People connect with stories while presenting their businesses, proposals and ideas. Some people are born with an innate craving for telling their story with PowerPoint slides. Right?

Wrong.

While slides are a common tool for communication in many organizations, it appears that babies, young children and…smart adults are not born with a deep desire for sharing stories in bullet points.

If you are looking for a way to share your story and help customers connect at a deeper level, go beyond slides to stand out. Look for alternatives, substitutes and variety in your presentations. A carefully built story can help you and your organization pierce the competitive foam and rise to the top.

Here are a few thoughts about seven options.

1. Whiteboard Sketches

Looking for the fastest way to engage an audience? Grab a marker and simplify complex data in a whiteboard presentation.

Whiteboard sketches show that you are ready and willing to roll up your sleeves and communicate value.

2. Flipchart Posters

Much like whiteboad presentations, a flip chart is a perfect place to tell your story. Show important statistics. Reinforce learning points. Emphasize core issues. Record comments.

Flip charts are easy to move, post and work with interactively. This is a powerful way to become a great storyteller with your customers.

3. Product Demos

Most of the advice on sales presentations includes doing a product demo. However, many sales presenters fall short in doing a good job of this. It's too easy to get distracted in product features and forget the cardinal rule: This is the first time your customer is seeing your product. Keep things easy, simple and short. Do this, and you'll be seen as a great storyteller and effective sales presenter.

4. Prototypes

Don't have a finished product, software or solution? Show a prototype!

People love to experience new products in a hands-on environment. Show a working model. Ask for input. Include your customers in the creation of the product they have been wishing for.

5. Story Books

As children we all loved looking through books filled with colorful pictures and simple stories. Guess what? Adults still enjoy this format. You'd be shocked to find this method works wonders for high tech solutions, software products and complex strategy recommendations.

6. Photo Montage

Much like a story book, photos tell your story visually. Make a powerful emotional connection. Use photos of people, products and situations.

Hint: match the photos to reflect your niche audience. Speak the language of your audience--especially when you are speaking in pictures.

7. Interactive Conversation

The difference between a one-directional presentation and a two-way conversation are dramatic. It shows that you and your organization value engagement and involvement. Plus, to guide interaction well, you'll use facilitation, active listening and audience participation.

These are powerful communication skills for presenting and continuing to work with your clients.

In looking at these 7 powerful alternatives, what do you notice? You're not limited! You can mix and match to suit specific audiences, situations and needs. Plus, you can easily flow from slides to any one of these alternatives without a hitch.

Involve your clients and prospects with active visual storytelling and you'll escape the perils of one-directional slide craziness.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: http://www.presentationstoryboarding.com/