Persuasion: Should I Use a Story or Numbers or Both?

I read a great book a while back called Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath. In the book the authors talked about a test of different approaches to raise money for children; sick, poor, starving children. The test used three different approaches.

The charity created one message requesting donations and talked about the literally millions of children who starve to death. The charity used numbers and statistics that were sickening in their magnitude 분당스웨디시.

In another request the charity simply talked about one real little girl. Her name was Rokia. The charity showed an actual picture of Rokia and explained her personal plight. The charity appealed for a contribution so they could feed Rokia and help keep her healthy and clothed.

In the third version of the request for donations, the charity told Rokia’s story and added the statistical information with well put together graphs and visuals showing the plight of millions.

Question: Which one do you think worked best and which worked the least best?

Answer: All of the requests resulted in a number of donations. The one that worked least well was the one that had both statistics and the individual story. The one that worked next best was the one with the statistics, numbers and graphs. The one that worked the very best was the story of the plight of one young girl named Rokia.

Why? We all know the power of the specific story. Aesop’s Fables, Parables, Nursery Rhymes, all work because the story teaches. Stories grab us in ways that nothing else can because we were trained from an early age to pay attention to information wrapped in a story. Song lyrics, good song lyrics, are a short story. Many psychologists say that the story is a way for our wonderfully complex brains to retain information and retrieve it effectively. For hundreds of thousands of years our ancestors used stories to teach and persuade.

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