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Nobody ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart

"Numbers numb, jargon jars, and nobody ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart. Stories get stored. And when you can change the story, you can change the world." — Andy Goodman, a nationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant in the field of public interest communications.


Source: Storytelling guru Andy Goodman's quip that he uses to end every storytelling speech and workshop.   For more information, contact The Goodman Center.

Notes: For additional information, look at Tom Smerling's blog on Climatebites from October 19, 2011:  Numbers numb, jargon jars. Tell a Story!

Tom's blog focused on these thoughts from Andy Goodman.

  • "While we will always need hard facts to make our cases, we often fail to realize that the battle for hearts and minds starts with the hearts."
  • "There's a maxim in public speaking . . . in a two-hour speech, people will remember a 2-minute story.
  • "When was the last time somebody sidled up to you with a sly look in his eye and said, 'Have I got a juicy statistic to tell you.'
  • "All the evidence in the world may go down in flames compared to a compelling story on the other side."

Tom sums up Andy's perspective this way,

"the human mind appears to be hard-wired for narratives over isolated bits of information.  Decades of research show that weaving facts into a story helps people remember."

Do you have a short, compelling story about climate change or clean energy?  We'd love to hear it.  And so would every audience you encounter.

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Brian Ettling
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