Last week at the Climate Reality Leadership Training in San Francisco, storytelling guru Andy Goodman led a spellbinding session on the importance of “changing the story.” Goodman described research that confirmed what many of us have experienced: in a public debate, a misleading but vivid anecdote can trump reams of data and logic. (Anybody remember Ronald Reagan’s wildly exaggerated “Welfare Queen” imagery?)
So often, the only way to dislodge emotionally-charged disinformation is to tell a better, more compelling story.
To see this principle in action, check out this wonderful little clip from Goodman’s Free Range Thinking newsletter about a successful campaign in Troy MI that defeated the Tea Party and saved the city library. Lots of lessons here! Continue reading →
Watch this 13-min video, and you may never want to get up in front of an audience again without uttering, at some point, the seven magic words in the title. Why? Because. . .
“Story is how we are reminded, and how we remember. If we want it to be memorable, it must be a story. . . We are not built to memorize lists, or unrelated facts. We are built to remember narrative.”Continue reading →
“Even if you have reams of evidence on your side, remember: numbers numb, jargon jars, and nobody ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart. If you want to connect with your audience, tell a story.”
“While we will always need hard facts to make our cases, we often fail to realize that the battle for hearts and minds starts with the hearts.”
Persuasive and memorable climate communicators weave their facts into a compelling story, aka narrative. As Dr. Drew Westen, author of “The Political Brain,” said in an Aug 6 New York Times op-ed:
“The stories our leaders tell us matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred.Continue reading →