Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Synopsis: The Elements of Persuasion (Introduction)

As a follow-on from Presentation Zen, I'm going to synopsise my notes from re-reading (*) 'The Elements of Persuasion'. This is a book that aims to teach you how to tell more effective stories, or (as the sub-title says) how to 'use stories to pitch better, sell faster, and win more business'.

(*) Actually, I've tried reading it twice before, quitting both times. Hopefully this time through, I'll be able to figure out why.

The Elements of Persuasion (TEOP, from here on in) defines a story as a 'fact, wrapped in an emotion, that compels us to take an action that transforms our world'. The authors, a scriptwriter and a former monk/communications coach, describe stories as having five elements:
  1. The PASSION with which the story is told
  2. A HERO who leads us through the story and allows us to see it through their eyes
  3. An ANTAGONIST (or obstacle) that the hero must overcome
  4. A moment of AWARENESS that allows the Hero to prevail
  5. The TRANSFORMATION in the hero and the world that results from successfully acting on that Awareness.
I'll go into more detail about each of these as I go through the rest of the chapters. TEOP also describes how stories don't have to be lengthy, and they don't have to be verbal. As an example, it offers this image:

Back in a few days for details on the first ... I guess ... element of persuasion: Passion.


Here are the links to all my Elements of Persuasion posts.

The First Element: Passion.
The Second Element: The Hero.
The final three Elements.

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