How to best structure your presentations [infographic]

Giving presentations at work to co-workers, clients, and prospects can be tough and, sometimes, intimidating.

However, if you successful organize your presentation by telling a story, the messages of your presentation will be clearer to your audience.

There are seven common formats for storytelling that can help you best structure your presentations.

In other words, everything that has ever written boils down to seven basic plots.

These story structures can help your audience better understand and digest your content in your presentation.

7 Common Plots For Storytelling

Here are the seven formats for presentations:

1. Overcoming a Monster

This structure is a story of courage and bravery where the hero overcomes evil against all odds. The hero learns about the monster, trains for battle, the monster is revealed, loses the battle, tries a different approach and the hero defeats the monster.

Key takeaway: Tell a story of how you overcame a big challenge and explain what you learned from taking a different approach.

2. Rags to Riches

This structure tells a story of how a hero goes from difficult circumstances to great success and wealth. The hero has a terrible early life, receives a call to leave, encounters minor problem and successes, hits rock bottom, defeats the crisis, and then wins and gets a reward.

Key takeaway: Tell a story about overcoming early struggles through taking risks and explain how you grew as a result.

3. Voyage and Return

This structure shows how the hero travels to distant lands, defeats the darkness and returns home wiser. The hero lives an unadventurous life, transports to another world, explores new surroundings, feels uncomfortable, confronts darkness, escapes and defeats evil, and returns home wiser.

Key takeaway: Tell a story about how you opened up yourself to new experiences an explain what you learned from leaving your comfort zone.

4. The Quest

This structure is about teamwork. A group sets off on a journey with a goal in mind and through working together they overcome all obstacles. The team receives a mission, smaller obstacles presented and overcome, the final dangerous test revealed, final test accomplished, the team wins a prize and travels home.

Key takeaway: Tell a story where you worked part of a team and describe your journey together to achieve great results.

5. Comedy

This structure shows off your skills and inspires others. This is the classic comedy tale of a transition from the state of confusion into one of enlightenment. The hero and heroine are destined for each other, outside forces keep them apart, confusion, uncertainty and frustration occur, everyone is entangled in an unresolvable conflict, truth uncovered, and, finally, the hero and heroine get together.

Key takeaway: Tell a story about a time when you had a disagreement on a project due to miscommunication, explain how you solved it and developed a better working relationship.  

6. Tragedy

This structure is the classic cautionary tale where we see the downfall of a villain who chooses the wrong path. The villain finds a goal to achieve, sets out on a path of destruction, commit dark acts that seal the fate, sees the plan unravel, and dies or defeated.

Key takeaway: Tell a story about a blunder you made due to bad choices and openly discuss the impact it had on your work.

7. Rebirth

This structure is about how change is always possible. This story is about a villain who finds redemption and is reborn as a better person. The hero falls under a shadow of a dark power, things go well, the hero is imprisoned by darkness, the dark power has seemingly triumphed, redemption figure resolves the situation, and the hero is reborn as a better person.

Key takeaway: Tell a story about when you wanted to take ineffective shortcuts and how a colleague helped you get out of a tricky situation to get the outcome you needed.

Check out this infographic by QuidCorner to learn more about how storylines can help you leave a lasting impression on your audience after your next presentation.

Storytelling Structures For Presentations Infographic compressed

This infographic was created by QuidCorner.