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The Science Behind Storytelling

Relating To The Characters

Stories cater to our Ego. A listener puts himself in the shoes of the protagonist of a story, and an idea is given emotional heft and sturdiness.

The more we are able to relate to the central character, the more engaging, effective and memorable a story narrative becomes.

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The Science Behind Storytelling

The Science Behind Storytelling

https://medium.com/the-protagonist/the-science-behind-storytelling-51169758b22c

medium.com

4

Key Ideas

Hardwired for Stories

We love to tell and listen to stories. The 'Story Narrative' is hardwired in us, as we think and remember in stories.

A strong narrative can be the difference between success and failure.

Creative Problem Solving

Human beings are able to creatively solve problems, alone or in a group. This has given rise to many inventions, shaping common goals shared by a group of people.

We needed a 'sticky' idea to spread it among people, and the story narrative is exactly that.

Relating To The Characters

Stories cater to our Ego. A listener puts himself in the shoes of the protagonist of a story, and an idea is given emotional heft and sturdiness.

The more we are able to relate to the central character, the more engaging, effective and memorable a story narrative becomes.

Story Structure

We respond most powerfully to stories that follow a particular setup, or structure:
  • In this setup, the main character has a clear goal, backed by a clear motive. There are obstacles and blockages.
  • There is a struggle, there are other characters added to the mix, and there are certain resources that are made available.
  • The obstacle is overcome in the end and there is a certain growth that has happened, leading to further obstacles or bigger goals.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Persuasion through storytelling

Stories are a very integral part of being persuasive. 

Stories trump data when it comes to persuasion because stories are easier to understand and relate to.

What makes a story engaging

  • Suspense and “cliffhangers” allow you to create an addictive narrative;
  • Creating detailed imagery;
  • Using literary techniques for turning simple stories into memorable works of art.
  • Change made easier by providing an example.

Characteristics of persuasive stories

  • Delivery: matters as much as the content.
  • Imagery:  the brain “lights up” in reacting to imagery, truly transporting the reader to the events being described. 
  • Realism: poeple need a “human” element in the story that is easy for them to imagine.
  • Structure: people prefer stories that follow a logical manner.
  • Context: significant impact on the persuasiveness of a story.
  • Audience: determine who you don’t want reading your content along with who you do.

Three-Act storytelling structure

Three-Act storytelling structure

One of the oldest and most straightforward storytelling formulas:

  • Setup: Set the scene and introduce the character(s)
  • Confrontation or “Rising action” : Present a p...

Five-Act storytelling structure

Also known as Freytag’s Pyramid:

  • Exposition: Introduce important background information
  • Rising action: Tell a series of events to build up to the climax
  • Climax: Turn the story around (usually the most exciting part of the story)
  • Falling action: Continue the action from the climax
  • Dénouement: Ending the story with a resolution.

Before – After – Bridge storytelling formula

  • Before: Describe the world with Problem A.
  • After: Imagine what it’d be like having Problem A solved.
  • Bridge: Here’s how to get there.

Set the stage of a problem that your target audience is likely to experience ( a problem that your company solves). Describe a world where that problem didn’t exist. Explain how to get there or present the solution (i.e. your product or service).

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Purpose of storytelling

In the workplace, storytelling serves as an essential, powerful tool for effective communication.

It gets people excited around an idea, or a value, or perhaps some drier information t...

Tip 1. Make it personal.

Great stories reveal a piece of yourself. Ask yourself:

- What makes you care about the work that you do?
- What part of you outside of your work is present inside of that world?
- If in financial services, for example, what is it behind the numbers and data that are at the emotional core of your work?

Tip 2. Show passion

The story needs to have stakes without being necessarily significant. Ask yourself:
What gets you excited about what you’re talking about? 
- Why do you care? 


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