Why Storytelling Matters

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Our brains are wired for storytelling. It turns out storytelling is literally wired into our human DNA. Let’s look at 5 key reasons why:

1)   Neural coupling: When listening to, reading, or watching a story, the part of the brain activates that allows us to turn the story into our own experience.

This is why so many of us feel the “force” within for Star Wars.

2)   Mirroring: When listening to, reading or watching a story we have similar brain activity to others engaged with the same story – and when it’s a live event – to the storyteller themselves.

Storytelling breeds compassion.

3)   Dopamine: When our brains encounter an emotionally charged event such as a story it releases dopamine which makes it much easier for us to remember it. Emotion drives giving, especially of our attention spans.

4)   Cortex activity: When we’re engaged in a story it activates more parts of the brain than when our brains are processing facts alone. An activated brain means a more engaged heart. Emotion trumps logic.

5) Storytelling quiets your audience’s inner critic: According to Robert McKee, one of the world’s most respected screenwriters and storytelling coaches, the problem with sticking to the facts in your presentations is that while you’re sharing your data your audience is likely arguing with you in their heads.

A story instead, relaxes your audience, allowing them to pay much better attention.

Why storytelling?

Masterful storytelling is quite frankly one of the most powerful tools we can use to help change hearts and minds and begin to change harmful behavior into more positive ones.

And it’s also one of the best ways we can get a great return on investment, even when we’re working with limited budgets.

Sources and further reading:

One Spot Infographic: https://www.onespot.com/blog/infographic-the-science-of-storytelling/

Robert McKee on storytelling: https://mckeestory.com/