Want to Craft a Killer Presentation? Take a Lesson From Hollywood!
Next time you watch a good movie, keep an eye on how writers and directors use the ‘THREE ACT” structure to build a powerful experience for the audience.
Act I – Act I is the set up. The director’s goal in the first act is to capture the audience’s attention and hold it. Usually, they set up a question which the audience feels compelled to answer.
In the sales world, the question might be something like, “We have found a way to reduce your occupancy expenses by $2 Million over the next ten years. How would $2M in savings affect your business?” This sets up tension which adds excitement to the presentation.
Act II – Act II moves into the story. Who/what/when/where/why. In the movies, the director does not just answer these questions, he tells a story which also connects to the audience emotionally. The audience members literally picture themselves in the story.
In the sales world, that means dropping in personal anecdotes and case studies.
Act III – Act III is the pay-off. This is where the director ties in all the loose ends and relieves the tension so the audience goes away feeling satisfied.
In the sales world, this is when we want to summarize the most powerful points we have made. I also like to ask the question . . . “How do you FEEL about what you have just seen?”
If they say, “good” or “pretty good,” I like to ask the quick follow up question, “What would it take for you to feel GREAT about this plan/program?”
They may say they have to think about it, but they will often tell you about any hurdles you still face, so you can address them at the meeting, or shortly thereafter, without wondering.
Have some fun with this. Remember, all movies, TV shows and books are basically sales pitches for the concept and the material. Learn from the best storytellers in the world.