Why storytelling is so powerful in this digital era

Monday, July 24, 2017

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, keynote speaker and head of Communications at McCrindle. In her recent TED talk on The Visual Mind; Why storytelling is so powerful in this digital era, Ashley elaborates on the power of stories on our mind, and how to use them to communicate data-rich stories.


Communication has never been as important as it is today, because so much of our world is changing. We live in a world where our learning has changed. Where our interaction and how we ‘share’ has changed. Where even the concept of a story, has changed.

We are living in an age of digital disruption, in what we call 'the great screenage'. Where we now spend more time on our devices, than we ever have before. 

We live in technologically integrated times, where our attention spans are short. In times of message saturation and information overload, if you have important data to communicate, it is harder than ever to cut through the noise. 

The key to unlocking effective cut-through, is in an understanding of how the brain works.

For we know the brain is wired to processes visual imagery. When we look at how the brain retains information, words are processed by our short term memory, whereas visuals go directly into our long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.

And so the key is to present information in a way that appeals to the visual mind.

When we communicate data, our job is to move from the complex to the simple. Because the brain is more naturally wired to engage with the human, with the relatable, with a story than with just data, information and complexity alone. 

And when we think about engaging stories, whether they be novels, infographics or songs, they always have the four I’s.

Great stories create interest and capture our attention. Great stories instruct and communicate meaning. Great stories involve us. And importantly, a great story inspires. It connects not just with the eyes of the head but with the eyes of the heart.

We know the mind looks for direction and coherency. It doesn’t respond to ambiguity. And so as researchers, we navigate spreadsheets and find the intrigue and interest in the data. We fill in the blanks and communicate through the use of infographics and visualised presentations. We believe research is at its best, when it tells a story. 

When we think about visuals that create interest and engage our minds, there are three key elements.

The first is colour. Our eyes and our minds are drawn to colour. The second is picture. The content of the visual. And the third is movement. Motion and movement attract and retain our attention. That is why YouTube is so popular. For why would we read it, when we can watch it?

And so when you next have a story to tell, remember that the mind responds to visuals. That we are wired to engage and retain information visually. And that creating interest ad intrigue, especially when you are communicating data, has never been more important than in the great screenage we are living in today. 

ABOUT ASHLEY FELL

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, TEDx speaker and Head of Communications at the internationally recognised McCrindle. As a trends analyst and media commentator she understands how to effectively communicate across diverse audiences.

From her experience in managing media relations, social media platforms and content creation, Ashley advises on how to achieve cut through in message-saturated times. She is an expert in how to communicate across generational barriers.

Download Ashley's Professional Speakers Pack here and see the McCrindle Speakers professional presenter showreel here

Contact us today to book Ashley for your next event. 

