How to Make an Idea Delicious And Easy to Digest
Your goal in every communication is to influence your target audience (change their current attitudes, belief, knowledge, and behavior). Information alone rarely changes any of these. Research confirms that well-designed stories are the most effective vehicle for exerting influence.
Vanessa Boris, Harvard Business Publishing
Do you like stories?
Don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean to ask you if you like to read or hear stories.
We are wired for stories. Since our early childhood, from 2–3 years of age we learned to discover meanings about the world through stories. It is scientifically proven that stories excite our brain. MRI scans have shown that when our brain listens to data and cold facts, it activates just two cortical areas. What happen when it listens to a story? Eight cortical areas are activated!
“Stories are the most powerful way to put ideas in the world.” says the avid storyteller and screenwriting instructor Robert McKee
My question “Do you like stories?” is more like “Do you like to be a storyteller?”. As a writer or speaker, do you insert stories in your articles and presentations?
Emotions are powerful!
If you want to better connect with your audience and create a sensation of closeness, make people absorb your ideas with sharpened interest and offer their undivided attention, make your message memorable, make its imprint in the listener’s psyche…think of a story that fits and make your idea stand out!
Express your ideas not only in a logical, rational, factual manner, but also give them contour in warm, human ways, colored by emotions. When you express emotions in a personal story, you transmit them and your public receives emotional echoes.
This is the power of your story!
Communicating emotions from personal experiences anchor the message and make it stick. The message become memorable because of its emotional charge.
Now let’s dive into a story.
Maybe you are in the same situation in your country. Here in Romania, we are in lockdown and school has moved online. A few days ago, my 11 years old bundle of joy and energy, Adele, shouted something unintelligible from behind the door.
As I was downstairs in the kitchen, preparing lunch, I had no chance to catch the meaning of what she was saying. I had opened the oven’s door to check on the fish and the sound of running footsteps from the stairs, made me turn my head. Her voice was even more urgent than her steps:
“Mum, mum- quick- give me some cheerios, marshmallows and oats! We are starting the experiment!”
My eyes just got bigger, rounder and …astonished brown. If you know the nuance…the undertone. :)
Well, didn’t we prepare all that this morning? The cheerios, the marshmallows, the oats- in 3 different boxes on your desk. Near the water and the red dye? They were ready and waiting for you to combine them and make the blood.
Mum, mum, please, be quick! I, just ate them!
Red cells, white cells and platelets had been eaten!
Luckily we had some more and she succeeded to make blood.
Sometimes the ingredients of a learning experiment are edible.
The good news is, ideas delivered in a speech or an article as a story, can be too.
The best recipe
Take one significant idea, find a personal story that fits, wrap the idea in the story, and you make it delicious, easy to absorb, and infinitely memorable!
Until next time take care, stay safe and ..use stories!