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Stories that Move Mountains: Storytelling and Visual Design for Persuasive Presentations

ISBN: 978-1-118-42399-8
270 pages
December 2012
Stories that Move Mountains: Storytelling and Visual Design for Persuasive Presentations (1118423992) cover image

Learn how to use stories and visuals to make top–notch presentations 

It′s called CAST (Content, Audience, Story, & Tell) and it′s been a quiet success, until now. Developed over a twelve year period as a presentation method to help Enterprise Architects, it was adopted by Microsoft Enterprise Architecture teams and filtered from IT managers to Sales, and beyond to major organizations around the world. Now, thanks to this unique book from an expert author team that includes two Microsoft presentation experts, you can learn how to use this amazing process to create and make high–impact presentations in your own organization.

The book helps you build complete visual stories, step by step, by using the CAST method to first create a Story Map and from there, a compelling presentation. It includes sample Story Maps, templates, practical success stories, and more. You′ll discover how to go beyond PowerPoint slides to create presentations that influence your peers and effect change.

  • Explains the secrets of making presentations and effecting change using CAST to create Story Maps and from there, high–impact and visual presentations that tell a story
  • Covers how to apply a range of techniques and what the results look like, using screenshots of presentations, one page hand outs, and basic delivery with whiteboards
  • Coauthored by Microsoft experts and a visual design guru who have years of experience training professionals in these methods
  • Includes sample Story Maps, templates, practical success stories, and more 

Learn how to sell your ideas and trigger change in your company with Stories That Move Mountains: Storytelling and Visual Design for Persuasive Presentations.

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1 THE POWER OF STORIES 2

Visual Stories 5

Should We Blame the Tools? 6

Finding the Right Tool for the Job  6

To Be Effective, You Have to Affect People  7

Convincing Evidence 10

2 CAST AND THE VISUAL STORY MAP 12

The Visual Story Map 12

3 USING CAST TO TELL STORIES 22

Use the Visual Story Map 23

Learn From Our Experience  24

Examples of Using CAST 25

Build Your Own Example 25

Example 1: Personal Trainer 26

Example 2: City University Hospital  27

Tell the Right Story 29

Tell the Story Right 29

4 WHY 34

The Three Big Whys 35

Focusing First on “Why” 36

All Motivation is Personal 37

Techniques for Discovering Whys  37

Five Whys 38

Pain Chain 40

Outcome Mapping 41

5 WHAT 48

Elements of Change. 50

Brainstorming the Changes 52

Filter and Focus  53

6 HOW 62

Traceability and Milestones 64

Finding the “How” 65

Understanding the Dependencies 68

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc 70

7 WHAT IF 76

Walking Backward Through the Story  78

Alternative Scenarios 80

Final Thoughts on the Story Content  89

8 WHO 92

Finding the Common Ground  96

Creating a Power Map 98

9 LEARNING AND DECISION STYLES 108

Categorizing Your Audience 109

Preferences, Not Prescriptions  109

Learning Styles 110

Decision Styles  112

10 STRUCTURE 122

Plot Structure 123

Nesting and Embedding (or How to Tell Many Stories at the Same Time)  139

Using Reality and Fiction 139

Hope’s Story  141

Putting All the Parts Together  141

In a Hurry? 143

11 CHARACTER 148

The Hero and the Villain 150

Character Associations 152

Believability 153

The Cast of Characters 154

Personification  154

12 SENSE OF URGENCY 164

The Enemies of Change: Complacency and Distraction 165

Common Factors Creating a Sense of Urgency 166

Success Is a Decision 168

Success Is a Commitment 168

13 DELIVERY PLAN 174

Decisions Take Time 176

Planning for Scale 178

Hook, Line, and Sinker 179

City University Hospital 180

Delivery Tips  186

14 DESIGN 192

Intentional Design 193

Many Formats, One Root 196

The Infographic 197

Ideation 198

Composition  200

Content Coding 209

Writing 214

15 TEST 222

Testing and Rehearsals 223

Opening, Closing, and Timing  224

Repetition 225

Retention 225

The Six Key Tests 226

16 CAST EXAMPLE: WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY CAN MAKE 232

17 AFTERWORD: IMPROVING YOUR VISUAL STORYTELLING 242

Practice Makes Perfect 242

Use Your Tools. 243

REFERENCES 246

INDEX 252

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Martin Sykes is a leader in the Enterprise Strategy business at Microsoft Services. The CAST process and Visual Story Map has evolved over 12 years from a personal quest to improve his own communications, to a technique delivered at international conferences, used in workshops with customers in the public and private sectors around the world, and training for people in the Microsoft organization.

A. Nicklas Malik is an enterprise strategy architect for Microsoft in the United States and a well-respected leader, speaker, and writer in the field of Enterprise Architecture. Key to his success has been the use of visual stories, a technique he learned from Martin's early training sessions. Nick has used the CAST process in settings ranging from founding a small business to influencing corporate executives.

Mark D. West is a graphic designer and educator, with experience developing successful training and graphic design solutions for retail and IT-based clients in the US Pacific Northwest (including Boeing and Microsoft) over the last 15 years. Numerous design colleges and IT-based clients have benefited from his expertise in design to support organizational effectiveness, learning, and results that stick.

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November 01, 2012
Making ‘death by slide presentation’ a thing of the past

Anyone who has a business role to play in influencing others, needs to make their presentation stand out from the crowd and Stories That Move Mountains, published by Wiley, promises to help the reader do just that.

Authored by three enterprise experts at Microsoft, Stories That Move Mountains, explains to readers how to use a process called CAST (Content, Audience, Story and Tell) to create effective stories and visualisations - known as ‘Story Mapping’ – and deliver persuasive presentations.

The book offers a practical approach to capturing and analysing what information to include in a presentation and explains how to put the content together for an effective delivery that will have a big impact on the audience. Illustrated with sample Story Maps, templates, practical success stories and much more it also includes examples of what a step-by-step development from first ideas to completed visual story looks like in real usage.

Initially designed as a presentation method for enterprise architects, the success of Story Mapping and CAST has spread, proving that the process can be used by anyone within an organisation who has to make influential presentations on a regular basis - from the CIO to the IT sales executive, or the Head of IT Strategy to business managers. Whatever their role, this book will persuade the reader to get rid of their slides and find out how to create visual presentations that make real change happen – with stories that move mountains.

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