Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.
One may wonder about the title! Why be a story-teller?
Well, look around you?
Answer yourself: Who holds the highest positions in society, in organizations around you?
You would find a common feature among all these people who are in one or other positions of power or enjoy high status or can influence the society at large – the common trait is ‘how they present the facts ‘!
Facts may be wrong or right, facts may be false or truth, facts may be new or old-but how they’re presented to the majority, that makes all the difference.
Stories (true or false) are a high level language for programming people preferences.
Why Story-telling is important :
– Every human is hungry ! Hunger can be of many types – hunger for food is just a basic need . But there is more to hunger 1 People are hungry for wealth , hungry for fame, hungry for hope , hungry for getting motivated and many more.
If we think deeply about the hunger , you would realize that the huger for hope and hunger for getting inspired is much bigger than hunger for food.
How you can get satisfed from this hunger ? Religion, Gurus, god-men, self-help-books are few of the domains that address this domain. This is one of the reasons for existence of religions for several centuries. Self-help books are billion dollars industry. They all give you hope, they all tell you stories where you can feel motivated !
Till the time, there’s hope, and if someone or something to show hope, people would start keep believing them .And they do it by the art of story-telling !
– Why stories impact us so much. It is because storytelling and listening is our primal instinct, people have been telling and listening stories much before they’ve been reading or writing.
- Stories are easier to remember !On the other hand, people tend to forget facts. Because facts have high energy -costs. But if facts can be woven in a story, we tend to remember them for a longer period as it is easy to store that.
– Fiction ( story ) is easier to believe than any truth. It’s for getting at the truth when the truth isn’t sufficient for the truth. And keep in mind the fact that any & every ‘truth’ can be adjusted depending upon the side the story-teller wants to take & promote.
– Data is debatable these days. There is data to prove anything, regardless of how absurd. Eggs are good? There’s data to prove it. No, eggs are bad? There’s data to prove that too. The same for coffee, sugar, discipline, whatever. The truth is not in the data but it depends on what the story makes out of the data.
-It is difficult to win over others by giving sheer data. Humans are poor processors of data, they tend to believe in words, the words woven in a story like pearls strewn in a necklace. A thing that gives joy to 5 senses or to their imagination or serves their self-interest
Sometimes stories give a shape and form to something you want to hear as reality is too complex.
-Anything that requires the use of the brain, counters the previously held beliefs, threatens the status-quo is abhorred by masses. A good story-teller uses part – data, part -imagination & is able to find the truths that are linked to his audience’s self-interest and leverage them.
-While listening to someone with mundane data, the only parts of the brain activated are the data processing parts. But during a story, every area in the brain that one would use when experiencing the events of the story gets activated. A story can put the entire brain to work.
If one tells a story that has shaped his thinking & way of life, he can have that same effect on the person/people he’s telling the story to. The brains of the storyteller & the listener get synchronized. He can plant ideas, emotions & thoughts in the brain of the listener.
Whenever one hears a story, he has a desire to relate it to one of his existing experiences. While he searches his brain for a similar experience, he activates a part of the brain called the insula, which helps him relate to that same experience of joy, pain or disgust.
What are the signs of a good story :
It should make you laugh, and a few moments later it should break your heart. It should be beautiful ( success, struggle, humor) & at the same time, it should be full of monsters (bad relationships, bad events, bad experiences, failures).
Tips for telling a good story :
If you want to persuade someone , try to talk to the heart not the head, using stories
- If possible, a story should make you laugh, and very NEXT moment later it should break your heart. ( recall any movie you recall even after several years , you would find all these elements – It should be beautiful ( success, struggle, humor ) & at the same time, it should be full of monsters (bad relationships, bad events, bad experiences, failures).
- The story should have an empathetic hero, tension/conflict & a crossroads for transformation.
- A story is more likely to stick if it is simple -simple language & low complexity.
Use of Storytelling in marketing:
Marketing is all about feelings, it is not about the facts.
And if you’re planning to use facts in your marketing, some fiction should be blended in. Fiction along with facts should be used to create feelings.
How to do that !
Weave a story around it .As there’s no better way than storytelling to create those feelings.
Example : Look at any advertisement on TV – you would find a story even in a 10 seconds script.