We’ve all sat through those presentations with a slide deck full of facts, figures, graphs and charts. Our minds begin to wander. We look at the colours of the bar charts. We pick up our phones and scroll through Instagram or Facebook. We check our email. We start to play a game. And when it’s over, we may applaud or thank the presenter and tell them it was so informative. But we don’t remember a single fact.
What if instead of facts, figures, graphs and charts the presenter talked about the people, businesses or organizations that made up those numbers. What if they told us a story?
Brene Brown in her amazing @TED Talk – The Power of Vulnerability said, “Maybe stories are just data with a soul.” For each and every one of us our days are filled with endless data. What we ate. What we drank. How far we traveled to work. What we did at work. But if someone asks you about your day, you’d never just say I woke up 7am, ate 8oz of yoghurt with 2 oz of granola, drove 20 kms, walked 200m, sat down at my desk….you get the picture. You’d tell a story.
As people we simply don’t respond to facts, figures, graphs and charts. We won’t remember or connect with them because we cannot see ourselves in them. Numbers are noise. Story is the only way to combat that noise and compel our audience to listen.