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HCI Webinar: The Science of Storytelling, with Richard Newman

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Richard Newman about the science of storytelling. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!


Watch the episode here:

In their conversation, Jonathan and Richard discussed the science of storytelling in leadership. They emphasized the importance of honing communication skills and using storytelling to convey complex information. Richard shared his personal journey and effective strategies from his clients. They also highlighted the importance of engaging different parts of the mind and contextualizing data. Towards the end, they emphasized the need for effective communication in a professional setting, outlining a framework for condensing or elaborating on complex information based on the audience and context.


Storytelling in Leadership: Strategies for Success


Jonathan and Richard discussed the importance of storytelling in leadership. Richard, a communication trainer who has worked with over 20,000 business leaders, shared his personal journey of overcoming communication barriers and teaching others to do the same. The conversation highlighted the importance of honing communication skills and the impactful strategies Richard's clients have utilized, such as a client who gained over $1 billion in new business using his teachings.


Science of Storytelling in Business


Jonathan and Richard discussed the concept of the science of storytelling. Richard clarified the importance of storytelling in business and explained how it can be used to communicate complex or dull information in a meaningful way. He emphasized the need to understand the science behind storytelling to engage the audience's brain and make the information more compelling. Richard also highlighted the common elements in stories throughout history that have been proven to grab the audience's attention.


Effective Communication Techniques


Richard discussed the importance of engaging different parts of the mind to effectively communicate and engage the audience in meetings. He suggested using storytelling techniques to connect with the audience and make the information more relatable. Richard also emphasized the importance of contextualizing data to help the audience understand its significance. Jonathan expressed his agreement with Richard's points and highlighted the need for creating an environment that encourages the sharing of insights and contexts behind the data.


Storytelling in Presentations


Richard and Jonathan discussed the importance of storytelling when presenting facts or numbers. Richard used the example of a cancer treatment with a 3% increase in effectiveness to illustrate how a number without context can be misunderstood. He emphasized the need to create a narrative around the number to give it meaning and significance. He also compared this to advertising techniques, where a 30-second spot is used to light up the survival mind, the emotional mind, and then the logical mind of the viewer. The conversation concluded with Richard sharing his personal experience of having to compress a 90-minute pitch into 25 minutes.


Effective Communication Framework


Richard and Jonathan discussed the importance of effective communication, particularly in a professional setting. Richard outlined a framework for condensing or elaborating on complex information based on the audience and context. He emphasized the need to identify the key elements of the message and break them up into manageable pieces. He also stressed the importance of clear and concise storytelling, providing examples from his own experience. The conversation concluded with Richard sharing his contact details and encouraging listeners to develop their communication skills.


Listen to the webinar here:



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