The Significance of Storytelling

After writing about Compartmentalized Communicating, I’ve been thinking about how significant storytelling is to the successful communications experience. Nothing makes that human, emotional connection better than authentic, compelling storytelling. It was Hans Rosling‘s brilliant presentation of statistics at TED India that has kept this topic on my mind.

As Hans demonstrates, telling a story can deliver your message almost effortlessly through the gatekeeper of the First Brain to the data processor of the New Brain. (More information on First Brain and New Brain is detailed in You’ve Got to Be Believed to Be Heard and a bit in my Compartmentalized Communicating post.)

Bert wrote an excellent post on The Power of Story. It’s spot on. I’d like to add value to it with this complementary post offering a few unique resources, each providing a different perspective on storytelling.

The Moth.  A non-profit organization dedicated to the art of storytelling.  With performances selling out in less than 48 hours with absolutely no advertising other than word of mouth, the demand for storytelling speaks volumes.

“One of the hottest events in town… The Moth is an evening of

unashamedly old-fashioned storytelling…

the performances are enthralling,

funny and moving, with a typical New York intensity.”

- The Times (London)

“The success of The Moth is one example of

the phenomenon of storytelling that is gaining momentum

nationwide. In The Moth’s case, these narrative

sessions are fast becoming an institution.”

- The New York Times

“We celebrate the ability of stories to honor the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection.” – from The Moth’s Mission Statement

Experience Project. The world’s largest living collection of shared experiences, with over 24 experience categories.  Launched in 2007, boasting nearly 3.5 million experiences shared, this is place where individuals share their stories in an anonymous, comfortable and supportive place.  A unique website revealing the human hunger to share and read stories, this website is also a useful tool for communicators to search for stories and ideas from categories such as Education, Entertainment, Politics, Business, Relationships, to name a few.  From confessions to inspirational stories, the Experience Project is an excellent resource for exploring the stories that connect human experience. Why Stories are an Effective Communication Tool for Your Blog. This popular blog by Darren Rowse (@problogger) highlights for the blogging community what Decker emphasizes for communicators.  In researching the historical data for his blog, Darren learned that story blog posts were among the most popular over the last five years.  His bullet point list of why stories are valuable for bloggers applies to all communicators, aligned with  Bert’s The Power of Story blog post earlier this year.

  • Stories engage the imagination of readers [listeners]fatherchildonbeach
  • Stories go beyond facts and theories
  • Stories reveal something about yourself as a blogger [communicator] (they’re personal)
  • Stories trigger emotions and the senses
  • Stories are conversational - they stimulate others to react and tell their stories [to you, to others and in their own communications experiences]
  • Stories provide hooks for readers [listeners ] to latch onto your blogging [message] (they’re relatable)
  • Stories grab and hold the attention of readers [listeners]
  • Stories are memorable – while people don’t always latch onto facts and figures – a good story can be remembered for years
  • Stories illustrate your points in ways that can be much more convincing (and convicting) than other types of information

The common thread of these three sites is clear.  People love stories; stories connect them to each other in the most basic human way. Stories are bridges between our humanity and the objective of our presentations. Something so significant should be shared.

Photo credit:  zinkwazi

Video Blog: 1×1 Feedback for Mayor Gavin Newsom

Thank you for all the response on my last video blog! I’m happy to keep them coming, so here we go with a second quick video where I’ll talk about communication in the news. Remember, I also want to give you feedback! Video tape yourself at a meeting or giving … Continue reading

Warren Buffett knows about investing – in yourself

When you see clips like these, it’s easy to understand why Warren Buffett is the man. Now, of course, I LOVE the fact that he acknowledges communications as one of the #1 ways you can increase your human capital and value to your team, company, organization, and even family and … Continue reading

Video Blog: Carrie Prejean on the Today Show

Here’s my first attempt at a video blog! This is hopefully one of many quick videos where I’ll give feedback for communication in the news. I also want to give you feedback! Send me a video of you giving a presentation, doing Q&A, or rehearsing a speech (less than 10 … Continue reading

Are you in the weeds?

We’ve all been there – caught up in the shrinking world of tunnel vision.  But when communicating with others, being in the weeds can lose your audience. Last week I coached two executives, neither of whom had used video feedback before.  In both of these sessions, we addressed the need … Continue reading

A little eye communication goes a long way for WOMM

Last week I wrote on various aspects of eye communication. A couple of experiences prompt me to write again – on how eye communication impacts word of mouth marketing. And how important is word of mouth marketing? 80% of reviews are positive…because people want to share things they enjoy. Known … Continue reading

Grab a mop!

I know.  Another Obama post? Put your politics and feelings about health care and the economy aside to learn a great lesson here. Obama brings ideas to life with his words. He did it again on Tuesday at a rally for Senator Creigh Deeds, Virginia’s democratic candidate for governor. With … Continue reading

Does your message stick?

I’m thrilled to introduce @MeredithGood, one of our newest team members brought on to do program development and marketing.  She’ll be contributing to the blog from now on, starting today! In true Decker form, we videotaped the entire Decker Made To Stick Messaging debut program so we could (what else?) … Continue reading

Master the Art of Telegraphing

Hi all, @kellydecker here… Think telegraphing is outdated? Think again. When’s the last time you got a telegraph? Well, if you’ve interacted with anyone in the last ten minutes – a coworker, friend, boss or even your kids, you definitely got one. And I bet that you sent a couple … Continue reading

Decker Made To Stick Messaging is here!

@kellydecker here with a super newsworthy post… Think back to a time when you’ve been so incredibly excited to give someone something that you knew they would LOVE. Maybe it was the Superman PEZ dispenser that your younger brother wanted for his 5th birthday… or your kid’s first bicycle with … Continue reading