Telling compelling stories

Recently I had the pleasure of being asked to do a presentation for SA Power Networks’ series of breakout sessions, as part of their Innovation program.

The sessions are a way of keeping their people connected while working from home, and a chance to learn a little about various topics.

Other speakers have covered food production during COVID-19, hackathons, how Tennis SA is coping with the changes, the future of work, internal business marketing and more. My topic? It should be no surprise that it was: Telling compelling stories.

I confess, it had been ages since I’d given a presentation, especially one that has workshop elements to it. And I’d never done one through Microsoft Teams. I was a little worried – and excited – about what I would come up with.

And of course, there is the one question that anyone asked to share their expertise has to face: How do you distill what you know into a succinct presentation that has real value to participants?

To answer that, I focused on my overarching approach to comms, storytelling and life in general: heart. Hence the tagline: How to put the heart into your business writing.

As you can tell from the name of my business, heart is important to me. Any young journalist I’ve commissioned stories from will tell you, no matter the topic, my first piece of advice for writing is to find the heart in it and go from there (but that’s another story).

Having heart as my touchstone helped keep my presentation focused and relevant to the topic.

And judging by the feedback, I’m very pleased (and a little relieved) it went well:

This is what some of the participants had to say…

“Thanks so much Sky – that was brilliant… informative and so interesting too.”

“I really enjoyed your online presentation on storytelling. It’s not a strength for me but I’m thinking about how I can include your tips in some videos I want to do.”

“Thanks Sky… Really helpful advice.”

“Fantastic Sky! I really enjoyed it 🙂

“I was on the breakout session and thought it was great, I took lots of notes – thank you!”

The presentation ended up being a lot of fun, and the feedback has got me thinking about other ways I could share or develop it. (If you’re interested in knowing more, please get in touch.)

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