Communication Today: Persuasion Through Facts or Empathy?

We live in a world today that is driven by data and storytelling.

We use financial data to pinpoint the pulse of how a company is doing. We load up PowerPoint presentations with stats and facts that draw the audience’s eye to the screen rather than the presenter. We argue with our spouses using data (I’m working on my skills to type my theory into Google faster so I can prove I’m right).

I recently read a book called Five Stars: Communication Secrets to get from Good to Great by Carmine Gallo. This book provided a simple reminder that standout service requires emotional resonance. I believe this to be true across sales and marketing roles in most industries, but also on a personal level – we are naturally selling ideas through persuasion every single day. 

Organizing and presenting data is the easy part. Influencing your target audience to feel deeply and become interested in working with you is another story. The best presenters spend the most time on preparation and the least amount of time actually presenting. Just look at the success of TEDTalks!

After identifying what your ideal client or target audience looks like, think about:

  1. How will I make my audience feel? How can I speak their language? Are there stories or pain points I can include that make me relatable?
  2. Will they tie the emotions they feel to my company’s brand? Or just to the industry? What makes me or my offering unique?
  3. How can I provide a call-to-action that will evoke emotion and lead to a stimulating next conversation?

Remember that people will forget what you say and what you do, but they don’t ever forget how you make them feel. This concept has been reused and re-packaged by so many different thought leaders and coaches, but it’s true! Although data may be accessible at the tips of our fingers at any given time, what we choose to do with that data and how we tell a story will make all the difference in the outcomes we generate.  

What’s your story?