I often presented the successes of my institutions to people with no background in CBE or online. The challenge I found was to quickly generate interest before they engaged their defenses against the unfamiliar. As stated in the Innovator’s Toolkit, you have to reach both the emotional and the thinking parts of the brain1:
Psychologists have discovered that when these three parts are in conflict, the reptilian takes precedent over the other two. When there is a conflict between the emotional and intellectual parts, the emotional part wins over. This is why people often make poor, emotionally based decisions, then find an intellectual alibi to justify themselves.
If you don’t reach the emotional part of the brain, in an engaging, friendly way, you lose any chance to make a positive, lasting point.
At CBExchange, Kelle Parsons2 and Alison Kadlec3 co-presented telling your institution’s story with emotional and cognitive impact using qualitative and quantitative evidence. As natural story tellers and receivers, people frame their information expectations in story format, and remember more fully.
Kadlec presented a framework for organizing an engaging, memorable story using the outline:
- Character – make it personal
- Circumstance – describe the context and conditions
- Conflict – show what the character is facing in the circumstances
- Resolution – present the solution and any call to action
Starting with data is mind-numbing, triggers the reptile, and only accessible if put into context. Weave the data into the context if appropriate to supporting the story. Speak from the specific story to the general conclusions.
- Silverstein, D., Samuel, P., & DeCarlo, N. (n.d.). Technique 1 – Jobs to be Done | The Innovator’s Toolkit. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from http://innovatorstoolkit.com/content/technique-1-jobs-be-done.
Parsons, K. (2016, August 29). Biography. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from http://www.air.org/person/kelle-parsons
Kadlec, A. (n.d.). Biography. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.publicagenda.org/pages/kadlec.