November 14, 2007

The power of a good story

"There are two ways to persuade people. The first is by using the conventional rethoric, which is what most executives are trained in. It's an intellectual process, and in the business world it usually consists of a Power Point presentation in which you say 'Here is our company's biggest challenge, and here is what we need to do to prosper'. And you build your case by giving statistics and facts and quotes from authorities. But there are two problems with rethoric. First, the people you're talking to have their own set of authorities, statistics and experiences. While you're trying to persuade them, they are arguing with in their heads. Second if you do succeed in persuading them, you've done so only on an intellectual basis. That's not good enough, because people are not inspired to act by reason alone. The other way to persuade people - and ultimately a much more powerful way - is by uniting an idea with an emotion. The best way to do this is by telling a compelling story."

-- Robert McKee, "Storytelling That Moves People" in HBR

1 comment:

moses m said...

Well said ...a few years ago it almost felt like "storytelling" was a planned, stand-alone strategy for new product launches. But now, with the new breed of entrepreneurs, storytelling is becoming more natural and better fitting to a product or service. From my experience it seems product launches are starting to communicate in more human, less “salesy” lingo, how refreshing.

Also kudos to you for making Advertising Ages top 400 marketing/advertising blog!