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Use Stories to Persuade

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
http://web.hbr.org/email/archive/man...hp?date=052711

When it comes to persuading others, rhetoric has its limits "” it can sound didactic and boring. Stories are a much more effective way to convince others of your point of view. Here are three tips for shaping and telling a story that influences:

**Know your message. Underneath every good story, there must be a point. Remember your message and weave your narrative around it.

**Use the right example. Your story should center around a character that your audience likes and relates to.

**Support with facts. Your story is only effective if it is based on and supported by facts and figures. At the beginning or end, share relevant data to convince your audience that your point of view matters.
post #2 of 9
Parables.
post #3 of 9
I like the idea, and have used it a lot since, I swear, seeing Bartlett do it all the time on the West Wing. How much factual background you need, though, depends on the content of the story and the audience.
post #4 of 9
Effective teaching method. Keeps people engaged for the short time you're speaking. I support this thread.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #6 of 9
A couple books I was looking at recently on using stories in persuasion/sales: Tell to Win, Story, The Power of Story, and Unique Sales Stories.

I'll probably read Tell to Win in the near future. Figured I'd post the list to see if anyone had read the above or knew of others to add.
post #7 of 9
I thought this thread would be about Reagan.
post #8 of 9
I have a story about a (fictional) hamburger joint, burgers, fries, tater tots, and other tasty foodstuffs, that J thinks is hilarious, not so much for it's fairly straightforward content, but because of the context in which it is usually used.

If Matt (Iammatt) is reading this, I can tell you the story next time I am in San Francisco. The story can be told in about 2 minutes, or I can draw it out to about half an hour, depending on what is the intent of telling the story.

Yes, the story can be persuasive. At very least, it has persuaded people that we are not easily dissuaded from our course.
post #9 of 9
Once upon a time I read a post by a conservative audiophile who was trying to be helpful and get his point across by stating a bunch of facts and suggestions. But the line items were too boring so I didn't read them all.

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