Whether you’re a corporation or a non-profit, being able to communicate ideas effectively is vital to your existence. And storytelling is key to good communications.
Aristotle claimed that to persuade, one must employ three types of argument: ethical appeal (ethos), emotional appeal (pathos), and logical appeal (logos). Facts alone are not sufficient to persuade. They need to be complemented with just the right balance of credibility and content that tugs at the heartstrings.
Nancy Duarte, author of Resonate.
Emotions get people’s attention. They connect to you through emotions.
In fact, research says we remember emotional content much better than the same content presented without emotion.
Most people think of storytelling as the emotional element. But storytelling does a lot more than that. Stories can bring statistics and numbers to life, creating connections in our brain so that we understand and remember them better. Stories give you the ability to be able communicate really complex information quickly.
Good storytelling is an art. Often you’re not telling one story, but layers of stories within a document. These are known as story-telling devices.
Be careful to avoid basing your messages solely on emotional content, you can set off alarm bells in people’s brains – especially now when people’s trust in companies is at an all-time low. Statistics, data and numbers supply the logical basis that fill out your communications. They provide your proof. But they don’t work alone. A logical message without emotion won’t create a strong enough response in your audience to get them to take action.
Your best communications connect emotional and logical content to your values and purpose. That’s one reason why storytelling is so effective.