These five articles are my favorites published this year. A mix of persuasion, narrative, messaging, purpose and language.
Rather than publish the typical end of year “most popular” article list, I thought I’d share my five favorite articles of 2014. Here they are in no order.
I never thought I’d read Aristotle, but after reading The Political Speechwriter’s Companion I picked up Aristotle’s Rhetoric. In this article I describe Aristotle’s three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, logos. I think every communicator should know the three modes — it’s helped my understanding of persuasion and improved my communication.
Yes, it has a slightly snarky title. But the lesson I think organizations and communicators need to know is that a set of messages doesn’t make a narrative. If you read one article, make it this one.
If you’ve got your narrative, the messages come next. In this article I break down the steps to creating messages that reinforce your narrative. Steps include: appealing to emotion, being careful with numbers, remembering the rule of three, and being willing to adapt.
Rick Warren started a church from scratch and grew it into a congregation of 40,000 members. He knows how to get people through his doors. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, holds many lessons for communicators: know your purpose, know your audience, think like a fish, and tell stories being just a few.
This happens to be the most popular article I wrote this year. I wrote it in response to a lot of commentary that suggested campaigners and advocates revert to using global warming on the back of a Yale report. The advice was misguided so I offered an alternative — don’t use ‘climate change’ or ‘global warming’. A good primer on language and the important of relevance.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the article as much I’ve enjoyed writing them. I’m taking a break and will be back in 2015. See you next year.