WSJ Article on Narratives

WSJ StoriesA Wall Street Journal article reminds us to tell stories to engage our audiences.  The article isn't new for business communication students, but the advice is sound:

"Move beyond facts and figures, which aren't as memorable as narratives, says Cliff Atkinson, a communications consultant from Kensington, Calif., and author of 'Beyond Bullet Points.'

"Many people in business think raw data is persuasive. But when you're dealing with people from other departments and in different fields who don't understand how you got that data, you can lose them pretty quickly.

"'You have to step back and put yourself into their shoes and take them through the process of understanding,' says Mr. Atkinson. 'That requires you to distill the most important facts and wrap them in an engaging story.'"

Discussion Starters:

  • Think about a presentation you delivered recently. Where could you have included a story?
  • In that same presentation, how could you have expressed data in a more meaningful way?