As jobs become increasingly similar, there are two skills that everyone needs if they're going to thrive. These are the ability to interrogate and make sense of data, and the ability to use insights extracted from data to persuade others to act. Analytics + storytelling = influence.
Humans are hardwired to respond to stories and story structure. Stories are how we make sense of and navigate the world. We respond best to stories that are based on evidence. But storytellers need to use data as the foundation of stories, not as the actual stories themselves. To be truly impactful, rational facts need to be presented with a veneer of emotion.
The Big Data revolution means more data is available than ever. The trouble is, most people aren't very numerate or good at statistics. Many find it hard to look at data and extract insights. Meanwhile, those for whom numbers hold no fear don't always make the best storytellers. They mistakenly believe they need to prove their point by showing their workings.
There are some simple and effective rules of data-driven storytelling that help everyone tell more compelling, evidence-based stories, whoever they need to convince. Narrative by Numbers shows you how.
Sam Knowles is a corporate storyteller with 30 years' experience helping businesses communicate better. Originally a classicist, he holds a doctorate in psychology, the source of his understanding of human motivation and his passion for data-driven stories. His purpose is to make businesses sound human.
1. The two skills everyone needs today 2. Keep it simple 3. Find and use only relevant data 4. The 4Es of effective storytelling 5. Beware the Curse of Knowledge 6. Talk human 7. Five gods of data driven storytelling 8. Why facts matter more than ever Epilogue