Tell me a story that’s never been told
Are captive jurors (and judges) more likely to listen to blah, blah, blah/ brute force argument, argument, argument / legalese, legalese, legalese, OR to a captivating, entertaining and engaging story that draws them into the center of the story, making the story into the now, and even adding enchanting tones and themes when possible?
The persuader who cannot effectively weave persuasive storytelling into his or her presentation is a most weakened persuader. Most adults are grounded in their childhood storytelling and story-hearing experiences. The power of storytelling cannot be overstated.
Thanks to my five-year-old son for reminding me the importance of injecting stories with good direction, resolution, and a happy ending. At bedtime, we read a book together, and then I make up a story. This one was about my boy’s visit to the amusement park with two of his friends. They went to the car ride, and loved being able to drive without driver licenses or parents. Eventually, they find themselves and their cars flying into the air, going over land and then the ocean, and ultimately arriving in Africa, where elephants put them on their backs for a ride, and where they play with the animals.
I ended the story there with "and they lived happily ever after." My boy would hear nothing of it, and wanted the story to continue, so I took him and his friends on further adventures with the elephants and other animals, and ended with "and they lived happily ever after." My son was not satisfied at all, which he made firmly clear. What a gift he had given me, reminding me that even with stories performed for children’s pure entertainment, rather than for persuasion as well, good direction, resolution, and a happy ending are important. So I continued the story with my son and his friends returning to their amusement park cars, flying back into the air, over the ocean, over land, back to the amusement park, and safely back to the car ride amusement on terra firma. "And they lived happily ever after." And by now my boy was fast asleep.