Visual Storytelling with Prezi

Visual storytelling has taken on many faces. There is PowerPoint, Video, e-reader, and the list goes on and on. Master the art of visual storytelling through Prezi presentations. This is a double edged sword when you consider the concept. You need to know what makes stories resonate with individuals to some degree and how Prezi has mastered this art known as visual storytelling. Lets get acquainted with storytelling and how Prezi takes it to new imagination levels.

Story Archetype: The Structure of All Stories

Hero of a 1000 Faces

Joseph Campbell brought together the elements of storytelling in a way that reflects every single story. Stories are archetypal in us and we expect them to travel in a specific course and resolve in a particular manner. To tell your story, you need to understand what the human mind expects a story to be. Campbell looked at stories and seen the bigger picture, just like a Prezi presentation showing the detail and pulling back to show the whole.

How Every Story Follows This 6 Step Cycle

When Campbell took a look at stories on a broad scale, he noticed what has become known as Hero With a Thousand Faces. You don’t have to read the whole book, but it would greatly improve your storytelling skills. Campbell noted how all heros or stories go through the same cycle and I am going to tell you how this reflects into visual storytelling with Prezi:

  1. The Call To Adventure: There is the big picture and the problem that is afflicting everyone. You must solve it!
  2. Supernatural Aid: Now that the problem is apparent, there are details that aid in creating the solution.
  3. Challenges and Temptations: The solution has to be tested and how it was done is additional details that make the whole picture. Think in terms of visual storytelling, your Prezi canvas and the order you tell your story in.
  4. Revelation: Pulling back to see the big picture that this details support, you have a breakthrough. Prezi gives you the power to draw the lense back and relate the details to the bigger problem. This part of the story is sometimes called the “ah-ha”.
  5. Transformation and Atonement: Taking all the pieces of the story, you have a product or an idea. It has been transformed by the story because of the call to fix the problem, the challenges faced while developing the solution, the revelation of how it comes together, and then transforming it and making a difference. It is the pattern of all stories.
  6. The Return: Now that you have reached success, what is the return? This is the big part of your story that really gets the audience tuned in to you, what is in it for them. From the call to adventure to the revelation, you’ve been working through their problem for them. Now show them exactly how the big picture is changed.

Visual Storytelling Should Reflect The Cycle

You can look at any story from fairy tales to your own project: this is the pattern they all travel through. Next time you want to tell your story, remember the hero with a thousand faces. Prezi takes visual storytelling to a whole new dimension, if you know what the human mind expects from a story. Each step of the way, a detail is divulged into and then the lense pulled back out to see how it relates to the big picture. That is the power of Zooming User Interface and how a story should be told.

Conflict Resolution

With every visual story you tell, make sure the elements of conflict resolution are there. How you tell the story should contain these elements and will speak to the unconscious mind of your audience. They want to feel invited and as if they matter. Even if their personal ego is so big you can’t fit in the room, they need to feel they matter. Many conflicts arise from not viewing both sides. Your visual storytelling should address the concerns and support the conflict resolution.

How To Apply Conflict Resolution In Visual Storytelling

MindTools is a website to build your career skills in multiple areas. In an article by their editorial staff Conflict Resolution: Resolving Conflict Rationally and Effectively, they identify the steps involved in resolving conflict. Storytelling is conflict resolution because you see a problem that needs resolved and you apply the efforts to reach a resolution. Here are the steps they outlined and how it applies to visual storytelling with Prezi:

  1. Set The Scene: Main parts here are the active listening skills you should have for your audience. Knowing your audience is opening the door to them. Your Prezi presentation should reflect a tone and style that is inviting to the audience.
  2. Gather Information: What is it that is truly the pains of the audience? When telling your visual story to an audience, know their concerns and pains. Find someone that fits that demographic and talk with them, look through twitter and other social media feeds, and know their story.
  3. Agree The Problem: This one is more abstract when delivering a Prezi presentation. You need to get to a place that your audience agrees you have identified a problem they have and that they would like to be solved.
  4. Brainstorm Possible Solutions: Simply expressing challenges and temptations your team went through to reach the solution, is brainstorming with your audience. This includes them in your visual storytelling and Prezi gives you dynamic ways to express your possible solutions.
  5. Negotiate a Solution: Your audience may not of been aware of the problem you just presented to them. Your visual storytelling done correctly with a Prezi presentation and the elements of what humans expect a story to be, they participated in negotiating the solution. Now they need to know what you want from them.

4 Pillars of Emotional Motivation

Knowing the pattern a story should follow and how to lace in the conflict resolution is only 2 pieces of the art of storytelling. None of the previous matters if you cannot emotionally motivate your audience. The Maritz Institute has the goal of advancing human science in the business setting. One of their partner firms, Maritz Motivation Solutions has a whitepaper that express what they know is the 4 emotional motivators. You need to know these as well when you are visual storytelling with Prezi presentations:

  1. A Head-Turning Attention Strategy: The main points here is your message needs to be visual, surprising, and memorable. This creates an emotional response and goes farther.
  2. An Actionable Goal Commitment Strategy: Once you capture the audience’s attention, you need to have a goal that calls for action. You need them to get up and do something when your done telling your visual story with Prezi.
  3. An Effective Feedback Strategy: Your audience wants a voice. Motivation comes from giving and receiving feedback. Visual storytelling with Prezi should show your audience’s voice and you must leave room for the conversation to continue when you’re done with your part of the story. People want to participate, let them.
  4. A Compelling Rewards Strategy: The age old question “What’s in it for me?” That isn’t saying people are greedy, but to motivate an individual with a story, you need to make it clear there are great rewards for them. Use Prezi to show them exactly what is in it for them.

Resolving Conflicts Before They Exist: Recognize Their Voice

Funneled down into a simple sentence: Grab your audience’s attention by creating an emotional response, deliver a goal that requires action, get their input, and show them what they get in return. These points need to be strategically layered into your story. Remember the hero with a thousand faces and where these should be logically encountered on his trip.

Grand Finally of Visual Storytelling

You need to drive the point home its time to take action. You need a grand finally. Make a promise and give limited time for action. You don’t want your audience to walk away and forget about everything. That’s what will happen if you don’t limit the response time they have. You need them to act now while supplies last. Get the picture?

Take in all the parts of telling an effective story that causes action and is remembered. Our minds have an archetype pattern ingrained into them. So visual storytelling should reflect this. That doesn’t mean you should end the story happily ever after, unless that is what your audience will be when they take action based on your Prezi presentation.

Need help designing a presentation that is a visual storytelling masterpiece? Get in touch with us and we can start the conversation today. We are Independent Prezi Experts here to add the “wOw” factor into your training material. For more Prezi examples go to our Prezi Presentation page.


At wOw Prezi, we rebel against PowerPoint’s status quo and are in a mission to save the world from deadly PPTs, helping sales teams to transform stiff, slide-based presentations into fruitful, revenue-generating conversations.

Get in touch with our team of Prezi Experts to find how we can help your salespeople thrive with Conversational Presenting and the Power of Storytelling in Sales.


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