Why storytelling works

Stories are like instruction manuals that explain how we move from one state of being to another.

Stories help us imagine how we can improve our own lives or avoid unpleasant consequences. Because we can imagine living out the consequences of certain choices, we are often inspired to change our behavior and act in a certain way.

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Communication

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A good story can make us laugh or cry, our bodies can tense with a dramatic horror movie, or we are flooded with relief when the hero comes to the rescue. This experience is called transportation.

Transportation allows us to experience a story's movement through its characters. The characters' struggles and their rewards become our own.

"Metaphor" means "to transfer." Like stories, metaphors subconsciously encode complex ideas.

We find metaphors so gripping because we process them with sense or motor imagery in terms of those physical experiences. For instance, "I saw the light" or "I ran out of time."

Good stories catch your attention, connects you by drawing you in and move you to action. Stories that don't capture your attention will fail to deliver their message.

When participants remain engaged with a story and see characters overcome conflicts, they will empathize with the characters and be more willing to act on these feelings.

The same parts of our brain we use to smell or to wave also help us understand the words we use to describe those experiences.

These neurological insights bring much-needed substance to the storytelling conversation.

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Our brain on stories

A story can put your whole brain to work.

When we are being told a story, not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.

The Science of Storytelling: Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

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Storytelling is...
...the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.

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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.

The Psychology of Storytelling

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