The 5 Principles and 10 Building Blocks of Persuasive Visual Storytelling

Building Blocks 1-4: The Hook, The Relevance, The Challenge, and The Desire

You must quickly make an emotional connection with an audience to motivate them, and you see the specific words that do that in Act I, where you write out the building blocks of a strong story beginning. These include the Hook—the first thing you say to establish the setting and grab your audience’s attention. The Relevance is what you say to ensure your audience cares about what you’re saying. The Challenge is a burning issue your audience faces, and the Desire is where they would like to be, in the face of that challenge.

The first headlines you write in Act I of the story template form the story thread that will carry attention through the entire presentation.

After you complete Act I and the rest of the story template, you’ll import these headlines into PowerPoint, where each statement becomes the headline of a slide, as shown in Figure 3-7.


FIGURE 3-7 The five sentences you write in the story template become the headlines of your first few slides.

When you view the first five slides in Slide Sorter view, the slide headlines show the story thread that will carry your specific sequence of ideas through the eye of the needle of your audience’s working memory, as shown in Figure 3-8; this sequence will also provide the framework for your visuals and narration.


FIGURE 3-8 Act I defines what you’ll show to working memory in the first five slides.