It’s not difficult to Structure a Presentation as Story

2.4 Words Photo by Suket Dedhia on

In our last post we spoke about using anecdotes in a presentation. But we can also structure our entire presentation as a story. And its not that hard to build the foundations of a good story. Once you have the basics you can then refine your content to make it compelling and engaging.

Story telling Basics:

Set the Scene

Start by telling your audience the most important details of the story. Set the scene with a clear explanation of the context and what’s at stake. This will help them understand why they should care.

Show the Conflict

Now that your audience knows the setup, show them the conflict. Explain the challenge or problem you’re trying to solve. This will help them empathize with the story.

Describe the Resolution

Finally, explain how you overcame the challenge or solved the problem. Give details about the process and the result.


Once you’ve taken your audience through the story, end with a strong conclusion to emphasize the point. Your conclusion should include a call to action. Encourage your audience to apply what they’ve learned to their own lives

Why do stories work?

In his book Moving Mountains  Henry Boettinger puts it like this. “Present your idea in this structure and sequence: statement of the problem, development of its relevant aspects, and resolution of the problem and its development.  Use this structure and you send your idea rolling down the well-worn grooves of the human mind.  Ignore it and you send it into rocky, unknown canyons from which it may never return.”

You will notice that the four steps outlined above are represented in the Boettinger quotes above. But we still need a bit more detail in order to build out our presentation. Fortunately we have the SCORE method developed by Dr. Andrew Abela.

S stands for situation (setting the scene), Co stands for Complication (showing the conflict), R for Resolution (describe the resolution) and E for Example. The example has been added as a separate step because in a business presentation you need evidence in every sequence to convince your audience that your resolution will work.

At the beginning of a business presentation we start with the Situation and let the audience know why we are there, we then grab their attention and identify the biggest issue we are trying to resolve for them (Co), we give the over-arching solution (R), tell them why it will work in general terms and provide some evidence (E).

Next we move onto the next complication, resolution and example. But the way we get there is to ask “yeh but” from our audiences perspective, what would be their likely objection to our solution. For example they may say – but that sounds expensive. That’s our next complication. we provide a resolution and then an example. Then keep asking “yeh but” until we have cleaned up all the audiences potential objections.

So it’s SCoRE then CoRE, CoRE etc,

What we have done is brought the audience into the story, they become a key character in the story.

There you have it a very simple formula for developing a story.

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