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Chapter 12. Pitching in the Majors > It All Starts with Your Story

It All Starts with Your Story

Jeff Raikes' case in point applies to every presenter. Persuading your audience is, above all, a matter of being prepared with a logical, compelling, relevant, and well-articulated story. You need to know where you want to lead your audience, your Point B, and how you will get them there. To do that, you need to focus on the most essential elements of your story, arrange them in a lucid flow, and convey them with frequent emphasis on the specific benefits, the WIIFYs, your audience will enjoy if they heed your call to action. Finally, you need to support your presentation with Less Is More graphics that express your ideas clearly. Your audience is then free to concentrate on you and your discussion, Presenter Focus.

If you prepare a presentation that includes all these elements at their optimum, a remarkable thing happens: Your speaking skills improve “by themselves.” Knowing that you are fully in command of your story inevitably enhances your self-confidence and poise, resulting in a far more polished and convincing presentation. That's the discipline by which most persuasive battles are won.


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