If you’re in any type of persuasive situation (presentation or not), you have to control the narrative—the story. Your story has to be the most compelling one. If you simply attack the existing narrative, your chances of winning are slim.
In sports, any team that plays only defense won’t win. You need to play offense, as well as defense. That’s a key lesson of sports.
I’ve been working with a group of scientists and engineers who are adamant about discrediting the current manmade warming theory. After all, it’s a scam and simply doesn’t survive any type of true analytical thinking. The solar system creates the climate on Earth and man is not in control of anything. Sorry!
Ask any astrophysicist.
But that doesn’t matter. The UN and their climate group have spun the yarn and captured the attention of a segment of the population, to the point that politicians are running around spending all our money on something they can’t change.
It’s because the UN owns the narrative. There’s a bigger story here (the correct one) but nobody’s telling it. The lesson is that if you simply attack someone else’s dominant story, you don’t stand a chance of winning the day.
The political spectrum offers similar examples. In the US, for example, we have Donald Trump, who’s developed his own narrative, and is winning in the polls. The other candidates can attack his position all they want, but until they develop their own narrative more compelling than his, they won’t stand out—they won’t get noticed.
You can take this to any presentation situation.
One of the underlying themes of my programs it that the body of your presentation must counter any concerns your audience might have. That’s critically important. But, you can’t just do only that and expect to succeed.
You have to have a theme, a central idea, a story of what you’re going to do that’s different than anyone else. It has to be directed at your audience’s needs. In other words, you have to know your audience inside out.
But the story or idea is key to winning.
It’s takes creativity, boldness, and repetition. Capture the imagination. Use visuals imagery. And remember, people buy based on emotion, not on facts.
Yes, even in business.
Find a mantra (a short phrase that captures that central idea) and use it several times during your presentation (just like a political campaign does). Because we humans don’t remember things until we’ve heard it several times.
Whoever owns the narrative, owns the stage. They win.
There’s absolutely no reason that can’t be you. Come up with your own more compelling story and win the day. Be big, bold, and memorable. Capture your audience’s imagination.