What do recent events such as political campaigns, social media marketing, or the rise of TED Talks as pop culture components all have in common? They all leverage the power of storytelling.
Before you try your hands on the new universal communication tool, here are a few facts that you might find of interest.
1. Storytelling is an ancient art
Storytelling is old. Like, really ancient. Experts say this communication form is as old as human language. The first men used storytelling to make sense of their life and share knowledge. You will see examples of this old form of communication in the caves of Lascaux. There, the first homo sapiens expressed stories through wall paintings.
2. We are all good at Storytelling
Storytelling is something the general public is using all the time. It is not an art of only a bunch of experts in fancy offices.
From the early stages of their young lives, children use Storytelling in their play sessions. Adults continue to use Storytelling, even though they stop noticing it. According to a study, 65% of our daily conversations are based on Storytelling. Sounds like a lot?
Take a short time to remember what you told each other today. Most of it were little stories. Fun stories. Stories about our daily frustrations. Stories about our colleagues. We love to talk badly about our enemies with little stories too.
We can’t stop them. Even at night, our mind continues to use Storytelling. Dreams are a really creative type of Storytelling. Sometimes a bit too creative maybe, but still: even these dreams are all story-based.
3. Storytelling influences us
Many studies have proven that Storytelling has a big effect on human behavior. In 2008, researcher Jeremy Hsu found out that the human brain is more engaged by Storytelling that by simple logical facts.
Other studies show that Storytelling even makes us better humans. According to one of these studies, reading fictional literature was enough to make the reader more social.
4. Storytelling uses patterns
Storytelling is based on a limited set of templates. That’s why this communication form is not so hard to use. One of the Storytelling templates that is most frequently used is the problem/resolution template.
With this template, you first set the stage, and introduce the people involved. Then comes a problem. This problem or enemy will bring an unexpected change that the characters will fight. The story is about this fight. Finally, after a long fight that usually needs multiple attempts, a solution is found and the hero reaches a new state of homeostasis.
5. Your product is not the right hero for your Storytelling
Storytelling expert Ron Ploof tells us that most brands set the service or product as the hero. It is definitely not a good approach. By putting the customer as the hero of the Storytelling it is easier for the customer to relate to the story. The brand acts as a mentor and the product or service is the magical gift the hero will need to defeat the enemy.
What do you think about Storytelling? Have you tried and used this technique in your communications or management actions? Feel free to share your thoughts using our chat module in the lower right corner of this window: we can’t wait to talk about this topic with you!