Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Nancy Duarte: Creating Stories that Resonate #storytraining

These are my live blogged notes from an eLearning Guild/Citrix presentation with Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate and Silde:ology. 

The story: a likeable hero, she encounters roadblocks, she emerges transformed (the perfect three part story structure)

Organizations need to keep creating ideas to continue to reinvent themselves. The lifecycle of an org (start, grow, mature, decline)…so we need to reinvent ourselves all the time.  And that’s what good presentations can do.  They can spawn ideas to reinvent…

good stories make our hearts race.  But there’s often a gap from storytelling to presenter…and the presenters just fall…flat.

Powerpoint so often used to present reports.

But when you have a high stakes opportunity to persuade, you need to use story.

How do you incorporate story?

Every great presentation should have a beginning, middle and end.  But there needs to be a turning point between those acts.

The audience is the hero of the story.  They have all the power in the room. They’ll determine your fate.  The presenter is the mentor.  They help the hero get unstuck, or they leave a magical tool.  When someone leaves your presentation – you should be giving them something of value.

Joseph Campbell came up with an 18 part story structure:  ordinary world, a call to adventure, refusal of the call, meeting with the mentor, crossing the threshold (as you persuade them…)

The shape of great speeches:


What is – what could be – and you call out the gap…

It’s like sailing – as you sail against the wind, you need to capture resistance.  Think about your audience, what  will they throw back at you.  What will be there resistance?  Plant that resistance into your presentation. Your audience will get to your point of view quicker, if you plant that resistance into your talk.

Your ending should paint the picture of what the future is going to look like.  A picture of your hope.


She goes on to analyze Steve Job’s speech unveiling the iPhone. 

A STAR moment “something they’ll always remember”

The stakes are higher for making better presentations! TED and Twitter…people will trash your presentation if it’s not up to par.

If you have an idea, a dream, a way to move your company forward, you need to latch onto that and share it and change the world.

Questions from the crowd:

If you’re doing product training – let’s hope you have a good product!

Nancy encourages everyone to find their passion…people won’t invest in their communication skills unless they’re passionate about  what they’re communicating about…

If you’ve got to complete something in three days, odds are that the stakes aren’t that high.  Instead it’s “grind this out for the planning meeting.”  Categorize the importance of things and fight for the ones that are really important. When it’s really hard stakes, then fight hard for  the time. And then knock it out of the park.

When you’re doing a webinar – stand up, move around, use your hands.  Post pictures of people in your space to help you remember that there are people on the other side of the technology!

Make sure it’s bite size chunks of content.  You need to be more interesting than their email.

Be a consumer of great communications.  Watch TED talks…and then PRACTICE your skills.

For training programs where the SME wants to include everything and the kitchen sink – remind them that this isn’t a report, that we need to focus on the story. for more!


Steve said...

Thanks so much, Cammy. I wanted to sit in on this presentation but couldn't make the schedule work. Very nice capture of the salient elements.

Steve said...

Went hunting around for some additional info. Found this great video that carries many of the same points she articulated in her webinar.

Good stuff. Thanks again for capturing this.

JON said...

As a Teacher, Staff Developer and Prevention Partner for a local non-profit, I found Nancy Durante’s approach to presentations refreshing. Far too often in life we find ourselves ensnared in a lackluster discourse that leaves us as learners feeling disconnected, unappreciated and bored.

As presenters, we clearly invest a great deal of time and energy in organizing the beginning, middle and end of a presentation, yet spend far less time on the journey itself. This is counterproductive since the purpose of a presentation is to foster knowledge through shared experience, and without the connection, you just have… a report. Instead, by focusing on how we convey our message rather than simply focusing on subject matter, we aim to create learning experiences - not just sessions. This improves focus, motivation and retention.

I greatly appreciated your examples of how successful public speakers approach communication is such artistic ways. In an Instructional Design course I am taking at Walden University, we have been focusing on the informational processing components affiliated with knowledge attainment. In one course document, Dr. Jeanne Ormrod (Laureate Education 2009) identified several questions typically associated with cognitive processing. For example:

What kinds of things draw their attention? In what ways do they think about something? What kinds of meanings do they attach to something? How do they interpret something?

These questions resonated with me as I read your blog. I agree that if we consider our audience as the brokers of power, we change perspective and give closer consideration to their needs. At the same time, through Steve Jobs’ approach of creating STAR moments, we generate the levels of meaning and enthusiasm for our audience that drive our own visions. Such efforts to bring “the show” to the audience are inspiring for those of us who are cultivating our skills.

Thank you for sharing your notes.
Jon Falk

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). (2009). Information processing and the brain.

hilarygraham said...

I love this!

Cammy Bean said...

Thanks, Steve and Jon for the resources and insight!

Hilary, you'd love her books if you haven't seen them before.