data stories persuasion

Stories need emotion first, data second

It’s funny how we forget that we are not an entity (i.e., the business) talking to another entity (i.e, the market). Nor are we computers. We are humans talking to humans. Like Cameron Uganec said:

When your colleagues ask you about a conference you attended or about how you spent your weekend, you don’t start with facts and figures…the number of people you met, the number of beers you drank or the amount of time you slept. You tell them stories.

What you care about is probably something another human (customer, client, member) cares about. If you care about your data, ask yourself why the data mean something to you…then open with the meaning part. Relying on data alone to get humans to feel what you want them to feel doesn’t work. Uganec is right when he tells us how “this logic-based approach is counter to our human nature.”

Scientists and analysts are emotional humans, too. Hopefully not during data collection but certainly their passion inspires them to ask questions and dig for answers in the first place. Share that drive first and then your results will carry more weight.

You are not Buster Bluth. You are are not half machine. Remember: Emotion first. Data second. Human always.

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