Here’s the challenge: for your next presentation, think of the projector or screen as a campfire. Then tell a good story.

Something magic happens when you gather around a campfire. Time slows down. Connections and memories are made. Stories resonate. I still remember a spine-tingling ghost story told around a campfire from almost 40 years ago. I imagine many of you have similar memories. Take some of that magic to your next life science marketing presentation. Read on to find out how.

In her outstanding book, Resonate, Nancy Duarte talks about the magic that can happen in presentations when stories are told. “Stories,” she says, “are the most powerful delivery tool for information, more powerful than any other art form.” She argues, and I agree, that it’s not the campfire that makes the stories resonate—it’s a powerful story combined with human connection. The campfire helps set the stage but its the story that makes the impact.

Powerful stories resonate because they connect people. You can present the most rational argument in the world and back it with fact on top of fact, but if you don’t make an emotional connection with your audience it will be very difficult to persuade them. Take away the emotion and it certainly won’t have the same long-lasting impact. A good story well told carries the listener to another place. The “storylistener” actually undergoes a chemical change as they fall under the trance of a good story.

There’s real insight here for Life Science marketers. You don’t have to abandon your rationality or scientific ways, just take the time to connect through a story. Step outside of your comfort zone. Cut your PowerPoint by a third or a half and instead link to this YouTube video of a campfire, ask everyone to gather ’round, then tell a good story.