Add Emotional Texture

Now step back and review all your content so far. Do you have the right mix of analysis and emotion? (See “Balance Analytical and Emotional Appeal” in the Message section.) If you need more emotional impact, you can add it with storytelling.

A message matters to people when it hits them in the gut. Visceral response, not pure analysis, is what will push your audience away from the status quo and toward your perspective. Stories elicit that kind of response. When we hear stories, our eyes dilate, our hearts race, we feel chills. We laugh, clap, lean forward or back. These reactions are mostly involuntary, because they’re grounded in emotion.

While you’re describing what is, tell a story that makes people shudder, or guffaw ...

Get Harvard Business Review Guides Ultimate Boxed Set (16 Books) now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.