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

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

Archive