There are several specific visionary communication qualities that, when done right, will transform your story from something future-oriented but technical and uninspiring to something that invigorates your followers. The key to making the difference was already well understood some 2500 years ago, by the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
Aristotle stated that in order to get people to follow you, three elements were needed: Logos, Ethos and Pathos. With that he meant the following:
- Logos is about sense making. People will need to understand it intellectually, so your content needs to make sense. They will need to get it. So can you make the case sufficiently believable? The art form here is to get to the essence of your ideas, and discipline yourself to keep your ratio and logos in check. Lengthy documents, powerpoint presentations and bullet points won’t cut it.
- Pathos is about emotional engagement. Your vision is a break from today. This means you are taking people into uncertainty, and their reflexive reaction might be defensive. So you’ll need to work to get them excited about it. Your passion will help, but you’ll also want to intrigue, excite (through your story’s unconventionality), and/or inspire feelings of belonging and bonding (through your story’s noble cause).
- Finally, Ethos is about credibility – this is where “you” enter the equation. Inserting yourself into your visionary communication requires honesty and vulnerability. Beware that people quickly see through artificial authenticity; rather than uplifting your story, it will deflate it. So, reflect honestly on why you really care, and make that tangible through anecdotes and stories in which you are the main actor.
This classic triad helps you structure your future-oriented messages and transform them from something purely rational, but uninspiring, into something that ignites. moves and engages. In the book you'll find various techniques and practices to achieve just that, as well as a practical "checklist" to help you prepare for your moment of truth: your opportunity to inspire others with your gripping visionary story.