Enthrall your audience and “own the room” with Webex Whiteboard
Katrina was a rising star in her company. She was known for being a great leader and holding an audience’s attention. She would walk confidently into a meeting room, log into her laptop, and begin to present. She started by acknowledging everyone in the room and thanking them for their time and attention. She then launched into a clear and concise overview of the meeting agenda, clarifying what topics would be covered and what outcomes were expected, and continued with her presentation. Whiteboard Storytelling
During the meeting, Katrina got people involved by asking them what they thought about various topics. She made eye contact with each person, listened carefully to their responses, and responded thoughtfully and respectfully. Her friendly and inclusive demeanor made everyone feel at ease, and soon the entire room was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm.
As the meeting ended, Katrina summarized the discussion’s key points and outcomes, ensuring everyone was on the same page. She thanked everyone again for their time and effort and closed the meeting with a positive and inspiring message.
Afterward, people could not stop talking about how impressed they were with Katrina’s leadership skills. They praised her ability to engage with everyone in the room and how she made them feel valued and heard. Katrina commanded the meeting and left her audience inspired and motivated.
That was then but this now. Reading all that, you are left to believe Katrina was indeed a rock star. However, that was before the advent of hybrid work. Today Katrina struggles, just like everyone else, to lead a meeting and command the virtual room. She is minimized to a box on a screen and pushing slides to try to give an informative and engaging presentation.
Driving engagement in virtual meetings with storytelling and a digital whiteboard
To find a better way to present in meetings, I combined my love of telling stories with digital whiteboarding in the many Webex meetings I have daily with coworkers and customers. The feedback from meeting attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, so I no longer use slides to present. My audience loves it, and so do I.
For those needing to become more familiar, storytelling in business refers to using stories to convey a company’s message, brand, values, and mission. It is a powerful tool businesses can use to engage with customers, employees, and other stakeholders on a deeper level.
Business storytelling can take many forms, including written content, video, presentations, social media, and speeches. Storytelling can be used to market products and services, build a brand identity, attract, and retain talented employees, and establish a company’s credibility and authority.
When writing a story, 7 elements are essential for making a good story.
- A compelling plot: A good story should have a clear and engaging plot that draws in the reader or listener and keeps them interested. The plot should be well-structured and have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
- Strong characters: Effective stories have well-developed characters that the audience can relate to and care about. The characters should be realistic and have a clear motivation for their actions.
- Conflict: A story without conflict is not a story. The conflict can be internal or external, but it should be significant enough to create tension and keep the audience engaged.
- Setting: The story’s setting is essential as it provides context and helps the audience visualize the story in their minds.
- Emotion: A good story should evoke emotions in the audience, whether it be happiness, sadness, anger, or excitement. The emotions should fit with the story and be used to get the audience more involved.
- Resolution: A good story should have a satisfying ending that ties up all the loose ends and gives the audience a sense of closure.
- Authenticity: A story should be authentic to its intended purpose. It should be genuine and not feel forced or contrived.
When put together, these parts make a powerful and compelling story that grabs the audience’s attention and sticks with them.
Now, when it comes time to tell your story in a meeting, the most effective tool we have besides our voice is the digital whiteboard. At each step of the story, drawing the element on the canvas will help keep your audience engaged. Draw out your main characters and introduce them. Set the scene – use images and drawings. Express emotion in your story – use emojis. You get the picture.
Using a whiteboard to tell your story in a virtual meeting will ensure the meeting participants are engaged and not just trying to read your slides. Benefits of storytelling with a whiteboard:
- Enhanced Engagement: People are more interested in what is being said when whiteboards and stories are used because they can see and understand the story better.
- Improved memory retention: The visual nature of whiteboards combined with storytelling helps people remember the key points and details of the story, making it more memorable and easier to recall.
- Improved communication: Whiteboards help break down complex ideas into simpler, easy-to-understand pieces, making it easier to communicate the story’s key message to a broader audience.
- Increased creativity: The combination of storytelling and whiteboards encourages creative thinking and problem-solving, helping people think freely and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
- Increased emotional connection: Stories told using whiteboards often evoke emotions and feelings in the audience, creating a stronger connection between the speaker and the listeners.
Be a rockstar like Katrina. Try whiteboarding for your next presentation.
Now back to Katrina. She reinvented herself and the way she presents. She’s storytelling using a digital whiteboard in her Webex meetings and is back to commanding the meeting and engaging everyone in it. She figured out how to “own the room” again without actually being in the room. She is indeed the rock star we all thought she was at the beginning of this blog.
It’s your turn now. Transform your next presentation into a story and launch that Webex whiteboard to draw out your story. Own the room.
May 15, 2023 — Kevin Adamson