Whether you’re a CEO or a full-time entrepreneur of a small business, you’ve got a story to tell. A new product. A powerful invention. A transformation. But how can you get other people to listen?

It’s tough to win attention, isn’t it? Most professionals agree that changing the way people think, communicate and act is a tall order. But it all starts with winning attention.

In the recent years, you’ve been seeing a radical new trend: whiteboard story selling. More and more business presentations are given at the whiteboard. Just to give a taste, here are a few of the types of presentations:

• Product pitches
• Investor presentations
• Executive overviews
• Team briefings
• Marketing summits
• Sales presentations to clients and prospects
• Lead generation presentations
• Collaborative team innovation sessions
• Brand planning
• Project planning
• Strategic war room sessions

The list…well it is growing. If you don’t see your type of presentation, training or meeting on this short list—just add it in.

Why is whiteboard story selling so popular?

Stories are easy to remember. People instantly understand a story—especially when contrasted with a mountain of data. Hmmm. Story on one side of the scale. Data sheets on the other. Which wins attention? The story of course.

Visuals are easy to understand. Instead of a hundred bullet-point slides, a single picture. Just like a story, pictures are exceptionally engaging. No one remembers what was on the 47th slide. But everyone recalls what’s on a single picture.

Interactions are easy to get involved in. How can you capture attention instantly? Engage people in activities. Show the unexpected. What could be more engaging than watching ideas emerge in colorful pictures and words—right in front of your eyes?

Put these together…and you have whiteboard story selling.

Let’s Start With The Audience
When you’re looking at your audience, think about your presentation. Imagine their perspective. They’re feeling overloaded, overworked and overwhelmed. Hey—that’s a lot of over, right?

You bet.

While they’re in the ‘over’ zone, what can you do to win attention? Provide ‘under.’ Be simple. Show less. Provide simplicity. Spell out your message in easy terms that are profoundly simple. Use more white space. Use less words. Show fewer slides. Go low tech.

See how this works? They are feeling overloaded…you provide the simple, low-information, high-impact presentation.

Back to your audience. They are in the ‘verbal’ zone. 400 emails. 200 text messages. Countless twitter posts. Piles of written reports. Mountains of bullet-point only slides. What do you do to win attention?

Go visual. Show more than tell. Show a sketch at the whiteboard. Draw a diagram. Post a photograph on the wall. Provide a fill-in-the-blanks drawing for your audience to sketch and doodle on. Not too rough, eh?

Back to your audience. They are in the ‘passive’ zone. Sitting in endless meetings. Sitting listening to their boss. Sitting in front of senior decision makers. Sitting in front of a computer screen. Lots of passive receiving. What can you do to transform the conversation?

Get interactive. Provide a time and way for people to express ideas. Ask questions. Listen to answer. Capture comments at the whiteboard. Encourage small group discussion. Create opportunities for people to talk, interact, express ideas, sketch and be active.

Whiteboard story selling is rooted in these 3 principles. Story. Visual. Interaction.
If you’re fed up with data dumps, information overload and passive presenting, this is the zone of simplicity, visual clarity and active communication.

You can make a powerful difference. Start using whiteboard story selling to transform the conversation.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/