Is it possible for you to give a presentation that the audience will remember? Can you present your information in a way that stands out from everyone else? The answer to these two questions is yes. You can make your presentations memorable. To be remembered in a positive light, you have to know what the difference is between great speakers and awful speakers.

What sets great speakers apart from awful speakers?

The biggest differentiation is awful speakers stick to the data, numbers, and facts with little to no emotion while the great speakers illustrate each key idea with a story. Awful speakers also have no regard for the time they’re wasting and don’t focus on providing real value for their audience.

The speakers that you’d love to forget about did not paint a picture of why their ideas are important. Awful speakers will often time regurgitate information on their audience thinking that only sharing pie charts and bar graphs will bring about the change they’re hoping to see after their presentation.

Great communicators and great public speakers are memorable because they tell stories. Stories paint a picture for the audience. Stories give your audience a reference point to fall back on when making decisions and give the audience something to talk about at lunch. Don’t worry about being funny or wildly exciting. The story you choose to tell simply needs to be the ultimate example to make your point come to life.

Here are a few things you can use for story material:

  • A conversation you’ve had with a friend about the topic you’re presenting
  • A news story that developed due to the topic you’re addressing
  • A story your CEO told you that deals with the issue at hand
  • A personal experience where you handled problems tied to the topic you’re talking about

We tell stories all the time with friends and family members. It doesn’t matter if we are at the mall or sitting at the dinner table. Telling stories is something we do every day. When you feel overwhelmed at the idea of telling a story during your presentation, remember that storytelling is normal.

Storytelling tips

When figuring out to what story you will tell, keep in mind a few things:

  • Know your audience: Do you know what problems your audience wants to solve? What’s the experience level of your audience in dealing with the problem you hope your story will solve? Knowing your audience will help you know which story to tell.
  • Review and stay on course with your message: Don’t forget about your big idea and what you’re trying to communicate. The ability to review and stay on course with your message will be your North Star and keep you focused throughout your presentation.
  • Develop and maintain a structure for your story: Your story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end. It also needs to have a conflict that is solved at the end.
  • Be real: When choosing a story, using a true story will be more effective and captivating to your audience. Your audience knows when you’re being authentic.

Now that you know these tips, you will be more prepared to share your story and make your presentation memorable.

Key point to remember

Stories make your presentation memorable. Our natural instinct when giving a presentation is to remove the story and focus only on the data we have gathered. You don’t have to worry about not being able to tell your story effectively when you’ve practice telling your story several times. Stick to your stories and the ideas you’re sharing will not be forgotten.