Read time: 2½ min. Video play time: 4½ min.

Welcome to Part 3 of the 3-part series. In this part we will answer the question we ended with on Part 2 of the series.

If you haven’t read Part 1 or 2, you’ll definitely want to do that first. Go to Part 1Go to Part 2.

How Can the Hogwarts Express Make Designing Your Presentation Easier? Part 3

Quick review of Part 2:

In Part 2 we answered the question: What two things will they find on the Train Cars (that we sometimes forget) that will keep them on board and enjoying the ride?

The first thing was that each of your train cars needs to have a Candy Cart. By making sure to include things like eye candy, scenarios, quotes, examples, etc., it helps make the ride more enjoyable.

The second thing we talked about was the importance of making sure each car has a Hook - that each car should be securely fastened to the other cars with visual and verbal transitions.

Some examples that we discussed that let them know you are moving to a new section and make them want to get there were posing a new problem, asking a question, or using phrases that keep attention like, “But wait…”

But wait, the Story Train doesn't end with the Train Cars, does it?

If it did, this would be a two-part series, but it’s not.

But what is so important about the end of the train? Let’s find out.

Part 3

The Caboose

Every train needs a caboose! Okay, maybe Hogwarts Express doesn't have one because it’s a passenger train. But your Story Train needs one.

Obviously, this is the conclusion part of the story train. Everyone knows you need it, but too often it is left pretty empty. And you really don’t want to leave the caboose empty by saying something like:

“Well, folks, that’s all I have…thank you…leave your evaluations at the back table…”

You want to make that caboose useful so your presentation doesn't just fade out. An easy way to do that is to simply revisit the formula.

This is where you want to:

    1. Remind them of the pain, conflict, the challenge…
    2. Remind them of the resolution they wanted
    3. Sum up how your presentation resolved that conflict

That will set them up to take some type of action you were wanting, whether it’s to buy your product, study for the exam, or start using the new cover sheets on the TPS reports.

You’ll also want the caboose, your conclusions, to be noticeable. In the olden days, they would paint the caboose bright red or yellow so it was very noticeable, so you could tell where the end of the train was. This helped prevent collisions.

So you want your caboose to be a noticeable end with something memorable, something that leaves a lasting impression.

It could be:

    • An inspiring quote
    • A challenge to use the information you presented
    • A call to action to let them know what to do next besides check their email

Which leads us to my caboose (well, you know what I mean).

The Caboose of this 3-part series

So, we started off talking about how it can sometimes feel overwhelming putting together a presentation, and how it would be nice to have an easier way.

I think you’ll find the story train analogy can help you simplify things and make sure your presentation is not only easier to put together, but ultimately more effective.

So, next time you have a presentation to put together, think of it as a Story Train and make sure:

  1. Your Engine has enough steam to get them there
  2. Your Train Cars are hooked together and each has a Candy Cart
  3. Your Caboose is painted red

Do that, and it will be a lot easier to get to Hogwarts Castle than in Ron’s dad's car!

Cheers,

Nick


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