response, a smile, a laugh out loud or a roar of approval. A good story doesn’t need dramatics, special effects, virtual reality or even PowerPoint. It’s about sharing a feeling, embracing emotion and delivering a message. All great stories have, at their core, an emotion.

 “All great stories are about sharing a feeling, embracing emotion and delivering a message.”

At FLIRT, we have developed close, personal relationships with our clients over time. This is because, when clients trust us with their story -their presentation- we take that responsibility seriously. We work side by side to learn their strengths and weaknesses, helping elevate their game to become more confident, more effective and more attractive presenters. It isn’t as easy as Steve Jobs made it look!

Many of our clients come to us with what they consider to be their most valuable possession in hand – their PowerPoint presentation. Sometimes it’s an outline, sometimes it’s a first draft, or even a well-polished final product.  It’s personal to the presenter because they feel it will define them in the minds of their audience of peers. It will define them as leaders and motivators. To say they feel pressure to WOW is an understatement.

So together we help craft the presentation. We assess how the audience feels: are they proud? Nervous? Hopeful? Disappointed? We start shaping the message; suggesting visual ideas; adjusting the flow; putting in twists and turns to help transform that presentation (spiel) into a compelling, persuasive story.  We work to ensure that the message is aligned with the audience’s mood, expectations and business bias. We work to create a message that connects on both an emotional level and an intellectual level.

We work to ensure the message is aligned with the audience’s mood, expectations and business bias.

Finally, we use technology and staging to help elevate the message. The scenic and tech are important, but primarily as ways to allow our speakers to shine. Technology and a dramatic stage can add powerful dynamics that, if not carefully employed, might obscure the human voice and the human touch.  And it’s the humans in the audience we are trying to touch.

10 Things we think we know about crafting stories for business

  • What you don’t say is as important as what you do say.
  • Every word, sentence and chapter in your story carries weight and meaning.
  • When you can’t find the words, think image
  • Rewrite, rewrite and rewrite
  • Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse
  • Never rush to the punch line
  • Pace yourself, make it feel like a casual conversation.
  • Patience and timing is key, the audience needs time to settle in, time to think and time to believe. Pauses are powerful.
  • Honesty is the best policy. Good news or bad be honest.
  • Finish Strong