Why Presenting = Marketing = Storytelling (Borrowing a Riff from Seth Godin)

At their best, presentations are really marketing pieces.

And marketing is simply getting people to know, like, and trust you. Marketing is building relationships and helping people with their problems.

Isn’t that what you do when you give a talk, lead a meeting, or meet with a prospect?

And the best kind of marketing (and presenting) is really storytelling.

When you tell a believable, emotional story that resonates with your audience, you can get them to move.

Seth Godin riffs on this in his post today:

On the path from awareness to a sale, the marketer has to create a vacuum.

The goal of that short film or that sales letter or that invitation to a seminar shouldn’t be to answer every question and completely describe what’s on offer. No, effective marketing amplifies awareness of a problem or an opportunity, a problem the product or service solves or an opportunity it creates.

I know it’s tempting to sell with bullet points and an overwhelming amount of data. It gets you off the hook and requires little in the way of creativity or guts. Storytelling requires both.

When you put your presentation together, you need more than data. Yes, the numbers are important–but more important is making a connection. Numbers don’t connect; story and emotion do.

Want to see this illustrated? Check out Seth’s TED Talk, “How to Get Your Ideas to Spread.” It’s ten years old at this point but it’s still true.