It’s only been in the last year that I have been able to truly harness a superpower that I built over many years in corporate.
That superpower is the art of storytelling.
I used to coach and train leaders to deliver complex, often quite dull and boring messages into compelling visions in order to engage, retain, inspire and motivate employees. This was mostly within financial services so as you can imagine, the subject matter was quite dry!
So over time I read some books, went on a few courses and worked with a few companies specialising in storytelling and I started to hone my own approach.
I’m also an evolutionary psychology geek, and at the time was studying a psych degree alongside my role.
This enabled me to see just WHY storytelling is such an awesome tool to use. Humans are hardwired to use it.
If you are wondering if storytelling is going to be a good tool for you to use in your online marketing live events and workshops and public speaking, then read on.
Over the next few blogs, I’m going to give you some facts as to exactly why it’s the secret weapon that every entrepreneur, small biz owner and leader needs in their arsenal.
Let’s start with a little bit of history
Storytelling is an ancient form of communication that is thought to go to back around 40,000 years or longer.
Stories started with etchings and pictures on cave walls (think the Egyptian images and those found in other caves around the world.)
When humans started to verbally communicate with each other they were formed in tribes, with different people taking different roles within those tribes.
After fire was discovered it became commonplace for people to gather round the fire and tell stories.
These stories had a purpose.
Examples might have been…..
- To make sense of something (like what the orange ball of fire was in the sky)
- To create meaning around something (in relationships or the reasons why things exist)
- To calm fears, doubts or worries (fear of the unknown between tribe members.)
- To educate in some way
- Before humans learned to write, they had to rely on memory. Telling stories was a great way to remember things, due to the nature of how a story is registered in the brain.
- Storytelling necessitated good listening, and so the storyteller was very well respected, seen as a mentor, an elder or an authority.
- Stories were very easily passed on from one person to another because they were easy to remember, and so as humans travelled more, so did their stories.
- Stories came in many different forms, fables, adventures, legends, myths and ghost stories.
- Storytelling had the ability to evoke emotion and provoke thought.
Let’s bring this to the present day.
Storytelling is still used in our lives every single day.
We hear stories on the radio, on the TV. We meet our friends in coffee shops and share our stories. We still sit around campfires and share our stories.
And when standing on a stage, in a classroom or communicating to digital audience we can use stories to really cut through the noise and reach the hearts and minds of our most ideal customers.
I help people become sought after speakers using the power of storytelling for the exact same reasons as our ancient ancestors used them.
The stories I create with my clients always have a message and a purpose.
To help the audience make sense of something
To create meaning in order to evoke emotion, provoke thought and connect with the audience.
To calm fears, doubts or worries, create common ground and the ability to relate.
To educate the audience, helping them learn and remember what is being taught.
My clients are seen as authorities and well-respected experts in their field by the stories they tell.
The stories we create together are meant to be shared. Viral worthy stories for social media and the stage. Stories that are passed on, so that the people sharing them become ambassadors and advocates for what my clients do.
The stories I create with clients come in many forms. Case studies, hero’s journey or adventurers journey stories. Analogies, world tour stories, metaphors, hypothetical stories, research based stories and many many more.
The reasons for telling stories hasn’t changed. It’s one of the longest-standing human tools for communication and I think it’s just awesome.
Stay tuned for my next blog which will dive into the types of stories you can tell.
In the meantime, if you are ready to harness the power of storytelling, then hit comment and let’s talk about how I can help you show up, share stories, make money and change lives.