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Stories engage people in a way that analytical content cannot. The reason is connected to human biology and the dichotomy of brain function. 

The left brain handles linear thinking--numbers, letters, logic, and sequence. The right brain thinks in pictures and color -- it loves to imagine and “experience” a story -- and because it houses memory and the big picture, an occasional story will help listeners engage and remember your message.

Here are 10 Great Ways to Use Storytelling in Business Presentations:


A rich and relevant quote can warm up your message. Quotes fall into the category we call “story-bites,” which are pieces of imagery and color.

Now, don’t use tired quotes that most people have already heard. Use short, expressive quotes (sparingly) that carry a touch of heat.  

For example, you might open your talk saying, “Bob Dylan once said, ‘Chaos is a friend of mine.’” From there you might expand on the opportunities given the company in times of constant change and disruption.

2. Mini-Stories

To tell a meaningful mini-story, you might not have to look any further than your own experience. For example, a few years ago I was snowed in at O’Hare.  All the flights were canceled and when the ticket agent told me she didn’t know when I would get home my heart sank. I was upset and angry. 

Feeling a bit hopeless, I went to the lounge and tried to do some writing. A fellow traveler who was also stranded shared my table. She asked me what I was working on--and without trying, wound up giving me a fresh idea. When I got to the gate I hunkered down and finished the piece. It was ten times the article I had been writing. Being stranded gave me the chance to be open to a different perspective and to focus completely. When I stopped fighting the situation, I found the gift.


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