Back when our flat screens were cave walls, we have been communicating through stories
People take in data in different ways. Some use visual tools like diagrams, charts, pictures, and some do it with words and description. But, no matter what way you use to convey your message to the people, you must create empathy, community and meaning, and the best method to do that is in form of a story.
Storytelling is an old-fashioned tool, and it is. That’s why it’s so powerful. Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.
In business, when speaking to clients, stories allow the audience to see the world through the eyes of the presenter. As audience begin to empathize with the characters in the story, they become less defensive.
Any business presentation can be transformed into a story. In an ordinary sales meeting, the presenter tires the clients out with lots of numbers and data in a boring presentation meeting. Now, Imagine presenting in form of a story about the business and who it benefits, how the product can make life easier, or about challenges and crucial moments in the success path (Here we can mention data like revenue no of employees, branches,..)
You can do the same with a new product or campaign presentation. We can take the client through the team’s journey by sharing the challenges, wrong turns and successes along the way. The presentation can be far more inspiring and persuasive this way, rather than by showing a series of bulleted slides. The audience can identify with the presenter’s struggles and choices.
And Finally with stories you can stick to the minds of clients. With all the If you have difficulties in finding way to connect and be more memorable with your prospects, stories can solve your problem easily.
Why is it so?
Well, if we listen to a powerpoint presentation for example, certain parts of our brain get activated. They are called Broca’s and Wernicke’s area. It hits the language processing parts in the brain. It’s where we decode words into meaning. That’s it and nothing else. However, when we listen to a story, the brain job differs. Not only the language processing parts are activated, but any other areas of our brain we would use when experiencing the events of the story also are activated. For example, if you hear the story of a creation of delicious dish in a restaurant, your sensory cortex lights up too.
In a good story, the brain of the person telling a story and the one’s listening to it can synchronize. So, a good storyteller can get others to experience anything he/she have experienced
How to start? Learn storytelling model first. You always need a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning should be bang, something big, an attention grabber. In the middle, you should provide details in a way that the reader can relate to your story. Here you should put pieces together and make it meaningful. The drama happens here. And at the end, you need a conclusion or result. What’s your goal, what you want to make out of it. You should have a call to action here. For example, if it’s a sales text, the call to action can be leading them to visit a website, or make a call,… What matters is to take the reader along the journey and give it genuine meaning and color.
You have already read plenty of business book. Leave them aside, and start reading fiction books. Learn the magic that words and narrative use to create meaning and substance. Storytelling is the means by which, humanity can be unleashed from the experience.