Why We Tell Stories?

Why We Tell Stories?

Whether you’re selling a product online or presenting a notion to coworkers, telling a story is one of the most effective methods to convey your message.

We are accustomed to telling stories. Every day, we tell and listen to stories. It is the means by which we learn, teach, communicate, entertain, and comprehend. There are actual benefits to utilizing narrative to communicate information in business as well.

Why is narrative such a powerful mode of communication? Storytelling, for example, stimulates every aspect of the human brain. A well-told story, unlike a non-narrative presentation, speaks to both the left and right sides of the brain. As a result, the listener can process and analyze an event at the same time. Because narrative is such an organic human process.

Another reason is that storytelling encourages stronger connections between people, which leads to the development of sympathetic ties with the audience. An captivating story, as opposed to a typical, formulaic presentation of facts, promotes a sense of camaraderie and shared experience.

For example, you've probably seen how sharing stories between team members is a great way to build team spirit and empathy.

Suppose with a team project well-underway, you discover that the requirements are suddenly changing, negating several months’ worth of work.

Sharing a story of a previous project in which a similar abrupt change of direction ultimately led to a greater level of project and company success, can help foster empathic connections and facilitate understanding and mutual support, which in turn mitigates against the potential for frustration and anger.

And that brings us to the next reason why storytelling is so effective at communicating information: it engages the listener on multiple levels. Notice how engaged listeners lean forward when listening to a story. That’s because a good story engages us fully: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Appealing to a listener’s emotions makes any story more memorable.

And finally, storytelling is an effective way of transmitting information because it increases the perceived value of the subject.

Storytelling can be particularly useful in sales, for instance. Telling an interesting story about a product makes customers more inclined to buy it. An engaging narrative is often one of the deciding factors when people buy a product or service.

For example, look at how life insurance is marketed: a story or narrative is presented about how insurance protects families and loved ones. A story about something we care about is used to get us to think about a product we’d really rather not think about. And then we buy it. Ultimately, when you connect a business objective to a story, the perceived value and appeal of the product increases.

Storytelling isn’t limited to generating sales, of course. It can be used in project management, training, customer service, planning, and virtually any other area. It’s a valuable tool for most any business practice. Stories connect us.
It’s not as simple as “once upon a time.” Using effective storytelling within a business context takes some preparation and practice. It takes effort. But it’s worth it. Instead of merely relaying facts, telling a story makes things memorable, understandable, compelling, and relatable. And more than anything, it engages the listener.

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