Dr. James McCabe

#226: What’s the Difference Between Rhetoric vs Narrative, Spin vs Story?

#226: What’s the Difference Between Rhetoric vs Narrative, Spin vs Story?

In the professional realm, everyone is trying to persuade someone of something. And doing that effectively increases your influence considerably. But rhetoric is often viewed as negative, which means many people lose opportunities for connections and sales. Most customers know that not all forms of persuasion are bad. In fact, customers seek guidance so it is our job to advise responsibly. Therefore, if you learn how to influence with integrity, you can stand out as an authentic leader.

With me today is Dr. James McCabe, born in Dublin, Ireland and educated at Oxford where he earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy and was awarded the Millennium Prize by the British Council. A poet and scholar by training, James has devoted the last two decades to pioneering classical story design in corporate projects. He is an expert in audience captivation and explains the difference between rhetoric vs narrative, spin vs story and the functions of each.

“Rhetoric” is defined as the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, while narrative is simply a story. While there is often overlap between the two, rhetoric aims to inform or teach, often by sharing real or perceived expertise but without significant value placed on providing meaning. Meanwhile, creating meaning and building relationships is central to narrative.

Empathy is replacing expertise and drama, or story is the language of empathy. ~James McCabe

Now more than ever, consumers connect with brands that communicate empathy even more than expertise. Brand storytellers have the opportunity to distinguish themselves as credible by using spin to create better content for the customer. This is because spin or the exclusion of certain information is often necessary to create a concise narrative.

“Creating a positive spin comes from being tuned in to your audience’s needs.”   ~James McCabe

Listen to explore the difference between rhetoric versus narrative, spin versus story and how to be an emergent storyteller for the growth of your organization and your people.

Discussed in this Episode

  • How and why story has biological effects on your body
  • When and how to use varies storytelling techniques
  • The power of empathy in your storytelling
  • How storytelling may have helped to give rise to democracy

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