The secret behind the power of storytelling

Whatever message you want to send, no matter what information you have to share or what people you have to convince, the best way to do it is by telling them a story. Forget about bullet points slides, about facts and figures, about fancy words and get to work on your story. It does not matter what you want to share, you have to turn it into a story.

Our brain tries to make sense of everything. Every information, figures and facts have to be translated into a coherent picture for our intuitive part of the brain. No matter what you are trying to share to people it has to make sense beyond the rational. The story will add to any information the coherence that our brain needs.

Moreover stories create engagement, create action and momentum. Simple facts and information will appeal to the rational part of the brain but what creates motion is the intuitive part. And most of the time motion is strictly related to emotion. No matter how hard we would like to change this, in the majority of cases, we are rational beings who make emotional decisions.

Above all stories create memorability. No matter how impressive the figures might be, if they don’t have a context, a reference, a point you can relate and connect to, it’s most likely that people will forget it. Think about Steve Job’s iPod presentation when he fitted it into the small pocket of his jeans. It would have been incredibly easy for him to say its weight and height, but actually seeing 2.3 cm x 3.5 cm will create an idea about how small it is; so it’s more likely you will really get a sense of that and remember the comparison.

When thinking about the power of storytelling remember that all of our decisions have an emotional part, but not all have a rational one.