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The Science Behind Storytelling — and Why It Matters

The Science Behind Storytelling — and Why It Matters
As presenters we want people to pay attention, be engaged and remember the message. The key to doing that? Science now says it involves storytelling: Stories stimulate emotions, which may be the key to better learning, attention, memory and decision making. When we listen to stories, more of the brain lights up, according to Annie Murphy Paul, author of “Brilliant: The New Science of Smart.” Here’s the science: Two parts of the brain – Broca’s and Wernicke’s area – automatically light up when listening to a presentation. But just because you’re lighting up a few gray cells doesn’t mean you, the presenter, are getting through. John Medina, biologist and author of “Brain Rules,” also notes that, “We don’t pay attention to boring things.” Back to the story. Here’s a collection of storytelling rules tweeted out by Emma Coats, former story artist at Pixar. They’re all good advice, but file rules 2 and 4 under “essential” for your next presentation. Once upon a time there was ___.

It’s in these stitches | Mary Trigiani What a nice evening: the good fortune to visit the wellspring of the great Anne Lamott’s perspective. Funny and profound. As drawn in a lively conversation by the wonderful Fran Moreland Johns, who does a bit of remarkable writing herself. Anne has a new book: Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair. The theme resounds on so many levels, not the least of which is the sewing. As it says on this gem’s cover flap, “It’s in these stitches that the quilt of life begins, and embedded in them are strength, warmth, humor and humanity Like this: Like Loading...

Five Ways to Develop a Cross-Channel Brand Story Stories have always been vehicles via which we communicate and perceive truth. But more than ever before, stories are taking center stage in the consumer marketplace, enabling brands to forge meaningful, lasting connections with generations of customers. One of the key challenges for today's marketers is the creation and delivery of cross-channel brand stories. Consumers no longer access content via a single channel. They use a range of personal technologies to connect with the brands and retailers that are important to them—and they expect to be "wowed" every time, regardless of the channel they use to access the brand. So, for growth-minded retailers and consumer brands, omni-channel success hinges on the ability to deliver cross-channel brand stories that are engaging, memorable, and consistent. The Art and Science of Cross-Channel Brand Stories Deployment strategy is only one aspect of effective cross-channel brand storytelling. Five Tips for Cross-Channel Brand Storytelling 1. 2. 3.

Telling stories: five successful marketing examples Research shows that stories, anecdotes and metaphors are more memorable than data. At Searchlove last week, business consultant and author Danny Scheinmann discussed why stories work, the hidden structures behind them and how they can help your business to communicate effectively. The ladder A simple device to remember how to tell an effective story is to think of a ladder. At the top of the ladder are abstract ideas: love, ambition, hope, happiness. At the bottom of the ladder are concrete examples: physical evidence of the above abstractions. Businesses often get stuck in the middle of the ladder, blurting out pat phrases like 'good customer service' and 'work smarter, not harder' that sound like a mixture of practical and aspirational without really being either. The best communication goes up and down the ladder, backing up aspirational slogans, with concrete examples. A classic example of this is Martin Luther King’s 'I have a dream' speech. Significant Objects Dove The risk worked.

The Art of the Simple Blurb | Robert Laing Every week or so, I get asked by a startup founder to make an intro to an investor. Normally these startups are pre-funding, so the founders are inexperienced about talking about their company. So their descriptions of their companies suck, which makes it really hard to make an intro even if they’re working on something interesting. This advice is mainly for founders looking for investor intros, but probably works for any kind of business development. First things firstMark Suster has great advice in general on the ins and outs of making intros. If there’s one takeaway from Mark, it should be this: People who make intros learn to be very careful who they intro, because their reputation can be negatively affected by too many or too poor quality intros. Your blurbIf you’re asking for an intro, provide a simple blurb about your company. The point of the blurb is to give your introducer a piece of text that makes it easy to refer your company to someone else. Like this: Like Loading...

Good Companies Are Storytellers. Great Companies Are Storydoers - Ty Montague by Ty Montague | 1:00 PM July 16, 2013 Discussions about story and storytelling are pretty fashionable in marketing circles. I have ambivalent feelings about this. In fact, those that think this way do so at their own risk because there is a new kind of company on the rise that uses story in a more powerful way — and they run more efficient and profitable businesses as a result. In my new book, True Story: How to Combine Story and Action to Transform Your Business, I call these new companies storydoing companies because they advance their narrative through action, not communication. So how do you know a storydoing company when you see one? Recently, my partners and I at co:collective initiated a project to determine whether there is hard statistical evidence that storydoing companies are achieving superior results. So we chose 42 publicly-traded companies. The early results we are seeing are quite compelling. Those mentions are also more positive: …and share price:

