Live from MarketingProfs B2B Forum | Resonate: Presenting Ideas That Inspire Change

By Amanda Sides | Jun 15, 2011
More Articles by Amanda

The final keynote session at B2B MarketingProfs commences just after lunch; Nancy Duarte, an expert in the art of presentations, takes the stage.

Everyone has one presentation they really remember; but no one ever wonders what made that presentation so great.  Nancy takes us through two of the most famous presentations, analyzing them and breaking them down to their most basic form, helping the audience understand what they can do to make their future presentations even better.

Every great story has a hero.

A lot of presenters will assume that they are the hero in the room… Why wouldn’t they? They are lit up, standing higher than everyone else in the room, and are commanding all of the attention.  Turn this around and make the audience the hero. Paint a picture from the point of view of the audience. You want them to feel the passion that you do for what you are presenting, and feel that things are looking up for them, and there are ways to improve what currently is.

What is the shape of a story?

Aristotle shaped the story as having three Acts. A beginning, a middle, and an end. That is a story in its simplest form.

What you probably learned in elementary school, and probably don’t think about very often these days, is Freytag’s pyramid. There is an Exposition, Rising action, Climax, Falling action, and the Denouement (or the ending).


Freytag's Pyramid

While most stories follow this path, Nancy found that many great speeches really follow an adaptation of these story formats:

Nancy Duarte Methodology

Nancy Duarte Methodology

Two famous speeches follow this same pattern:

- Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech

- Steve Jobs 2007 Launch of the iPhone

Begin by telling the audience What is, and having distinct gaps jumping back and forth between What is and What could be. This keeps them engaged and builds up to them really wanting the What could be.  Always end your presentation on a high point and a call to action.  People will always remember the last thing you say over the things in the middle and the beginning.

A few other things to keep in mind while crafting your presentations:

- Have a STAR moment: Something They’ll Always Remember.

- Repetition – this will help reiterate certain phrases and points.

- Metaphor – add visual words to paint your message

Check out Nancy’s book Resonate, and learn more about how to best present your story.



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