Nancy Duarte: Storytelling in Business

Nancy Duarte discusses business storytelling and how to make your pitch presentations more effective using contrast and focusing on what could be.

March 10th, 2016   |    By: The Startups Team

Nancy Duarte is a pro when it comes to presentations. Not just giving presentations, but starting them, finishing them, and every step in between. Author and co-founder of Duarte Designs, Nancy Duarte is a seasoned veteran when it comes to incorporating storytelling into speaking and creating connections with an audience.

The below video is the third part in a series of 10 in which Nancy shares the key components to making a successful pitch using creativity and critical thinking. Find out what she has to say:

The importance of storytelling in business

When Nancy identified a gap between storytellers and presenters, she was determined to figure out what caused the disconnect.

Referring back to Step 2 of her talk, Nancy formulated her big idea into a question:

Why do people love stories, but think presentations are boring?

With a book of the 100 greatest speeches of all time by her side, Nancy jumped into a journey lasting three years that immersed herself in the world of storytelling and allowed her dissect the art into many different pieces for inspection. She wanted to figure out what creates tension in a story, and what releases it – a process that yields catharsis and transformation within the listener.

She scoured through those 100 speeches to find a pattern and discovered that great communicators create that tension by establishing what is, and contrasting it with what could be. Using that framework as a structural device allows great storytellers to move people.

“We are creatures of contrast, so by the time [the audience] can see the contrast, there is no doubt that they should move toward the future where your idea is adopted.”

Your startup pitch is more than just a presentation – it’s a story! How can your big idea move the world from its present to your future? How well do you tell the story of your business?

The summaries of Nancy’s talks don’t stop here. Check back for more, or continue on to watch her next video!

About the Author

The Startups Team

Startups is the world's largest startup platform, helping over 1 million startup companies find customers, funding, mentors, and world-class education.

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