The one skill every business and individual needs to master.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
StorySpeakers earn more, out-perform, do better in school and college, get hired and promoted faster and get better service in person, and over the phone than fact-speakers.
Ask any high school student who his or her favorite teacher is and then ask why. Chances are the answer will be, “Because she makes things more interesting” or “Because he tells stories.”
When educators StorySpeak they keep their students engaged and interested by transforming learning into lively experiences.
These teachers know that a great storyteller must first capture the student’s imagination and hold their attention and second, transport them into another world. And they know the way to keep those students in that other world is by continually increasing the tension in the story until the conclusion is reached, the lesson learned and the message delivered.
This strategy doesn’t just apply to motivating school-children––it’s everywhere in society.
Advertisers polish their stories, social media spreads them, politicians bend them, religions exalt them and motivational speakers use them to capture the hearts and minds of their audiences and transport them onto new horizons
When things get competitive it’s all about the story.
Today’s corporate leaders like stories because they bring their company’s heritage to life in the imagination. They share their stories with their customers, their staff, their new hires. They live them. Corporate leaders StorySpeak their visions and goals.
Successful entrepreneurs StorySpeak naturally. They use stories and word pictures to quickly get their ideas across in a tasty manner and make them stick. They talk about planting seeds, bearing fruit and cutting out the deadwood. In 1975, two screenwriters walked into a Hollywood producer’s office and planted three words, “jaws in space,” and the blockbuster movie Alien was born. Pure StorySpeak.
Sales people know their stories are as, or more, important than their products to build trust and reinforce their brand
Patients and doctors have long understood the power of telling and listening to personal accounts. Patients want to hear the stories of other patients who’ve gone through the same thing.
Imagination is at the heart of one of the longest-running mysteries in western medicine: the placebo effect. This is the idea that pain or illness can be relieved through “fake” medicines like sugar pills, just because the patient believes he has received a real treatment. Researchers know the placebo effect is a perfect example of the power of the imagination to engage forces beyond a patients’ conscious control.
The Annals of Internal Medicine recently published a study examining the effects of storytelling on high blood pressure. In the test group, listening to personal stories helped achieve and maintain a drop in blood pressure as effectively adding more medication. “Telling and listening to stories is the way we make sense of our lives,” said Dr. Thomas K. Houston, lead author of the study at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester. “That natural tendency has the potential to alter behavior and improve health.”
More and more companies are catching on to the importance of storytelling. At Nike, several of their senior executives are called “corporate storytellers.” They explain the company’s history to everyone from vice presidents and sales reps to the hourly workers who run the cash registers at Nike’s stores.
The most recent advertising campaign from Domino’s Pizza features true stories of franchisees saying things like “I bought my first franchise with the money I saved at college.” “I mortgaged my house to buy my first franchise.”
Weight Watchers couples solid data with real-world stories of people making better food choices to improve the health of their customers.
John Deere shares solid data with real-world lifestyle stories of people interested in farming.
Lego shares solid data with real-world stories about families bonding while building together.
‘The Magic of Heineken’ tells of the beer company’s founding in Amsterdam in 1864.
A famous AARP TV commercial starts: “Our story began when Ethel Percy Andrus came across a retired teacher living in a chicken coop because she could afford nothing else. It inspired her to found AARP.”
Successful blogs use stories to hook the attention of their readers and transport them around the world in a million ways.
TripAdvisor is filled with true stories from people enhancing their lives as a result of their services.
TED’s mission statement is to spread understanding through stories.
Facebook, Linked-in and hundreds of dating sites invite people to share their stories to fill gaps in their lives.
“A great product with a great story is a winning combination.”
Fundraisers weave real-world stories into their communication efforts to capture interest, elicit engagement and get the wheels turning.
Online they use the StoryBook approach, alternating photos with short, ten second blocks of text.
The YMCA just renamed its fundraisers “storytellers.”
They found that turning the spotlight on their participants, staff and volunteers was not just a great way to show gratitude for their involvement, but also a great way to connect with the community at large.
In the Courtroom…
Research shows that Jurors construct stories inside their heads to provide meaning to situations they never experienced first hand. The problem with this is they use their personal emotions, values and beliefs to evaluate the credibility of defendants, witnesses and evidence. This may not benefit the lawyer or the client.
A great trial attorney will beat them to it by planting his or her favorable take on the story so vividly in the decision-maker’s imaginations, they see that version as the truth.
On the Trade Show Floor…
Stories are quick and they stick. Customers like hearing them because they quickly build trust and make relationships human and personal.
Two weeks after the show people will remember you and your stories before they remember the booth or the facts and figures.
Romance is the art of expressing sentimental love. “Romance” is also the French word for story. At its simplest, it is amorous gestures towards the one you love. At its best, it is deliberately creating wonderful memories that serve to form a foundation of specialness on which you build the loving relationship of your life. This comes from the stories you create together. Stories you tell yourself, each other, and to other people.
Romantic means story-worthy.
Since the beginning of time, thousands of free-spirited, everyday people choose StorySpeak over FactSpeak to capture hearts and minds with pictures, sound, feelings, smells and tastes in order to pitch and present ideas, land a job or promotion, problem solve, simplify, teach, inspire loyalty – and even to become a famous motivational speaker.
When Bill Gates, the richest man in the US asked Warren Buffett, the second richest man in the US “How do you define success?” he replied, “I tap dance to work.” That’s StorySpeak. Warren Buffett could have taken five minutes to explain how he defines success and how it makes him feel but instead he did it in five, vivid, memorable words. He’s famous for talking this way. He credits his ability to create word pictures and short stories that quickly simplify complicated concepts as a big part of his success.
When Bill gates was asked why he didn’t come up with the iPhone he said “it’s kind of like surfing. We’re all out there waiting for the next wave and I was in the wrong place. The other guy got the wave.” Bill Gates created a parallel experience between market trends and surfing: that’s StorySpeak too.
Steve Jobs was obsessed with StorySpeak. He flipped “graphical interface” into “desktop” and called the computer “a bicycle for the mind.” He used intuitive metaphors (StorySpeak) for his products like iPad, MacBook Air and High Sierra. The names Apple, PayPal and Windows are all StorySpeak.
StorySpeak flips attitudes and influences opinions. When Maya Angelou said “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” she was using StorySpeak. Queen Elizabeth 1 of England proclaimed “I have the body of a woman, but the heart and stomach of a king” she rallied her troops into battle more than five hundred years earlier.
Most of us are unwitting slaves to our imagination. Out of control, your imagination can ruin your life, rob you of your confidence, and literally frighten you to death. But, under control, your imagination can energize, motivate and drive you to extraordinary heights and great happiness.It’s a proven fact that using word pictures and stories to communicate our messages and ideas is the single most powerful way to inspire and motivate audiences, customers, investors, employees, family, friends and yourself.
The genius of all great orators and communicators lies in their ability to use metaphors and stories to motivate any audience – be it one or one million people.
An “image” is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to explaining complicated concepts and ideas. An image conjured up in the imagination of the listener can get across large chunks of information much faster and more memorably than a long-winded factual description.
But, StorySpeak is more than just that. It’s about painting simple word-pictures to pitch ideas, telling short stories to make things more interesting, and creating conversation with chemistry to captivate, to explain and motivate audiences of any size.
StorySpeak is about creating memorable, mental images of what you want to communicate to other people; ideas, values, motivation, knowledge or understanding. Mental images are more influential, and easier to remember than facts and figures.