Telling your story (Part 6) – Deliver Results

“Everything will be alright at the end”. This is one quote from the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. And this is what almost all audiences expect from a good story: a happy ending! To the point where you are, the tension is there. The audience wonders what will come next, they may be scared, but they want you to deliver the expected results.

And the time has come to do it! The biggest trap is to paramount on the tension point and let the soufflé go down. All the cooks know that a soufflé cannot wait. It needs to be eaten very hot, just as it goes outside of the oven! If you have done your job well and have followed the four previous steps:

  1. Grab the attention
  2. Set the scene
  3. Relate to your audience
  4. Increase tension,

the soufflé is hot and your audience needs to eat it now.

To revert to the examples described in the previous parts, this is the right time to tell your investors how much you want and how much they will make. If you are selling a product, picture the company or the users delivering benefits to their own customers by using your product, and ask for the order through a direct question (a bad salesperson never asks for the order).

And stop! Yes, stop! Do not overdo it! Delivering your results should be five percent or less of the entire presentation. This does not sound natural? That’s true, and it’s because you have done your homework, have prepared well and have followed the magic five steps. Have you ever wondered why a book or a film seems to accelerate at the end? Have you ever noticed that the last chapter is shorter? All this is because the author has “manipulated” you.

I dislike the word manipulation because it has a negative connotation. However a good presenter or a good writer knows how to write a story in a way you wait for the end, do not expect it and are relieved, with this feeling that you knew it would end this way. And by the way, sometimes the end is not happy, but you knew it.

In the business world, we are manipulated every day. I shall say every hour. However, if your intentions are good, your story will be good, your audience will feel this and they will agree on the manipulation. Nobody forces an audience to stay in the room if it feels the speaker is phony.

But if you deliver your results quickly and have followed the previous steps, two things will happen:

  1. You will feel the excitement in the room
  2. The audience will ask positive open questions

Do not feel challenged. Answer with short and precise statements, and shut up. The tension has fallen on your shoulders, since you expect an answer to your grand finale, but you should not let that show, and continue smiling. And you know what will happen? Everything will be alright at the end!

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