Digital Storytelling

Digital Storytelling

You might not be pitching technology to customers at large conferences, you might not even be pitching to physical people at all. Truth is the recent changes to our working patterns and the new hybrid approach have thrown a spanner in the works for the modern day storyteller.

It doesn’t matter how amazing the speaker is, in reality you are always going to lose a little of the magic when presenting behind the screen.

This is why we need to think of new ways to engage and hold the audiences attention. People are all suffering from screen fatigue and if you think you had trouble energising an audience before, wait till you have to do it competing against the email, chat, online shopping and games that are sitting on screen besides you!

If your voice is your only tool, then you are going to need to really think about the way you project those words, think about your inflection, make sure you pause at the right times, otherwise it will come across as boring and monotone.

Personally I always script my remote presentations, I know it sounds silly and others may disagree but I feel that you actually come across more natural when presenting remotely and it will also stop you using filler words such as Um, Ah, So etc.

I also use colour in the text of my script, it reminds me which points I want to emphasise, and what parts of my narrative I want to drive home with embellishment and volume.

Remember, these are just my thoughts and the tooling that I use, find your own style and what works for you, bottom line it’s the preparation of your narrative that really drives it home.

For digital storytelling I would also avoid text heavy PowerPoint slides, in fact, avoid using PowerPoint at all. Sorry Microsoft, it’s boring on stage and even worse when used remotely. Instead try to get creative with your presentation, there are a whole bunch of tools that you can use to bring your session to life, if not, simply turn on your camera and let your audience connect with you.

Now, if you must use PowerPoint you need to ensure that you are using it the right way, don’t cram too many words onto the slide, don’t use it as your own personal teleprompter, keep the bullets on point, and make use of images, this will help drive the message home as humans typically store images easier than words.

Let me give you an example of how I use animation in my remote presentations.

My journey into Microsoft
This is my story of how I got to Microsoft, covering 30 years of history, and my many failures, heartaches and wins. Can you relate to any part of my story? does it make you see me in a more positive or negative light?

Activity
Create a short presentation about your your life, think about:

– The key points of your message
– The emotions you want to surface
– How you want to engage your audience.

Present your story to another person, did you get the expected response, how did it make them feel?