How Does a Story Effect Our Emotions

How Does a Story Effect Our Emotions

For over 27,000 years, since the first cave paintings were discovered, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. I believe in the power of storytelling to drive success, growth and influence for the common good. This could help you stand out, connect with your audience, and reach the next level in your industry! I’m going to share a brief summary about the science around storytelling and how you can use it to make better decisions every day.

We all love a good story, whether it’s a novel, a movie, or a friend sharing an experience. Why do we feel more engaged when an event is told in a narrative form? The answer is quite simple. When we watch a Powerpoint presentation, we activate the part of our brain responsible for translating of language and information. Our brain is decoding words into meaning.

A recent study by researchers in Spain showed a dramatic difference in the brain when experiencing a story. The part of our brain for processing language is activated as well as any other part that would help us experience the story! How cool is that? This means that if your friend is telling you about a delicious meal, your sensory cortex lights up. If the story is about some sort of motion, our motor cortex is activated.

Stories make our whole brain get to work. A Princeton study showed that the storyteller’s brain can synchronize to the one listening to the story. When we tell a story of something that has helped shape our lives, we can have the same effect on others. You can get others to experience what you’ve experienced through stories.

Why Is This Important?

Why does the format of a story, where events unfold one after the other have such a profound impact on our learning? It’s because we are wired this way. A story broken down to its simplest form is the connection of cause and effect. Our brains think in narrative form all day. It influences our way of shopping and consuming. It’s done while buying groceries, putting gas, or even while thinking of our work or home. Here is a fun fact:

Personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations.

Whenever we hear a story, we want to relate it to one of our existing experiences. The important thing to note here is that stories connect you on a more personal level. While you are solving a problem, alleviating pain points, or simply providing customer experience, think of ways that your message can be relatable to someone experiencing the same joy, pain, disgust, or etc. You now know how stories can be a powerful ally in your efforts to connect with your audience.

How can your organization start utilizing these truths and apply it to your message?

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