Tension and discovery are tools that have long been used by storytellers. It is the way the storyteller draws you into their story and keeps you on the edge of your seat as they unveil the grand discovery piece by piece. Tension and discovery are powerful in storytelling, which means it is equally as powerful in presentations. By creating great tension, a presenter is able to keep their audience engaged throughout the entirety of their content as they listen closely and wait for the big unveiling.

One organization that has become masters of tension and discovery in their presentations is Apple. With each unveiling, they tease the new, exciting products and then pull back and allow the tension to mount as they update the audience on what is currently happening with their company. Then at precisely 41 minutes into the presentation, they unveil the newest product and allow the tension to release with this game-changing moment of discovery.

Knowing the power of this tool, the team at Ethos3 put together a few keys to create great tension and discovery in your next presentation.

Embrace the pull back.

Steve Jobs was a master at the pull back. With each product release, he would tease this exciting proffered future only to pull back and say “But before we get to that, let’s…”. What this did was put the audience on the edges of their seats from the very beginning. With the audience knowing a big unveiling was just around the corner, they leaned in and listened intently to what could have been boring information far longer than if the big unveiling had happened at the beginning.

Allow the tension to build.

Allowing tension to build can be uncomfortable for some presenters, but it is key to leveraging tension and discovery. Think about the movie Jaws. As you watch the movie, you hear the daunting sound of the great white shark. You see the terror on the casts’ eyes as they watch for the shark. You see the ripples in the water. But you never actually see the shark until the final 15 minutes of the movie. What this storyteller does so well is build tension in their audience which makes the unveiling of the shark that much more impactful. As a presenter, it is important to live in the tension and let it build longer than you even feel comfortable with.

Elevate the discovery.

Once you have spent ample time building tension, it is time to elevate your big discovery moment. This is the moment your audience has been waiting for, and it is key that you communicate it clearly and concisely. By communicating your discovery clearly, your audience will not feel deflated or let down. Instead, they will embrace all the tension and feel excited and engaged in what you have shown them. The moment of discovery should be the clearest moment of your entire presentation.

Tension and discovery is a powerful tool to create an impactful story and presentation. By leveraging these three steps, you have everything you need to lead your audience on a journey to great discovery.

Looking to learn more about developing an impactful tension and discovery presentation? Contact our team today to find out how we can help!

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