1. The brain processes information differently when it’s presented through story.
Many studies (here’s another) have been conducted in which scientists are watching which areas of the brain light up when the person being studied is taking part in different tasks. For example, when we read facts and figures, the language part of the brain and the visual part of the brain light up. When we are hearing facts and figures, the language part and the auditory part lights up.
When we are reading a story (narrative) or being told a story, those areas along with many other areas light up. The brain is more active overall when processing a story. It makes for a richer experience overall and aids in the retention of the information too.
2. Stories can build trust and credibility for the storyteller
Other studies have shown that our brains release oxytocin—a neurochemical attribute to empathy and trust. Whether you are telling a story for entertainment purposes, attempts to persuade, or to build credibility in the information you are sharing, stories can be a powerful tool in your belt.
With the release of oxytocin, your audience is more likely to be cooperative with you, trust you, and empathize with your story’s character.
3. Stories help build a connection with your audience through fun and emotion.
No one wants to be bored. Every teacher or professor I ever loved was the one who made the classroom fun and/or interesting. We can only take in so many facts and figures before our brains stop absorbing.
Storytelling, however, can be unlimited. If it’s a good story, you’ll keep our attention for hours. This is proven by the 88 billion dollars made by the movie industry in 2015. While studies are saying our attention spans, in general, are getting shorter every year, movies watching and TV viewing is not decreasing at all. If it’s a good story, we’ll sit still and be completely immersed.
Everyone loves a great story.
So the next presentation you give to your class, your friends or family members, your co-workers, your teachers, or any other audience, make sure it’s rich in story. It’s more fun for you and your audience and more effective than a presentation lacking storytelling, evidenced by the many studies on the subject.
To listen to a podcast of my interview with trial lawyer Mike DeBlis III on how Using Storytelling makes lawyers more effective in the courtroom, CLICK HERE.
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