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Your Reader’s Brain on Story Using the Science of Story to Enhance Climate Article Writing A Summary of Recent Research by Kendall Haven Story Consultant/Author/Master.

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Presentation on theme: "Your Reader’s Brain on Story Using the Science of Story to Enhance Climate Article Writing A Summary of Recent Research by Kendall Haven Story Consultant/Author/Master."— Presentation transcript:

1 Your Reader’s Brain on Story Using the Science of Story to Enhance Climate Article Writing A Summary of Recent Research by Kendall Haven Story Consultant/Author/Master Storyteller ©, Kendall Haven 2014

2 Understanding Story Architecture tells you as much about how they hear as it does about what you need to say

3 YOUR stories happen…… in the mind of the receiver !

4 making sense, understanding, memory, recall, & interpretation of your stories all happen…… in the mind of the receiver !

5 Your real job: INFLUENCE requires that you gather ATTENTION which requires that you first ENGAGE which requires that you involve an EMOTIONAL LEVEL. STORY STRUCTURE activates emotional responses, engages, gathers and holds attention, and thus allow you to influence.

6 Every communication is an economic event! You want to buy their attention in order to sell influence. They will only pay with their attention to buy engagement. Material that engages your audience is the essential gateway to influence

7 For over 150,000 years story and storytelling have dominated human interaction and communication

8 150,000 years of storytelling dominance to communicate and to archive learning, wisdom, fact, knowledge, values, beliefs, history, etc. has evolutionarily rewired the human brain to think in specific story terms.

9 You turn incoming information into story before it reaches your conscious mind with your neural story net

10 Your Neural Story Net: A fixed, hard-wired set of subconscious brain sub-regions that create and process specific story concepts and informational elements

11 The MAKE-SENSE Mandate If the brain can’t MAKE SENSE, it won’t pay attention Your brain has assigned the MAKE-SENSE Mandate to the Neural Story Net

12 The Research: In order to make it make sense, Listeners routinely: change (even reverse) factual information, make assumptions, create new information, ignore parts of your presentation, infer connections and information infer motive, intent, significance misinterpret

13 The Neural Story Net Lies between external world and internal mind Distorts incoming information in order to make it make sense The story they see & hear IS NOT the story you wrote **Applying effective story structure to your information minimizes that distortion

14 Family Stories When you tell stories to the family there is much you omit because they already know.

15 The Curse of Knowledge: “Once you know, it is impossible to accurately remember what it was like to not know.” Once you know, you tend to write as if every reader also knew.

16 The Betty Crocker Effect Just because you show them that it’s better, doesn’t mean they will like or accept it.

17 We interpret new information to support existing core beliefs and attitudes. Information alone rarely changes reluctant minds.

18 The only thing that replaces a story-formed belief….. is a better story

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21 The Eight Essential Elements of the Story Structure 1. Characters: The characters that populate essential character positions in the story. 2. Traits: Selected elements of character description used to control receiver attitude toward story characters. 3. Goal: What a character needs/wants to do/get in a story. 4. Motives: The drivers that make a goal important to a character. 5. Conflicts & Problems: The sets of obstacles that stand between a character and an established goal. 6. Risk & Danger: The likelihood of failure (risk) and the consequences of failure (danger). 7. Struggles: The sequence of events a character undertakes to reach a goal highlighted by the climax scene (confrontation with the last & greatest obstacle) and the resolution scene. 8. Details: The character, sensory, scenic, and event specific descriptors used to create, direct, and control receivers’ story imagery.

22 Effective story structure is: that character-based story organization that provides the informational elements required by the neural story net in order to understand and to make sense

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24 Story Tension

25 Story Tension (As goes tension, so goes attention)

26 Story Tension Starting with sensory detail and en media res ---are good…. BUT, they don’t create tension

27 Story Tension Tension = Suspense + Excitement

28 Story Tension Tension = Suspense + Excitement Suspense = f(Goal & Motive)

29 Story Tension Tension = Suspense + Excitement Suspense = f(Goal & Motive) Excitement = Risk X Danger

30 Creating Initial Story Tension 1. Build scenic excitement (struggle and detail) 2. Create a thematic question (goal & motive) 3. Create relevance (make it important to readers)

31 Story Engagement

32 Story Engagement Engagement = emotionally laden attention Engagement is controlled by the Eight Essential Elements ( match info demands of neural story net and create engagement) Engagement = the essential gateway to influence

33 Story Influence

34 Main Character Antagonis t Climax Character Goa l Motive Resolution The Main Story Line ©, Kendall Haven, Core Characters 2 Supporting Character positions 2 Events 2 Concepts System Character Viewpoint Character

35 Identity Character Foe Character Climax Character Goa l Motive Resolution. The Story Influence Line ©, Kendall Haven, Key Characters 2 Supporting Character positions 2 Events 2 Concepts 1 Lingering Emotion System Character Viewpoint Character Residual Resolution Emotion

36 Character Role Assessment Always on the Main Story Line Main Character Antagonist Climax Character Always Present System Character Viewpoint Character Influence Characters Identity Character Foe Character

37 Three key questions define a story’s Influence Potential 1. Who is this story really about for me? 2. How bad is the ending of this story for that character? 3. Who can I blame for it?

38 The Influence Potential Equation IP = RRE ( Di — Df ) Where: IP = Influence Potential (–60 to +60 ) RRE = Residual Resolution Emotion evaluated from the viewpoint of the Target Audience (–4 to +4) D i = Characterization Score for the Target Audience’s (in- group’s) Identity Character (0 to +5) D f = Characterization Score for the Identity Character’s Foe Character (out-group representative) (0 to –10)

39 Creating Story Influence 1. Create relevance 2. Create a theme as a simple, definitive action statement 3. Create a powerful story 4. Ensure that you have a good identity character for the target Audience 5. Create the desired resolution point 6. Make sure that the identity character foe is also the story antagonist 7. Control motive and character traits for the identity character and (especially) for the foe

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41 Thoughts to Leave You With

42 1. Effective Story Structure Creates: Context Relevance Engagement Understanding Empathy Meaning Memory & Recall

43 Thoughts to Leave You With 1. Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & Minds are Hardwired for Story

44 Thoughts to Leave You With 1. Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & Minds are Hardwired for Story Story IS how we learn

45 Thoughts to Leave You With 1. Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & Minds are Hardwired for Story Story IS how we learn, because… Story is how our brains are wired, Story is how our minds are pre-programmed

46 Thoughts to Leave You With 1.Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & minds are Hardwired for Story 3. The Make Sense Mandate

47 Thoughts to Leave You With 1.Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & minds are Hardwired for Story 3. The Make Sense Mandate 4.The Neural Story Prism

48 Thoughts to Leave You With 1.Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & minds are Hardwired for Story 3.The Make Sense Mandate 4. The Neural Story Prism 5.We know the informational elements of effective story structure.

49 Thoughts to Leave You With 1.Effective Story Structure Creates… 2. Our Brains & minds are Hardwired for Story 3.The Make Sense Mandate 4. The Neural Story Prism 5.We know the informational elements of effective story structure (the informational elements your neural story net requires).

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