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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

313. Crafting Persuasive Presentations: Learn How to Captivate Your Audience with Troy Andrews’ Storytelling Strategies

The art of storytelling plays a critical role in engaging and captivating an audience during presentations. A good story has the power to capture attention, foster emotional connections, and render complex ideas more relatable and understandable. However, the effectiveness of storytelling lies in its delivery. Presenters should aim to weave their key messages into a compelling narrative that provides value to the audience. Troy Andrews discusses the importance of storytelling in presentations using the metaphor of the Brooklyn Bridge which he used extensively in his book, Bridges and Barriers.

In his view, the bridge represents the journey of taking an audience from one point to another, with the barriers symbolizing the obstacles or concerns that can hinder this process. By leveraging storytelling, Troy suggests that presenters can facilitate this journey more effectively, turning obstacles into opportunities for engagement and interaction. His unique approach to storytelling in the book doesn’t follow a linear format, reflecting the idea that confident presenters can break from tradition to create more memorable and impactful presentations.

In this episode:

  • Discover the secrets behind creating powerful presentations that captivate and inspire.
  • Decode the crucial role audience analysis plays in delivering meaningful and persuasive speeches.
  • Learn how the strength lies in vulnerability and collaboration to foster trust and uplift your confidence.
  • Understand the impact of strategic storytelling to craft enthralling presentations – even when you’re just pitching for more budget next quarter.
  • Learn the value of confidence (and practice) and the role it plays in giving compelling presentations.
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SHOW NOTES:

00:00:00 – Introduction,
Introduction to the podcast episode and the guest, Troy Andrews. He is the author of the book Bridges and Barriers and specializes in applying behavioral science and persuasion theory to presentations.

00:02:23 – Troy’s Background and Transition,
Troy shares his background in the construction industry and how his experience in communication and project management led him to pursue a career in presentation coaching. He discusses his move to Shanghai, China, in 2008 and his passion for behavioral economics and science.

00:06:15 – Leveraging Presentations for Career Growth,
Troy emphasizes the importance of using presentations as an opportunity to shape others’ perception of you and advance your career. He suggests focusing on the adjectives or nouns you want to be known for and strategically incorporating them into your presentations.

00:08:31 – The Role of Persuasion in Presentations,
Troy highlights the role of persuasion in presentations and the misconception that there is a magic pitch or specific words that guarantee agreement. He discusses the importance of audience analysis and finding common ground to establish rapport and influence others.

00:12:53 – Genuine Connection and Persuasion,
Troy shares an example of using audience research to establish a genuine connection with a potential client and how it positively influenced their conversation. He emphasizes the line between persuasion and manipulation and the importance of genuine care and thoughtfulness in establishing rapport.

00:15:06 – Building Relationships and Gaining Influence,
Troy shares a story about how Benjamin Franklin won over an opponent by discovering their shared love for rare books. By finding common ground and asking for help, a mentor-mentee relationship was formed, leading to increased trust and support.

00:19:19 – The Art of Woo,
Troy recommends “The Art of Woo” (link below) as a book that explores the principles of influence and persuasion. He highlights the importance of understanding influential people within an organization and tailoring presentations to address their concerns.

00:20:51 – Overcoming the Confidence Barrier,
Melina and Troy discuss the challenge of confidence in presentations. They emphasize the need for confidence to be backed up by thorough audience analysis and preparation. Practice, understanding the audience’s worries, and being well-versed in the content are key to building confidence.

00:24:33 – The Importance of Presentation Structure,
Melina shares the importance of structuring presentations with a clear arc and a central message. By guiding the audience through a storytelling journey and incorporating emotional elements, presenters can create impactful and memorable presentations.

00:28:09 – Embracing Failure and Building Real Confidence,
Troy promotes the idea of embracing failure and being okay with uncertainty. Real confidence comes from giving your best effort and being resilient, even in the face of potential failures. Building confidence through exposure and experience is key.

00:31:14 – Focusing Illusion in Presentations,
The conversation discusses the focusing illusion in presentations, where presenters often fixate on one thing they think the audience is paying attention to (like when they messed up that word), but in reality, the audience may not notice or care about it. Tips are shared on how to avoid getting hung up on minor details and maintain confidence during presentations.

00:32:38 – Overcoming the Fear of Public Speaking,
Troy emphasizes the importance of building confidence when it comes to public speaking. Exposure therapy is suggested as a way to gradually overcome the fear. Starting with small actions like asking questions in meetings can help individuals become more comfortable expressing themselves and eventually improve their presentation skills.

00:35:48 – Storytelling and the Brooklyn Bridge,
Troy shares how he came up with the idea of using the Brooklyn Bridge as a metaphor for presentations in his book, Bridges and Barriers. He wanted to simplify the concept of carrying the audience across from one point to another and highlight the importance of addressing barriers that may prevent them from accepting the message. The non-linear storytelling approach in the book is discussed.

00:45:48 – Importance of Personal Style and Confidence in Presentations,
Melina and Troy discuss the importance of personal style in presentations and how it can help people remember you. He emphasizes the need to be confident and comfortable with your choices, whether it’s your clothing or hairstyle. Being true to yourself and owning it is key.

00:46:24 – Overcoming Fashion Norms and Embracing Individuality,
Melina shares how she started wearing sneakers to conferences instead of uncomfortable shoes, and how she owns his choice by wearing bright, bold colors. She mentions that most people don’t say anything at all, and those who do have had kind things to say. It’s about being comfortable with your own truth.

00:48:08 – Troy’s Top Tip for Better Presentations,
Troy recommends a practical practice for improving presentation skills. He suggests recording a 1-minute video of yourself every day for a month, using an app like PowerPoint with an AI coach to track your progress. He advises focusing on energy and turning up the voltage to engage your audience.

00:50:21 – The Power of Energy in Presentations,
Troy emphasizes the importance of energy in presentations and how it can make a significant difference in how it is received by the audience.

00:39:04 – Conclusion,
Melina’s top insights from the conversation. What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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