Storytelling is a lot more than just a recitation of facts and events. A good story grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. Never underestimate the power of a good story. It has the power to: influence, teach, inspire, connect and calm the mind. Keep reading.
I was just reading a popular nonfiction book when my mind drifted off after a long recitation of dry facts and events. But then the writer told me a story about a man who had overcome certain hardships and suddenly made a spectacular discovery. This story immediately grabbed my attention and I couldn’t wait to read what happened next. It also got me thinking: why do we like that particular series on Netflix and dislike the other? And why do we love reading one book while we just can’t seem to get through the other?
For me personally, it is all in the way I can see myself reflected in a story. That doesn’t mean the story has to be about a person just like me. It can also be about a young boy in World War II or even an old woman living in the future. Somehow I just want to be able to look through their eyes and feel the things he or she feels. I have to be able to ask myself the question: what would I do when I was in that situation?
Telling stories is hard
Stories have been told since the beginning of time even before humans learned to read and write. It is the way humans have always communicated. Storytelling is a lot more than just a recitation of facts and events. A good story grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. In the meantime it helps to understand ourselves better. Telling stories is hard. It demands that you use both sides of the brain and it harnesses imagination with knowledge. The best stories are personal and offer details of very specific incidents from the storyteller’s life.
Never underestimate the power of a good story. Are you a parent and do you want to teach your kids a valuable lesson? Tell them a story! Or are you a manager and do you want to inspire your employees? Tell a story!
What are the powers of a good story?
The power to influence
Stories are powerful tools of influence. They have always played a central role in changing people’s minds. Just think about any great leader. They all told stories. Mainly to influence their followers and to persuade them to do (or not do) certain things.
The power to teach
Stories are a great way to grab the attention of people and engage them. And in this state the mind is much more receptive to new information. Stories also give people a way to understand their world, remember facts and connect the emotional with the logical.
The power to inspire
What are the things that inspire us? Things like: sudden success, overcoming the odds, underdogs that become winners. Stories grab our attention and engage our curiosity, emotions, and imagination. We believe we can also be successful, a winner.
The power to connect
We connect to people through stories. When we hear – or read – a story we realize we are basically all the same. We all experience similar things and have the same problems. A mother in India has the same love for her son as a mother living in New York. She has the same problems, joys and fears.
The power to calm and focus the mind
A good story also has the ability to calm and focus the mind. We all love watching a good movie, don’t we? The world around us disappears and all that matters is the screen. We just sit back and let all these things: love, hate, hardship and success happen before our eyes. And when the credits start rolling we return to reality.
So, what can we learn from this story? Connect your both sides of your brain and learn to tell stories!