Grip your audience with stories that influence, inspire and motivate.
2300 years ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined the three pillars to being persuasive. They’re as tried and true today as they were back in ancient times.
Before we can convince anyone to accept anything we say, we have to be perceived as trustworthy. If we move too early to the facts of a speech, without establishing trust, we actually diminish our credibility rather than increase it.
Logos stories are anecdotes, or arguments based in logic. In fact many linguists believe that the word 'logic' is derived from the Greek word logos. To use logos in storytelling would be to cite facts and statistics, historical and literal analogies, and authorities.
Pathos stories are a path to the audience’s emotions. Pathos works in conjunction with logos (logic) and ethos (credibility) to help form a solid argument. Used correctly, pathos can make a bland argument come alive for an audience.
Pathos can make a bland argument come alive for your audience. It offers a way for the audience to relate to the subject through commonly held emotions.
In his book, 'The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories' author Christopher Booker defines seven archetypical structures that are the foundation of any plot. These plots date back to cave drawings, appear throughout literature and are ever-present in movies and television.
In the mid 1880’s, German playwright and Novelist Gustav Freytag set out to define a plot structure for an effective story. He crafted a story structure into 5 acts. Today, many writers consider Freytag’s structure an excellent springboard to crafting story and although based on plays, it can be applied and modified to stories as well.
There’s a Native American proverb that says, “Those who tell the stories rule the world.” People aren’t moved to action by data dumping, dense slides, or spreadsheets packed with numbers. People are often moved by context, and a richer understanding of what the facts actually mean.
In this video we look at some additional stories that apply in a business context.
In business, we write with the goal of being clear in order to communicate information effectively. In order to craft an effective story however, one’s imagination, feelings, descriptions, vivid imagery and metaphors are needed to make it interesting. And structure is important as well.
Shakespeare was a master at creating powerful metaphors that allow us to make the complex, simple, relatable, and interesting. Metaphor, simile, and anecdote are all part of the story tellers tool kit. They can evoke images, feelings, and clarify the conceptual, to a human level we can all relate to.
When we use the language of the senses, we invite vivid sensory experiences into the minds of our listeners. Did you ever get goose bumps as a child hearing a scary story around a campfire? Or begin to salivate at the description of a piece of chocolate cake? Or weep at the death of a character in a novel?
“Tell the truth, it’s the easier thing to remember,” wrote American playwright David Mamet. This rings true when it comes to both: How we relate to what we say - and how we say it to others. When we tell a story that we’ve experienced, we’re in a much deeper relationship to our content
Those who wish to communicate vision must use a three-step process: First, define a vision. Second, share that vision with others. And third, inspire others to support that vision.
Here is a collection of final tips to help craft your story.
Now is the time to put theory into practice. Here we recap the best process to follow to create a story. Step one is to decide the kind of story you want to tell...
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