Memory and emotion

Do you remember that thing that you did? That BAD thing?

What about the time when you finally got that kiss you’d been longing for?

Or the day you won that promotion/competition/client account?

The chances are that you remember versions of all these things, because situations like this are awash with emotion.

We feel it seeping through the memories we hold on to: surprise, guilt, anger, pride, sadness, disgust and happiness.

And all of the emotions in between.

The myth of rationality runs deep in business, but scientists have long known that emotion plays a part in the encoding, processing and retrieval of memory.

Which makes emotion an ally in our quest to tell better – more memorable – stories.

So here’s a simple idea to keep in mind.

If your communication isn’t landing, look to the emotion.

Is it there? Is it clear? Are there signposts for your audience to follow?

If your story isn’t pulling on at least a couple of the emotions listed above … you probably aren’t telling the right story.

Nick

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