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The science of storytelling

Our relationship with stories

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.

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The science of storytelling

The science of storytelling

https://marketingland.com/the-science-of-storytelling-245561

marketingland.com

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Key Ideas

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.

A good story moves us

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.

Our relationship with stories

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.

Metaphors are the most basic stories

"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."

Stories make ideas real

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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 wou...

We are wired for storytelling

A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long.

Giving suggestions

Exchange giving suggestions for telling stories.

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.

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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.

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.

Storytelling is...

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.

Why we tell stories

  • Stories solidify abstract concepts and simplify complex messages;
  • Stories bring people together: stories connect us through the way we feel and respond to them;
  • Stories inspire and motivate, by tapping into people’s emotions and baring both the good and bad.

Good stories are …

  • Entertaining. Good stories keep the reader engaged and interested in what’s coming next.
  • Educational. Good stories spark curiosity and add to the reader’s knowledge bank.
  • Universal. Good stories are relatable to all readers and tap into emotions and experiences that most people undergo.
  • Organized. Good stories follow a succinct organization that helps convey the core message and helps readers absorb it.
  • Memorable. Whether through inspiration, scandal, or humor, good stories stick in the reader’s mind.

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