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

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

Archive