Do you know the most effective way to present your ideas?
For instance, looking at the images below, which one best represents your way of telling a story?
Calm down, neither is wrong! Unless, of course, you don’t have all the time in the world to tell you story, which is, according to the hackathon glossary, the meaning of the word “pitch”, as you can see below.
Brief oral presentation of a product, idea, or business opportunity that someone makes in front of others, trying to sell those products or persuading them to take on that idea or business.
The keyword here is: BRIEF! So you can’t keep making a lot of bends along the way, right? But how do you fit in such a short time everything you need to say about yours? Simple: Storytelling!
Having a time limit does not necessarily mean that you have to run with your subject. Rhythm is an important point, but having a sense of what is indispensable for the storytelling and knowing how to “stitch” one piece of information to another is what will make your presentation captivating enough to become memorable.
No one remembers the presentations that are basically readings out of everything that was written on the slides. The most you’ll get from the audience with a performance like that will be yawning; And that’s not the result we want for a deliverable, right?
“Storytelling allows us to talk WITH people, rather than just talk TO them. It’s what allows us to create connections, to thrill, make them smile and left a mark in the memory of those who listen to us in a genuine way,”says Jessica Félix | Back end Developer and Community Manager.
People not only need to understand your idea, but they also need to feel it!
How to tell a good story?
Let’s start from the beginning … literally! A good story has a beginning, middle, and end.
Within a pitch, we can divide these storytelling steps into moments:
Thinking about pitches, having a standard structure at each of these moments can make your presentation easier. Check it out:
Introduction: gives the audience the necessary context. Start by introducing yourself (or your group), but nothing too long (remember: pitch = brief).
Create a story where you and everyone who participated in the project are characters, if necessary, specify the setting and anything that can make the audience see the scene clearly. But without beating around the bush, using only indispensable elements for the plot.
Summarizing the team brainstorming process can lead to a good introduction.
Struggle: This is the moment when we run into a problem and the more familiar it is to those who watch it, the better.
You know that stand-up comedy talk always (or most of the time) start the shows with questions like “Anybody else here hates traffic?!”. That’s a way of getting the audience to identify with your story.
How to do it at a pitch: Talk about the problem that generated your idea, what motivated your project, and how it is part of your life and/or your group’s. This kind of information generates empathy and this is the first step to grab their attention.
Solution: There is not much secret here, right? Just explain how your idea can solve the problem you and your audience share. The famous “happy ending”.
The public is not usually attached to data, but if it is extremely impactful: use it! After all, a “happy ending” is a lot happier if it ends with a statement such as: “Our solution can increase a customer’s production up to 60%.”
The “WOW” effect is always welcome at the end of a pitch.
From this point of view, with all the factors described, use storytelling techniques seems a mission impossible in such a short time. But, it’s easier than it sounds.
Try not to jump, change order, or run too fast through any of the steps above. Each one of them plays a crucial role in the construction of the story and any mistake can alter its outcome.
Going through each step at the right time may be the trickiest part, but nothing that a previous training won’t solve. You see: you have to PRACTICE, not to MEMORIZE. The more natural you sound in your presentation, the better. There are a billion secrets to a pitch-perfect, but to practice is definitely one of the essentials.
Train your “storytelling” whenever possible with every imaginable theme. There is always something to improve. When you least realize, you will be the one giving tips out there!
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