The Art of Storytelling

August 23, 2009

I’m really passionate about the art of storytelling in presentations, so it pains me to admit this, but I do think most Irish Media Agencies have been guilty of neglecting the showbiz sparkle for too long. We’re like the shoeless children of the village cobbler – we work in the persuasion business, but frequently fall down when it comes to adopting our silky communication techniques for ourselves.

Whereas Creative Agencies are now masters in weaving creative mystique and sex appeal, from their office decor to their multimedia presentations, Media Agencies are still catching up. While we all make a special effort for pitches, there’s no reason that day to day media presentations cannot be just as engaging and insightful.

Yes in Media we work with lots of numbers, from CPTs to reach & frequency. Yes we have lots of competitive data, share of voice charts and detailed media research to justify our plan rationale. No, unlike the Creative Agencies, we’re not drawing pictures or scripting stories – those things are easy to make sexy. Except in reality, we should be drawing pictures and scripting stories for our presentations. The medium is the message.

Our clients, like our consumers, are busy people with limited time, attention and sometimes (gasp!) limited interest. Too often, we do our robust thinking and sound strategies a disservice, by focusing too much energy on the steak, and forgetting about the sizzle. Too often we watch others’ weaker ideas gain momentum with clients, and cannot fathom why ours were overlooked. It’s our own fault – they were better storytellers than we were.

Luckily, we work in an ideas meritocracy – so we just have to work harder on making our stories shine.

Slideshare is a haven for inspiration on how to do it right, as is Presentation Zen, Seth Godin and Ted.com.

Neasa

seth godin quote jpeg

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One Response to “The Art of Storytelling”

  1. […] losing others but always trying to put an emphasis on useful meaning over a deck of charts, storytelling over powerpoint death, and insight over […]

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