On this episode of Viewpoint, AEI president Arthur Brooks gives a presentation on “Telling the Human Story” at the AEI/Ricochet Podcast Summit in Washington, DC. The secret to stronger human connection and persuasion isn’t more data, it’s better stories. Neuroscientists and behavioral social scientists have demonstrated this. By learning to share the narratives of our own lives—and paying closer attention to those of others—we can all become more effective and more unifying leaders.

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Published in: Culture, Podcasts

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  1. Yankee Coolidge

    Brillant, brillant story telling!!!  All Republican Congressional members and Committee/Leadership staff absolutely needs to listen to this talk.  Health Care and the and the health care entitlements is the first area where we need to concentrate.  Republicans are particularly poor at telling any health care stories.  Even worst trying to tie health care spendind/bureaucracy back to health care which is the most personal of policy issues.  Current Speaker is one of the most challenged in this area.  Graphs, data, and CBO reports let alone  the jargon of premium support, block graphs, per capita caps, and actuarial value is less than meaningless.  Talking about the tax code and tax expenditures is even worst.  Ideological purity is the opposite of story telling.  Conservatives/Republicans have alot of thinking to do.   

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  2. Yankee Coolidge

    Story telling is easier when you are attacking rather than proposing a policy.  Back in 1995 when Clinton proposed his Health Security Act,  the Health Insurance Association of American (the now defuncet health insurance association) ran a series of brillant executed ads under the name “Harry and Louise” which had a middle class couple discussing various aspects of the Clinton plan in a matter of how it would negatively affect them and  their family (the actors were so embarrased by the success of this campaign that they later did ads for ObamaCare apologizing for their past “behavior.”) 

    Republican House members and committee staff also found an eyewitness news segment from Toronto, Canada which gave out information about the fact that their health care budget for the Province was going to run out of money before Christmas (which we analgized to the Clinton Plan capped global budgets).  The female anchor calmly informed the public that all elective surgeries were delayed for at least a month, and that children should only be brought to the emergency room if they had an excessively high temperature, broken limb, or other very serious condition.  We sent every Republican member home during Recess with a copy of this tape for town meetings — it was not hard to explain health care rationing after watching this 3 minute newscast.  

    One of the major downfalls of repeal/replace last year is we literally had no communication strtedgy which could convey any personal narrative. 


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  3. Duane Oyen Member
    Duane Oyen

    This was a great presentation, and it is even better with the video format so you can see how Dr. Brooks utilizes his active presentation style.  We really need to improve our game- Paul Ryan is a great guy and a near-peerless policy wonk, but he tends to come off as a cold accountant when explaining his ideas.  Help is urgently needed to get our side to improve our communications-message game.    Watch this- only 10 minutes: 


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