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The here and now

Storytelling tip – sean walsh

Tell us what's happening right here, right now!


You give a presentation with lively gestures and full of energy. The room hangs on your every word. You include them in your story and it feels like it is happening in the here and now. You speak actively and in the present tense. "The team is solving the problem." Instead of 'the problem has been solved by the team.' Applause! As you walk off stage the audience chants: 'We want more, we want more!'

Be active
Fair's fair. I've never encountered the latter during a business presentation, but you significantly up the odds of keeping your audience engaged by speaking actively and in the here and now. This applies whether you're presenting live, in written form, or in a video.

  • Passive (passive voice): The problem has been solved by the team.
  • Active (and present tense): The team solves the problem.

Do you feel the difference? Or have you felt the difference…? 😉

Take your audience with you
Try to steer clear of past participles and past tenses if you can. Opt for active verbs like 'do' and 'does' instead of 'has done'. Bring your audience right into the moment, making your story burst to life. This way, they'll be on the edge of their seats throughout your narrative!

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