It’s relatively common knowledge that PowerPoint presentations are boring. But why? Humanity is hardwired to look at the world through stories. Storytelling, either done by ourselves or others, is how each of us creates a narrative about reality. When it comes to PowerPoint presentations, bullet points may present some interest to the presenter that created them, but they lack the same appeal for the audience.
It is when those hard facts present through a story or a narrative that they begin to make sense to everyone else. The whole point behind storytelling in business communications is to create a connection. A leader, for instance, should connect to their management team with a story about why their business exists in the first place.
It is only through one such connection that others can truly understand the point that you’re trying to make. To put it somewhat differently, the depth of your relationship with the audience is in direct proportion with the effectiveness of your communication. And nothing makes a bond stronger than a well-crafted story. But before you start creating your stories to use in your business communications, you need to understand how and why they work so well, to begin with, and what the principles that make for good storytelling are.
The Human Brain Is Hardwired for It
We already mentioned that the human brain is hardwired for storytelling. Stories help us make sense of the world by creating coherence out of randomness. There is a specific part of the brain that evolved right alongside storytelling. And when that particular network of neurons is activated, the information provided is more meaningful and understandable than only being presented with hard facts.
In a paper called “The Science of Storytelling: What Listening to a Story Does to Our Brains,” entrepreneur Leo Widrich says that “not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are, too.”
What’s more, this part of the brain can also be trained to generate more and better stories. Like with any other muscle in the body, you can also develop your mind to improve your storytelling abilities.
Everybody Has a Story
Bill Nye once said that “everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.”It means that, even though you think that you don’t have any meaningful stories to tell, there is something that happened in your life worthy of a great story. The key is to train that part of the brain that helps you surface these stories. With time and practice, anyone can tell their stories better.
Stories Spark Communication
You should also keep in mind that these stories also evolve naturally. They reflect the mutually-influential relationship between storytelling and listening. A good story will always be the catalyst for communication exchange. One the one hand, the storyteller, cannot tell their story if nobody’s listening. While on the other hand, nobody will pay attention if the presenter is caught up in their speech bubble.
Storytelling Promotes Creativity
Probably the best part about learning how to tell stories is that it’s the catalyst for all sorts of other creative endeavours. It will apply equally as well in everyday life as it does in business. Creativity, by its very nature, is a way to bring together already existing elements and present them in an unusual way. More importantly, however, everyone can tell stories, more so than writing a novel, creating a painting or song. Storytelling is part of being human, and it’s only a matter of practice.
To summarize, every leader needs to train their storytelling abilities so that they can create a secure connection with the people they interact with daily. If you want to learn more, let’s connect on https://go.oncehub.com/GregNichvalodoff or [email protected]