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare


Last 150 Articles


Tags

households ACF17 Population Clock know the times future infographic wall cost of living work-life growth of sydney meetings food insecurity crows nest australian communities trends report participants Northern beaches Event financial future wealth thought leadership stats holiday renting panel JOMO weather research report World Water Day Real Estate Institute of Victoria ipswich New Zeland goal nfp demographic energy australian communities forum government slideshare bureau Do It Yourself urban taskforce work from home australian community trends report apartments volunteer religion insights Australians pharmacy kate middleton seasons home owner australian survey design recap tv not for profit research trends analyst HSC Sydney population the great screenage daily telegraph business index family data visualisation jobs of the future buildings names urban living royal influence spend urban cancelling plans growth February 16 James Ward donation The ABC of XYZ sustainable daily commute house price Australia Day 2017 hobart google presentation debate capital city ethnography average sydneysider grave decision hunger balance celebration debt Merry Christmas shopping centre 10 years bus household average Australian affordability sydney metro blaxland victoria micro apartments royal leader ideas wage research pack overcast media commentary trend middle class Tasmania language holidays huffington post pharmacies clothing high density living careers VET educated wealth distribution mccrinlde vegemite list eliane New Zealand state mythbusters 2015 2012 Christmas lunch acf15 ultimo NFP event housing growth families SMART the lucky country optus news Sydney keynote speaker builders cancelling event Research Director fresh FOMO census data public holiday ashley fell Australian schools Generation X millennials finance sector wide study socialites Aussie ACF 2016 office trades cultural diversity Australian demographics fears employmer DIY faux-cilising not for profit future proof insight housing market newspaper menai year 12 work mates village alpha charity sunburnt country tableau Deaths Northern Territory lifestyle conferences small business cartodb research Australia Day rule keeper consumerism experience survey workforce budget business teachers interactive educhat megatrends population gender narcissism Christmas season teaching Performance Sentiment Index gold coast Social Trend norwest Myth weekly earnings urban living index Australian communities follow Word Up population growth workshop younger generations tattoos who is generation z future-proof rise of local ABS christian sydneysiders marrickville hornsby increasing densification teacher 2020 keynote sports entrepreneur Financial Planning Association public speaker What is food insecurity? engage purpose Jura Australia safe demography christmas statistics australian social research social analyst commute Australian Communities Trends dessert data training NSW salary case study responsive quote System's Architect CPI communications technology contiki infographic wealth inequality going out school satisfaction new york times motivate staying in challenge house price rise mining boom royal family financial planning aussie culture apartment snapshot visualisation investing emerging technologies Gen Y divorce rate census 24 million google for education average aussie marketing in depth interviews parenting brand experience sector wide faux-cilise presentations ageing summer social analysis children Engineering Manager Research Executive customer shbc Financial Planning Association of Australia baby name local communities earn Sydney’s south west sydneycity Vocational education organisational culture dreaming ACT employment Kirsten Brewer VIC owning a home living car gig rain #censusfail media activity trend tuesday pyrmont Mark McCrindle community event chairty giving neutral bay geomapping greatness divorce dream casual perth suburb NBRS Architecture Generation Y wages year 7 click Crime Rates travelling global generations city Education Future Forum Andrew Duffin marriages leadership workshop Christmas presents grandparents ACF2017 census results Australia street social issues property price Australian Trends Christchurch growing population high school twentyseventeen visual the hills shire house prices Queensland christianity choice workers NT define 1980 skills darwin career research data poker master women conference presentation life friendship demographic trends TDE moderators guide research services Western Australia Hunter Valley SRE entrepreneurs of today dare to dream sentiments investor brands mother's day income millionth water men ashley mckenzie shifts McCridle Scouts tea internet child care Jura Coffee sydneysider repayments The Daily Edition demographics schools students winter rising house prices Work place infographics trends entrepreneurial commuters Territory group couple coffee lovers gen alpha employers community 2016 census food bank innovation social life Northern Beaches Christian School sunny days sydney speaker annual income townhouses population milestone monarchy award winner property waverton world Northern Beaches market research typical australian research visualisation gen z vegetarian results video conference speaker Lower Hunter Region woolworths impact Willowdale faux-ciliser high density apartments Valentine’s Day social commentary young people TAS charities gig economy media work hopes hello fresh Assistant Store Manager generation alpha events Tuesday Trend Australian Population mobile jobs resilience tips sun authenticity mccrindle in the media society environmental scanning travel group session social media report future of work proactive Australian Families Channel Seven professional presenters supply and demand analysis mortgage 2017 sydney hills Sydney Hills Business Chamber South Australia train social impact suburbs focus group easter home ownership ACF litter unaffordable speakers winter blues teleworking resource rich keynote speaker learner data analyst stay home society trends national private wealth renter of the future outsourcing omnibus office opening changing face of sydney property market demographer Australian Bureau of Statistics identity non profit Canberra social researcher cold belief housing youth showreel earning community engagement curiosity cancel plans online shopping moreton bay micro socialising church speakers pack census fail GPO change thrive communication "know the times" education future report dreams 2013 Business analysis Australian Dream graphs university education sector transport facts parents house baby boomers New South Wales Australian Census social enquiry tertiary education faith Cobbitty-Leppington live the dream anzac internships post rationalism internship product national crime rates 1975 ferry DESTEL shopping global financial crisis Maxim Accounting Macquarie University consumer care support cash trends of 2016 2014 generation Z states REIV National Conference futurist business performance population map medicine manly communicate staff area public transport Elderslie-Harrington park PSI eliane miles learning styles social commentator Births happiness residents donate school high density baby name predictions Gen X retirement education food local spirituality meals selfie social lives storytelling the australian dream online 1994 royal baby social shifts sector easy rider housing trends learn research on coffee NEETs optus my business awards logan collaboration professional aged care puzzle digital office space volunteering schools study millenials 2016 census results Bathburst collaborative father's day future of shopping Financial Planning Week equip deloitte land of the middle class Skilling Australian community trends future proofing Australian Home speajer prince george affordable students EFF 23 million Love engagement future of education offenders wealth and income TED investment speaker rental stress Kiwi student goals crime earnings forum mccrindle tea focus groups intern publication coffee cars mccrindle research generational trends economic commuting screenagers culture etiquette education research Caregiver 24,000,000 lalor park the hills Wellington relevant employmee money Duchess of Cambridge Res Vis workplace princess charlotte English university degree professional services brand generations capital cities cost shopper's pick story 2016 networking TEDx leadership researcher IT Specialists teach australia award Melbourne baby names report January 26th 40 million brisbane program census 2016 criminal wellbeing conference suburban living personal growth financial professional speaker real Aussies australians staying home more new office WA Wagga Wagga social research Wodonga australian real estate mentor SA mover and shaker McCrindle Speakers potts point ease of travel social researchers wedding not-for-profit qualitative research financial independence breakfast forecast 1968 Charlotte healthy future social trends volunteering data baby name trends hills communities trends of 2017 financial fears national wealth education future generation forecasting cloudy days local community mccrindle Mark McCrindle in the media toys workplace culture home paying to work VET sector mythbusting cultural diveristy culturally diverse domestic baby names Royals world youth day Mount Annan-Currant Hill bondi FPA friends Queensland: QLD professional development learning hills shire Channel 7 low density in the media innovative Hills Shire Council priorities CBD youth unemployment Real Estate volunteers wolloomooloo young australians social marriage personalities aged care emerging generations plans school students baby boom Geoff Brailey entertainment demographic transformations baby the changing face of baby names australia report Adelaide mateship global politics event REIV Conference Lower Hunter public speaking SMSF organisations Tuesday Trends media release housing affordability financial dreams unemployment rent economy poor the average aussie cooking Hornsby Shire Council Netflix ageing population sydney event emerging trends cica NBRS ACT Report social change TED talk wealth and income distribution Sydney long weekend screenage environment tuesday optimistic relational

Archive