Think of your favorite movie and then reflect on how the twists and turns are set out in a sequence of interwoven chapters or scenes. If it truly is your favorite movie, the chances are it will have you hanging on the edge of your seat, gripped by the drama unfolding.
Imagine taking this same approach to storytelling and applying it to your next presentation. The good news is, you can!
Back to your favorite movie, chances are it follows this approach:
Situation: the scene is set with a backdrop, history and an introduction to the various characters.
Complication: something changes (good or bad) that means a challenge must be resolved.
Question: the complication creates a question in the audience’s mind, a single question that must be answered. Great examples from the movies include; Will they fall in love? Who will win? Does the hero survive? Will they catch the shark?
Answer: the movie engages and entertains the audience while proceeding to unpack the answer. Here’s the fascinating bit, even though the audience may already know the answer (after all they may have watched the movie loads of times), they still enjoy the process of being told – Of course the shark gets caught in the end!
This approach is derived from a broader communication methodology called the Minto Pyramid Principle created by Barbara Minto. So, next time you sit down to plan a presentation, have a go at setting out the situation, complication and question that will create a question to truly engage your audience.
Written by Dominic Wells
About Dominic Wells
Dominic Wells is the Founder of Clearpoint Communications, a specialist learning and development consultancy that helps individuals and organisations communicate at the highest level.