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

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

Archive