Storytelling is a powerful tool for making ideas stick. Here’s why stories stick:
1. Neuroscience has proven that stories are over 20 times more memorable than facts. That’s because more areas of the brain are actively engaged when we are processing a story vs facts and data.
2. When we are deeply engrossed in a great story, our brains release hormones (dopamine, oxytocin and cortisol) which can create empathy and emotional engagement and help with embedding memories.
3. Our brains are evolutionarily hardwired to engage with stories. That’s because stories were the way our ancestors passed information from person to person before the written word evolved.
4. Stories disarm cynicism and judgement by allowing people to come to their own conclusions. Storytelling is a really smart strategy when you’re dealing with sceptical prospects you’d like to win over.
5. According to neuroscientist Uri Hasson, “A story is the only way to activate parts in the brain so that a listener turns the story into their own idea and experience.” Your story becomes your customer’s story!
6. Stories can help customers sync with you on a personal level. Listening to a story can prompt neural coupling – when the brain waves of the storyteller and the listener sync up. That’s kinda cute!
7. Stories can also evoke empathy and emotional connection. Stories can pull the reader in, making them feel as if they are experiencing the events alongside the characters.
8. Stories are designed to take advantage of a psychological phenomenon known as the Zeigarnik effect, which is the tendency for humans to remember incomplete tasks far more readily than complete ones.
9. Great stories tell of breakthrough moments, of people rising to the occasion, taking risks and achieving their goals. They are vivid and detailed, filled with action verbs that propel the narrative forward, some of the best reasons why stories stick.
10. There’s a variety of stories you can use to make your point. Stories about how your company was founded, how a product was developed, how customers have been helped, and other stories unique to your business.
Stories have a special power over human beings. When you tell your customers a story, you can plant ideas in their heads, influence the emotions they feel, and increase their inclination to trust you. In a not insignificant way, people are under your control when they are under the spell of your story.
I’m passionate about helping businesses use storytelling, speaking at conferences, lecturing at The NZ Marketing Association and running inhouse corporate courses on business storytelling. If you would like to learn more about my courses, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org