Master the Art of Presenting: The Unbeatable 12-Step Formula
Transform Your Presentations with this Proven Strategy
The Challenge of Connecting
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to provide legal representation to hundreds of startups. All else being equal, one common theme to watching clients become successful is the ability of a founder to tell her story and connect with investors and customers.
When it comes to trying cases, I too am put into a position where I have one opportunity to convince 12 complete strangers (jurors), who don’t like lawyers and missing work, to find in favor of my client.
During presentations I give from the stage, I know that connecting and building rapport with my audience is just as important as the content and message I’m sharing.
With the above in mind, what’s the best way I’ve found to present and persuade?
There isn’t a single "most powerful" storytelling framework for business presentations, as the effectiveness of a framework depends on the context, audience, and message. However, one widely-used and versatile storytelling framework that I use, and that I recommend my clients use is called the “Hero's Journey.”
It’s a great format that can be adapted for almost any kind of presentation. The version I like to use consists of several stages:
The Ordinary World: Introduce the current situation, business landscape, or problem that needs to be addressed.
Call to Adventure: Present the challenge, opportunity, or goal that the company or team must pursue.
Refusal of the Call: Address common objections, concerns, or risks associated with the challenge.
Meeting the Mentor: Introduce the idea, strategy, or product that will guide the team towards success.
Crossing the Threshold: Detail the steps or plan to take on the challenge and move towards the goal.
Trials and Tribulations: Share stories of past successes, challenges, and lessons learned.
Approach to the Inmost Cave: Identify the critical moment or decision point that leads to success or failure.
The Ordeal: Discuss the ultimate test or hurdle that the company or team must overcome.
Reward: Describe the benefits and rewards of successfully completing the challenge.
The Road Back: Outline the steps to integrate the rewards into the business and solidify the gains.
Resurrection: Highlight the transformation of the company or team as a result of overcoming the challenge.
Return with the Elixir: Conclude with a vision of the future, showcasing the long-term impact of the journey.
Remember to adapt the framework to suit the specific needs of your presentation and engage your audience effectively using visual aids.
Have AI Help You Do 90% of The Work!
Now that you have an understanding of the specific 12 steps to persuasion using the Hero’s Journey, let’s tap into the power of ChatGPT or in my case, GPT-4, do help us get started.
I will note that GPT-4 (paid) was used to create the following example. ChatGPT (free) also works and although it created a similar script, it didn’t lay each step out as clearly as the more advanced GPT-4. Having said that, both will save you an enormous amount of time.
Here’s the magical prompt:
Craft a compelling Hero's Journey narrative based on the following fact pattern: [insert your fact pattern here]. Ensure that the story engages the audience by incorporating the 12 stages of the Hero's Journey, and emphasize the transformation and key lessons learned throughout the journey. Use vivid language and relatable examples with metaphors to make the story come alive, and tailor the narrative to resonate with the specific context and target audience.
Craft a compelling Hero's Journey narrative based on the following fact pattern: [write a presentation for a lawyer to make to his managing board of directors to incorporate AI into the firm's everyday services.] Ensure that the story engages the audience by incorporating the 12 stages of the Hero's Journey, and emphasize the transformation and key lessons learned throughout the journey. Use vivid language and relatable examples with metaphors to make the story come alive, and tailor the narrative to resonate with the specific context and target audience.
Remember, in the real world you will want to expand and emphasize each step as needed. Sometimes the step may be simply a 45 second comment. Other times it may be 5-10 minutes. You know your audience and what buttons you’ll need to push so please keep this in mind.
Also make sure to complement your presentation with visuals and other oral communication approaches.
Here’s what GPT-4 gave me.
Title: "Embracing AI: Transforming Our Law Firm Through the Hero's Journey"
[Slide 1: The Ordinary World] Ladies and gentlemen, our law firm has a reputation for providing outstanding legal services to our clients. However, in this rapidly changing digital landscape, technology is revolutionizing the legal profession. We find ourselves facing growing competition, pressure to reduce costs, and a need to be more efficient.
[Slide 2: Call to Adventure] Our challenge is to embrace artificial intelligence (AI) and integrate it into our everyday services. By doing so, we can enhance our productivity, reduce costs, and provide even better services to our clients.
[Slide 3: Refusal of the Call] Change can be intimidating, and adopting AI may raise concerns. These include the potential loss of jobs, the high costs of implementation, and ethical considerations. However, to stay competitive and innovative, we must confront these concerns and explore the potential benefits of AI.
[Slide 4: Meeting the Mentor] Our mentor in this journey is AI technology, which can help us automate routine tasks, analyze complex data, and optimize decision-making. Let's explore the AI tools and platforms available to us and determine how they can best serve our needs.
[Slide 5: Crossing the Threshold] We will begin by assessing our current workflows, identifying areas where AI can be integrated, and developing a strategic plan for AI adoption
[Slide 6: Trials and Tribulations] As we embark on this journey, we'll face challenges in AI integration, staff training, and maintaining the human touch in our services. By learning from the experiences of other firms and sharing our own stories, we'll address these challenges and find innovative solutions.
[Slide 7: Approach to the Inmost Cave] The critical moment will be choosing the right AI solutions and vendors, ensuring compatibility with our existing systems, and securing the necessary budget and resources. Our decisions at this stage will determine the success of our AI transformation.
[Slide 8: The Ordeal] Our ultimate test will be the successful implementation and integration of AI technology without compromising the quality of our services or our firm's core values. We must ensure that our clients continue to receive personalized, high-quality legal counsel.
[Slide 9: Reward] By overcoming these challenges, we'll enjoy the rewards of increased efficiency, cost savings, and improved client satisfaction. Our firm will be better equipped to handle complex cases and offer innovative solutions.
[Slide 10: The Road Back] After successfully adopting AI, we must solidify our gains by continuously monitoring performance, refining our processes, and staying informed about technological advancements in the legal sector.
[Slide 11: Resurrection] Our law firm will emerge from this journey transformed, with a new competitive edge and a forward-thinking approach to the practice of law. Our team will be equipped with the skills and tools to thrive in the digital age.
[Slide 12: Return with the Elixir] In conclusion, embracing AI in our everyday services will not only strengthen our position in the market but also enable us to better serve our clients. By embarking on this Hero's Journey, we will redefine our firm's future and ensure that we remain at the forefront of legal innovation.
Let us come together as a team, combine the power of AI with our legal expertise, and write the next chapter of our firm's success story. In the end, we’ll have happier and more satisfied clients and increase firm revenue.
So what do you think?
Many inexperienced presenters get lazy or nervous and jump from step #1 or #2 directly to step #12.
Don’t do this.
Remember, there’s a reason why when you watch a well directed movie, it doesn’t end in 5 or 10 minutes.
There’s a process. Persuasion and storytelling is a journey.
Make sure to take your time and work your way through each step.
And practice. Because the more you practice and do this, the better you’ll get.
[Let’s stay connected on LinkedIn]
This is a really helpful outline for presentations. Thanks Mitch!