A good presentation requires two things: 1) a good story, and 2) knowing how to tell it so your audience responds.

A good story begins with something you feel strongly about, something you can’t get out of your mind. An experience that’s affected you, like a good “before and after” story.

Next you must learn to tell it so that you can “find your audience” with it—people who connect to it the way you do.

It will not be everyone. Accept that. There is no story to which everyone connects, any more than there’s one car, one movie, one song or toothpaste that is “for everyone.” Your job is to find your audience for your story. Good marketers and movie-makers learn to tell their story and look for the right people out there to connect to.

When Mel Gibson wrote his story for The Passion of the Christ, no one in Hollywood would support or distribute the movie. They wanted a movie more “for everyone.” But he felt very strongly about his story, so he told it without them. He found his audience for his story by first showing it to Christian churches and leaders: that turned out to be his primary audience.

Word of mouth spread. With gross sales of over $500 million (just in the US), it’s the highest-grossing indie film in history. But first he had to find his audience.

What about your presentation? What is your before and after story? Here’s a quick way to start: think of the products that you currently market. Then:

Find a “before and after”; choose the one you feel the most strongly about. Vividly remember what it was like before you tried the thing. “Before I found out about this product, I was someone who…” Vividly remember what it was like after—remember what got fixed or got better.

Put this together to form the structure of your story. “Before I found out about this product I was someone who…
then I tried this product, and after this much time, the problem finally got better.”

Then learn to tell this story in a way that you are asking for your audience, not assuming it is for everyone. For example: if someone asks you, “What do you do?” here’s a 35-second presentation, with story and asking for your audience:

“I market a product for people who have achy knees when they go up and down stairs, like I used to. But they don’t want to do drugs. Do you know anyone who might like to know about a product like that?”

And there you have it.


KIM KLAVER is a network
marketing leader and one of the
profession’s most popular trainers.