Congratulations! Imagine you’re booked to give a presentation at your local VegFest, community event, library, or corporate workshop. You’re excited to share the benefits of veganism, from improved health and wellness to reduction in environmental destruction and non-harming of animals.
If this is your first time giving this presentation, you’re probably feeling a bit overwhelmed and nervous, wondering where to start and how to convey the information (without being preachy). If you’ve given similar presentations before, perhaps you didn’t get the results you had hoped, such as new clients or follow-ups.
The key to creating a compelling presentation that engages the audience is to understand where these people are in their vegan journey and to make them the hero in your presentation.
What do I mean by hero? Are you supposed to envision the audience dressed up in superhero costumes, as opposed to the oft-cited advice of visualizing them naked (which is just weird)?
Well, not quite.
The Hero’s Journey
If you’ve watched Star Wars or The Matrix or Hunger Games or Harry Potter, you’ve encountered Joseph Campbell’s concept of the Hero’s Journey.
Through his research, Campbell discovered that all cultures on the planet, across time and space, have very similar stories and myths. They are how we as humans understand our world, relate to each other, and encode our values into our societies.
In the hero’s journey, the main character (the hero) faces internal and external problems, is confronted with an inciting incident that moves the hero from comfort to discomfort, with no turning back, in order to achieve a final transformation. Along the way, the hero encounters a mentor or guide who provides insights, information, and support.
Here’s the critical part: Your audience is the hero. You are the guide.