Stories Trump Facts and Figures in the Minds of Your Audience
When talking to a broad audience, many people make a mistake by overly relying on facts, figures, and complex data. While these things are essential to have, these alone cannot carry a speech, presentation, or even digital messages given to audiences.
The problem with relying only on data is partly because it is boring to listen to. When you’re just listening to someone read out tons of numbers and show a bunch of graphs, it’s bound to get boring quickly.
Without proper context around the subject and details on why these numbers matter, pure data and facts will not resonate with most people the way stories will. The key is to find a balance between the two.
On the other hand, stories can be told with style and humour. As a result, they will almost always be more memorable to most individuals. When people remember your stories better, the points you want to get across will stick better.
When your story engages your audience, they will form more mental connections relating to your presentation, video, or speech. This is the kind of outcome you want because it can help plenty in a professional sense.
Suppose potential clients remember you better than a competitor. In that case, they will be more likely to go with you, especially if the competitor just listed facts and data points.
This isn't to say that you should never include data or facts in your presentations. On the contrary, that kind of information is crucial, especially in most business settings. It’s just a matter of whether or not you make that the sole focus of your speech.
Facts and objective information are much like a condiment in a meal. However, they should be one of many things you have; instead, they complement and improve the main course with storytelling and engagement.
You may also encounter people who are more receptive to anecdotal information in the form of stories than they are too hard information. Some people are distrustful of data and would rather see real-world experiences.
Depending on your audience, you'll have to find the right balance between the two. Some settings do call for a more complex explanation and more facts. Still, others require you to be more personable and cite genuine experiences more than data points.