The Storytellers Secret with Marcos Xalabarder

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In this Masterclass lesson, we talk with Marcos Xalabarder, a well-known Prezi expert from Spain.

Marcos has a journalist background and is passionate about multimedia, visual thinking, and writing.

He evolved from being a Prezi expert to become a “Story Angel,” he does storytelling mentoring for major companies, especially in Spain and Europe.

Today he will teach us about The Storytellers Secret; how to organize your thoughts and communicate them with Prezi.

3 Ways to Structure your Ideas for Effective Storytelling

There are three structures to organize your thoughts before creating a presentation;

The first one is the “solar system structure,” in which you put your central idea for the presentation in the middle, as the sun of the solar system, and then you think of secondary ideas, as planets in the solar system.

The tricky part that Marcos mentions is that any idea is a good idea to be “the sun” or your central idea. Sometimes you need to think differently and put a small idea in the center and see how everything switches around that idea.

The second structure is a comparison when we have two big ideas. There are many ways to compare two things, but companies usually present two scenarios: where the company is today and the future goals.

Marcos shares an example of how we use a comparison structure in visual thinking. There is a scenario of departure and a scenario of arrival, with a transition in between.

And the third structure is the “Three-Act Structure.” Marcos assures that dividing your story into three steps is the best way because it is easy to remember.

The first step will tell the context of your story, the second step will have all the development or the growth, and the third step is the desirable outcome of your story.

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Deconstructing a Story

As an example, he deconstructs the Little Red Riding Hood Story to explain how practical it is to divide our storytelling into three steps and teach us to be open to alternate the storyline.

While organizing our story in three steps, we need to set up a path. But Marcos brings a new concept to the table, the “Narrative Kung Fu,” the ability to train yourself to tell the story in either way. It is an excellent exercise to stay nimble and present your Prezi to be relevant to your audience.

The Storytellers Secret

Marcos reveals that the storytellers secret is to include people, emotions, and techniques in your story.

Stories are about people because we have been transferring knowledge with using them through generations. And if you use storytelling presentations, it will be more engaging for your audience than just presenting facts.

It’s about emotion because when you listen to a story, you feel attached and experience what the character is living.

Finally, it is about technique because every good story needs a structure. You need to set a progression of your story and put things in context so the audience understands.

At the end of the lesson, Marcos suggests an exercise that almost anybody can practice at home. It consists of choosing three objects and try to build a story around them.

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