Storytelling has definitely become a major part of our lives. Every time you communicate something you are theoretically telling a story. The problem starts when people forget about how important it is to learn what makes a “good story”. And this is not a methodology that someone created. By observation we realize that some narratives are good and others (the most part of them) really suck. By observation, we can appreciate that good communicators use a 3-act structure to convey a message.
So, to properly answer the question about “why storytelling is important”, we need to understand the question “Why do people tell stories?”
Think for a moment about all those stories you will never forget. Probably you had a significant emotional connection to the story because of many elements are in there. But to summarize all these elements, the premise we believe is that stories that tend to stick to our bones are those that teach us something.
This, I believe, is the primary reason we tell stories - to teach. And I am not talking about the rhetoric old way to teach. I am talking about relevant messages that can prepare us to live our lives.
“Story is equipment for living.” Kenneth Burke
This brings us an insight about how we live our lives. Since we were children, we learn most part of our lessons from our parents and teachers. We grow up and we lose the ability to tell compelling stories. Society pressure us to be logical, sensible, responsible and as a result, we lost the magic we used to have in our childhood.
Take as an example the universe of music. Those that tends to be universal and timeless had something in common. All try to teach us some important message. Even the classical music. Authors like Beethoven and Bach tried to translate their emotions in beginning, middle and end. Movies also tend to be immortal when there is some universal truth that helps us understand a little bit of our chaotic life.
Another point that is important about Storytelling is that, when well done, tends to live in our minds for a much longer time. This means that Marketing messages that use Storytelling principles can be much more effective.
Stories are deeply rooted in our history as human beings. In an experiment, some leading memory experts gave volunteers a huge list of objects to memorize. Of course, this is difficult to do, and they remember just a few. Then they tell those volunteers to link the objects together in a story, giving a plot that logically connects all of the objects. Once this is done, the list is easily recalled. Our brains seem to retain information in form of cause and effect. And if there is no causality, there is no story, no plot, nothing to remember and not to learn. In this case, you may be facing a boring presentation and your mind is not in the present, that is the worst that can happen to a presenter.
Storytelling works for every field in our lives. Look at the Bible. It could be just a list of rules, but it's not—it's stories. Stories resonate with people. Lists do