Three Priorities for the Digital CMO - Debi Kleiman by Debi Kleiman | 1:00 PM July 18, 2013 The principal role of a CMO has always been to be a great storyteller. Once upon a time, this meant waxing eloquently about the brand’s promise, giving people a hero to cheer for and something to relate to and believe in. And the process of storytelling used to be fairly simple: create an ad, place it in a magazine, newspaper or on the radio or TV, and you were done. Today, we live in an entirely different world — one in which brand narratives are often co-opted, molded and even created by consumers. This means the journey now taken by brands and consumers together is filled with many more twists and turns. Each of these stops along the journey is a point of light in the digital mosaic that creates a brand narrative built on billions of interactions. How can today’s digital CMO navigate this new landscape? 1. There is no pun intended when I say, “don’t leave customers to their own devices.” 2. 3.

10 of the World's Best Storytellers [SlideShare] Since before blogs were created, people have told stories. Shocking. I know. But long predating the clickity-clacking of our keyboards were generations of people finding creative ways to communicate meaning with one another -- to try to bring understanding to a complicated human experience. We painted on cave walls, carved pictures into trees, sorted images out of rocks, sang songs, danced, told stories ... the best of those stories being passed down from generation to generation. Storytelling is a cornerstone of human existence, and it's what enables successful people to communicate and connect with anyone -- and I mean anyone -- to this day. What exactly makes a great storyteller? 1) Walt Disney Whether watching one of his dozens of films or strolling through his beyond-belief theme parks, Walt Disney transcends age groups with his knack for creating a grandiose experience that completely immerses people in his stories. 2) Sheryl Sandberg 3) Leymah Gbowee 4) Richard Branson 7) Nate Silver

5 Secrets to Use Storytelling for Brand Marketing Success Mayhem is Coming - Allstate (Photo credit: roberthuffstutter) Brand storytelling isn’t a new concept, but with the explosive growth of social media and content marketing, the opportunities to tell stories as part of direct and indirect brand marketing initiatives have become a strategic priority. Marketers have been telling brand stories for years through advertising, in-person brand experiences, and so on, but the art of writing those brand stories as effective pieces of online content is a challenge that few are trained to do. That’s because the best brand storytellers understand the critical elements of fiction writing, which are skills that few marketers have been formally trained to do. Today’s strongest marketing team will have room for new roles like the data architect and the brand creative content director. Following are five secrets that brand storytellers understand and use to intrigue, engage, and connect emotionally with consumers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

The Power of Story for Content Marketing Strategy | socialtribe May 31st, 2013 by Tatiana Natzke I’ve been a longtime fan of Nancy Duarte’s work. For those who aren’t familiar with her, she’s the CEO of Duarte Design , as well as an author and graphic designer. She’s most well known for her revolutionary approach to the way presentations are created – the most famous example is her work on Al Gore’s In Inconvenient Truth. Now, what’s so exciting about presentations, and how on earth could designing slide decks turn someone into one of the most influential women in Silicon Valley? The answer is simple: the power of story. She’s written a couple of highly-acclaimed books, as well as delivered one of the most widely watched TEDx talks of all time, but I stumbled upon a great short video where she discusses the most basic tenets of how to tell a story. Transformation “The powerful thing about story is that it demonstrates transformation, and humans are hard wired to enjoy transformation.

How to Get New Content Hires Up to Speed It’s a fabulous time to be a content creator! As companies worldwide increasingly turn to creating content to generate leads and revenue, creating enough content has become a priority for most brands. Great news for content creators, right? Right, until their first month on the job, and every piece of content is rejected, or worse -- gets published and falls flat. What happened? One (or many) having the power to spread your messages with the single click of a button means each new piece of content can uphold -- or destroy -- your brand’s public image, not to mention unravel all the progress you've made with content 'til this point. Provide Buyer Persona Worksheets The strongest writers are only as effective as their knowledge of their audience. Which topics will resonate with readersWhat content will address buyer pain-pointsWhat tone your reader prefersHow long content should beWhat cultural references readers will understand And many, many more things. Immerse Employees in Your Industry

Five Tips to Emotionally Connect Readers to Your Writing Many bloggers produce content that is overflowing with great ideas, exciting potential, and great advice, but they don't know how to emotionally connect with readers, hold their attention, and get readers sucked into their blog posts and articles. Here, I want to give you five easy tactics you can use to instantly transform any blog post from an ordinary piece of content into an empathetic work of art. This article covers three main topics: 1. So, with that, let's get started. 1. If you've ever stopped to look around at what holds our attention today, you'd conclude three things do: music, television, and books. And what do all three have in common? They stimulate our emotions. If you look up the definition of "interesting" (as defined on, you'll find: "Arousing a feeling of interest." Everything we do in our lives is to experience some sort of positive emotion, and everything we don't do is to avoid experiencing some sort of negative emotion. 2. As humans, we think in pictures.