Story Season – May The 4th Be With You

Monday, May 4th, 2015 by Matt

This week is the final foray into Story Season – and I think it’s quite poignant (and completely unplanned) that it should fall today on May the 4th – Star Wars day.

Star Wars is the ultimate story. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it or not, like it or not – everybody knows Star Wars.

My wife has never seen a single one of the movies, but she already knows we’re booking a baby sitter and going to see ‘The Force Awakens’ as soon as it hits cinemas later this year.

If I’m honest, I had fallen out of love with Star Wars after the recent (ahem, 10-15 years ago) prequels, Jar Jar Binks just didn’t do it for me.

I actually find it quite surprising that I’m so genuinely looking forward to episode 7 hitting screens – I thought I wouldn’t be bothered. But upon seeing the trailer, hearing that music and seeing a quite frankly rough looking Han Solo (it doesn’t matter how old he is!) utter the words, “Chewy we’re home…” and boom I’m right back there on Christmas Day 1986 (or something like that). I’m 34 years old and most of my childhood Christmas days blur into the same day – except for one.

One Christmas day morning, a 5/6 year old Matt Roper woke up and left his bedroom to find the hallway floor decorated with about 50 different new Star Wars toys – I say new, my mum had clearly visited Keith’s second hand toy stall at the Market in Derby.

They weren’t wrapped or even boxed, but laid in a sort of action scene mix of figures, space ships and other random vehicles from the Galactic Republic.

It was literally mind blowing. And a hugely unforgettable moment in my childhood.

And that’s what I want to talk about when it comes to presentations – key memorable content.

And there are lots of examples in Star Wars of memorable content, there’s the Death Star exploding (twice), the very first scene where the Star Destroyer comes into shot – and who could forget, Jabba the Hut!

There’s the moment in Empire Strikes Back where Luke is hanging on by a thread, his hand just severed by Darth Vader’s light saber, who then twistedly ask’s him to join him on the dark side, because, “I am your father…”

Now that’s a heck of a plot twist, when your mortal enemy actually turns around and says, hey I’m your dad, let’s rule the universe together. It doesn’t matter if your 6 or 60 – that’s deep.

These kind of magic moments travel too – produce an ‘I am your father moment’ in your presentation and the audience is going to take note and remember it long into the future.

A word of warning though…

You’ve got to make your presentation story and your messages memorable (we call this sticky content) not just create a whiz bang moment.

Everyone in the world of presentations knows about Steve Job’s famous MacBook in an envelope. A very cool, very clever moment that everyone remembers. But what else do you remember about that?

The key message there was “This laptop is very, very cool, because it’s very, very thin.” Not that it has a great processor, a fantastic hard drive and outperforms every other laptop on the market. Nope, we know that, that laptop was very, very thin.

The way to make your content engaging, memorable and still resonating with your audience long into the future is to use story! Yes the very thing we’ve spoken about for the last 3 months.

And this is where the Star Wars story gets it so right, it has it’s jaw dropping “I am your father and have a very, very thin laptop in an envelope, join me on the dark side and it’s yours…” moments. But it’s the fact Star Wars takes you on a journey across the galaxy which is what keeps audiences hooked and makes the whole thing ‘sticky’.

“By introducing a structure, story or narrative arc, you can give your message the opportunity to grow legs, travel and get shared time and time again.”
Eyeful MD, Simon Morton in The Presentation Lab.

Get this right and your audience will be that version of me as a wowed 5 year old walking amongst all my new toys and down the line they will still remember your presentation and your message – and that’s cooler than owning your own light saber. Zrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

But if you don’t consider yourself George Lucas when it comes to crafting stories, then fear not – just get in touch – as our expert consultants are the Jedi Masters of creating sticky presentation story – as for them, the force is strong.

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