So how do you make a presentation memorable?
For nearly 30 years, I've been training executives, politicians, world leaders from six continents. And I always ask audiences, "What do you remember from the best presentation you've seen in the last year?" And I always hear two things. The first is, "Oh, I like the way this speaker was confident, moved around, was engaging." But the second thing I always hear is that they remember the stories.
The biggest differentiator between great speakers and awful ones is that awful ones stick to the data, stick to the facts, stick to the numbers. Great communicators, great public speakers illustrate every single important idea they have with a story. Now, it doesn't have to be funny. It doesn't have to be wildly exciting, but a story is simply the ultimate example to make your point come alive.
What is a story? It's just a conversation you had with a real person in a real place about a real problem and how you felt. We all tell stories all the time with family and friends, people in the hall, over the phone. Yet we stand up to give a so-called serious speech, and we strip out the story. No. The stories are the best part. If you want to be memorable, you've got to have a story for every important point in your speech.