What is storytelling and why do we need it?

People often are confused by the term “Story” – they think it’s just about standing around telling anecdotes, insert a meaningless joke or “dumbing down” serious materials to the level of stupid or silly. On the contrary

  • Stories are thousands of years old, they’re the reason information has survived from generation.
  • Our brains are hardwired for a structured story – while they can’t deal with mounds of data
  • We learn through stories – I’ve seen my 3 year old go from chewing on a book to actively discussing elements of the story even though she’s heard it hundreds of times. She gets it and has become a storyteller in her own right
  • Stories inspire, captivate, resonate and influence! – aren’t those the things you want when pitching for fundraising or sales?
  • And the best thing – Stories are universal – we find storytelling in every culture, religion and geography

Storytelling is the difference between rattling off data and giving it meaning. When we read a good book, – we are swept into the story, time and space falls away – and it’s sad to end it. We don’t look for 100% historical accuracy, technical data or facts and figures – we just give ourselves over to the experience.