Stephen King is one of the most popular authors of American horror stories. His tales often include supernatural creatures that terrify isolated towns. While his stories are a work of fiction, his work has real benefits for structuring a story. Based on King’s bestselling works that has been adapted into film, there are a few storytelling lessons to learn for your presentation. These presentation storytelling tips can help you write a compelling and interesting narrative that will keep your audience on the edge of their seats.

Presentation Storytelling Tips Inspired By Stephen King

presentation storytelling


The killer clown known as IT lurks in the sewers tormenting children. This story got the most recent upgrade with a reboot film released this summer. What makes IT so memorable is the characters. Pennywise being the most iconic, since you don’t see clowns with razor sharp teeth everyday. The children who Pennywise chases after are also central elements to the story’s success. These characters are relatable and experiencing a coming-of-age as they enter their teen years and adulthood. This is something that resonates with every audience.

Part of your presentation storytelling technique should include character development. Whether you are telling your personal story, a customer story or something else, these are all characters or your presentation. Give them depth, complexities and personalities. Make them relatable so that your audience can make a personal connection to your presentation.

Related Post – Storytelling Tactics: How to Make Your Audience the Hero

The Shawshank Redemption

This contemporary classic novel and film has won over audiences for decades. The story is built on mystery and suspense as a prison inmate plans his perfect escape. Driving the storyline forward from beginning to end is the narrator. The story in the film is told by actor Morgan Freeman (who has one of the best public speaking voices ever.) Not only do audiences genuinely care about the hero’s journey, but they are guided by a consistent narration the entire time.

Providing your own narration for your slideshow is an effective presentation storytelling technique. For presentations that will be shared online, you can provide a recording of your voice speaking the script. Software like PowerPoint has a recording feature that is easy to use. Now, you can share presentations online without having your audience miss any important messages.

The Shining

King’s first best seller not only cemented his career as a horror writer but also brought forth one of the best horror movies. In the film version, directed by Stanley Kubrick, we watch a haunted hotel slowly drive a father into madness. Both the book and the film use unsettling visuals to raise the tension and creep the audience out. Who can forget the blood rushing through the doors, the twin girls standing in the hall, and REDRUM written on the walls. All these visuals play a major role in making the story compelling and exciting.

Visuals are a major part of presentation storytelling. Images have a bigger impact on our brain than text. Research shows that the brain uses visuals to help it remember words or phrases. This is why your presentation design should be thoughtfully planned out. Your images or illustrations should help explain the content on your slide or in your script. Color choice also has an impact on the audience’s emotions. Certain colors can evoke certain emotions so choose your presentation color scheme carefully.

Your presentation doesn’t have to involve creepy clowns, a prison escape or a haunted hotel to be like a Stephen King story (although we are not completely against those ideas.) Use fundamental narrative functions like character development, narration, and strong visuals to enhance your message. These presentation storytelling tips can get your story development underway.

More presentation storytelling tips on the Ethos3 blog:

How Storytelling Impacts Your Influence

The Science of Storytelling For Presentation [Infographic]

Storytelling Tips For Pitch Deck Presentations


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