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Using stories, metaphors, analogies, etc.

What's everyone's opinion on using stories and such in a presentation?

I've found that when I use a story I tend to talk too much. Is that common or is it just me? - by Franklin
Is that common or is it just me?
Yes, Franklin, it's just you. ;)

Seriously, I think it's pretty common. I'd suggest that you practice a story before you use it. Maybe even write it out. Figure out the key points and how you can most effectively communicate those in the fewest number of words.

I think relating actual experiences can be very helpful. After you distill the story down, you'll be fine.

Kathleen - by KSA-Mktg
That's really a good idea. So far, everything has been off the cuff. They say something that reminds me of a relevant story and away I go. :D - by Franklin
Hi Franklin,

Many prospects like to hear about how another person/company tried your product and/or service and benefited.

A good idea would be to put together a reference sheet of your satisfied customers who use your products/services and who are satisfied. Then, during conversation and story telling (and to keep you on track ;) ), refer to your reference/case studies/testimonials etc. This way, clients see firm proof after or while you story tell. Once you have gone thru this, why not get them to call your reference or even better, get your reference on the phone there and then and have a three way conversation to back up your story.

People like to know that others have gained. Also, if you are selling business 2 business, discuss the ROI, cost cuts or increased productivity/profitability that others have found thru story telling.

Also, often prospects and customers often like to have the "complicated" reduced to the simple to help them understand something - this is where analogies come in. Always try to bring the prospect/customer back to how your product/service would help using analogies. Sometimes clients are dazzled with techno-babble :( when all they need is a clear understanding of how your wares can help or benefit them ;) .

Also, they see you in a different light as someone who spoke to them on their level.

Good luck

Tony D from Sales Journey - by Tonyd
Franklin,

Keep the story to the point, jot down on a 3x5 key points to cover during your story, and make the story interesting. We all use metaphors everyday, so I don't see any problems with it, but don't tell a novel... keep to a nice short story :)

My .02 - by cs_obd
Ok, so among other things I need to stop telling stories on the fly.

Thank you for the help everyone. :) - by Franklin
this is great advise here, I guess we all tend to Sink into telling a story - by Sanddollar
That's really a good idea. So far, everything has been off the cuff. They say something that reminds me of a relevant story and away I go. :D
Franklin...are you my long lost twin??? I absolutely cannot talk off the cuff during presentations....I think stories are much more effective than dry sales text. Just practice them ahead of time. Different posters on this board have differing opinions about "scripting" but I think portions of my presentation through to that level and it helps me tremendoulsly. - by RainMaker
....I think stories are much more effective than dry sales text
I have always used storytelling to present a product. The stories are usually focused on how and why the product came into existence. In the stories I always make reference to an event that brought about change.

Coincidentally, I have studied the presentations of a few others who are successful in varying fields, and those same elements are usually included. - by Gary Boye
The stories are usually focused on how and why the product came into existence. In the stories I always make reference to an event that brought about change.
Really? Hmm. How interesting. Come to think of it, I don't really touch on that in my presentation. I need to give that some thought...Thanks, Gary. - by RainMaker
Hmm....
RM, remember swipe files. Have some fun with this for a verbal presentation:

_________has been around forever! Actually for ________years. The reason they changed it is because _________felt that___________.........



Makes it easier to "give it some thought".


Do I drive you nuts or what?!