There was a very successful and prosperous businessman. Unfortunately, his ship got caught in a storm and sank. His factory was closed and his debts exceeded his assets. He lost everything in the process. For five long years , he worked very hard and gained back his lost status, constructed a bigger factory, acquired not one but two ships, now he was richer than ever before! Learning about his turn of fortune, journalists came to interview him. They flooded him with questions about the secret of his success. His reply to them was, “ I know that I failed in my business… but I never told myself I am a failure. The quality of your life is the quality of your self talk.”
Have you realized that When you hear a story, you spark a connection.? From our youth, and all through our lives, we have learned from stories because it is a natural, human way of learning. But why is it important to tell stories or listen to them in this day and age when we are bombarded with information at every step?
Evolution of stories
That is how humans have communicated since the beginning of time —by telling stories.
Everyday events became stories to tell children, priests told stories of religious affairs, and leaders told heroic tales of their adventures.
These stories have passed on through generations, some of them fill up history books, some are integral to culture, and some are embedded in family values. Remarkably, back in time storytellers were chosen over people of equally good reputations like hunters, fishermen , cobblers— which at least suggests that human beings may sometimes prize hearing a good story over eating an especially good meal.
Why do stories really matter In Todays Age?
Stories make complex information relatable, helps us in decision making and makes us easier to make choices especially in these technological times when we have ample of data to process. As human beings, we are automatically drawn to stories because we see ourselves reflected in them. We inevitably interpret the meaning in stories and understand ourselves better. No matter what we are trying to show or teach our audience—whether it’s marketing a product, ourselves, or our company, or teaching complex topics like astrophysics—stories engage and excite like no other means.
Studies show that stories create patterns in our brain and build neurological pathways, and in those patterns we find meaning. We use stories to make sense of our world and to share that understanding with others. So powerful is our impulse to detect story patterns that we see them even when they’re not there. They not only help us in problem solving as they impact us, motivate us to grow, to improve, and to change—the lessons they teach stay with us long after the details have faded from memory.
Stories matter!!. Stories can also be used to empower, to humanize, can break or repair the dignity of a people. A high earning profession for many, Actors , Comedians, Parents Teachers and Leaders use storytelling as a tool to express themselves and be understood. Research shows that the stories chosen by individuals are a representation of the thoughts, feelings and aspirations which are many a times unfulfilled and unexpressed. The storyteller lives that moment or emotion which is just a part of his/her subconscious mind, through that story which not only makes it therapeutic but also heals the teller as well the listener.
Here are few tips to say stories
- Content is the king: The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” One needs to carefully pick the story according to the audience. Stories are intended to make a personal connection with the audience. It should be written in a way that it has a clear morale ,crisp ,a detailed imagery of characters and have a good starting point as well as an impactful
- Dress to Express : Its not about being noticed but being Remembered. Your Outer appearance is the first thing that will be visually noticed. A storyteller is the one who knows his audience and the lay of the land. A focal point should be created near the face area to bring the attention on the face.A bright tie for corporate, hat or a scarf in case of kids, Bright color- t shirts for kids are just a few examples
- Body language: It is the Body Language that paints the picture in the audiences minds eye about what is occurring in the scene. A storyteller must be able to use his /her body as freely as his voice. 80% of what the audience understands will be read through the body and not the words out of which 55% feelings are expressed through body language. Appropriate hand gestures and facial expressions will never betray a storyteller.
- Eye contact: Research has proven that Eye contact is more intimate than words. It is that bullet which will always hit at the target and it helps the audience to remember what is being said and more importantly it helps them to remember YOU.
- Verbal communication: A good story teller doesn’t use many or complex words but uses the right words. Talk clearly, maintaining a confident pitch and being comfortably audible to people are all essential to a story teller .In pause the process happens, hence it is important to pause at the right places to evoke the right feelings. At the end of the day no one remembers what you said, they remember how you made them feel.
- Practice! Practice! Practice! : As the famous quote goes ‘ Victory Loves preparation, hence Practice is the key As you get applauded in public what you practice in private.
Last but the most important tip : Never miss your Smile and say Thank you to the audience for listening.
As Dr Howard Gardener, professor at Harvard University puts it ‘Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” Storytellers never die. They disappear into their own story.”
Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.”
Happy Storytelling !!