People love narratives – they touch us, invite us into unique worlds and stimulate our imagination. But they are also a powerful tool for changing people’s beliefs and behaviours, making storytelling an essential skill for any type of organisation or business.
Consider that: every minute of the day, people consume as much as 452,000 hours of Netflix, 157 million TikTok videos and 65,000 photos on Instagram. With this overload of information, your story needs to be unique to stand out. That’s why storytelling is an unbeatable tool to convince customers to engage with a brand, to get stakeholders’ buy-in or to make sure that employees are on the same page.
Furthermore, storytelling can inspire employees – they are more likely to be motivated by a compelling story than a list of company policies or a mission statement. Compelling stories create a sense of purpose and inspire employees to work towards a common goal.
Understanding the physiological impact of a captivating story on our bodies is truly fascinating. When a storyteller’s key message deeply resonates with us, a remarkable phenomenon occurs within our brains: the release of oxytocin, affectionately known as the “love hormone.” This hormone engenders feelings of empathy, and trust, and fosters the creation of positive memories. An intriguing study discovered that a single storytelling session with hospitalized children resulted in increased oxytocin levels, reduced cortisol and pain, and positive emotional shifts during a free-association task. What’s even more remarkable is that the release of oxytocin reduces our stress levels, promoting a profound sense of relaxation. Despite these benefits, many speakers hesitate to embrace storytelling, thus missing out on the immense potential to inspire action within their audience.
In a business context, hearing a captivating story can instill a sense of empowerment among individuals. Moreover, our emotions are more likely to drive us into taking action. Whether it’s purchasing a product, donating to a charity, or closing a deal, every business aiming to create impactful content and enhance conversion rates can reap the benefits of employing storytelling techniques.
Here at IBM iX, we fully comprehend the potential of storytelling and actively advocate its utilisation to amplify conversion rates and address internal objectives. However, crafting a compelling story is far from effortless – it demands a strategic approach and poses significant challenges when transforming raw information into a captivating narrative.
In a workshop format, we guide our clients through a framework – a visual map – that helps them formulate a story. The framework contains multiple indispensable pillars that address questions like:
By leveraging the core pillars and addressing crucial questions, clients can effortlessly and seamlessly convert intricate concepts or elusive narratives into captivating stories.
By mastering the art of storytelling, businesses can unlock a wealth of sales opportunities and forge narratives that deeply resonate with their target audience. Embracing a comprehensive storytelling framework not only acts as a catalyst for uncovering hidden potential, but also paves the way for sustainable growth and impactful brand engagement. Through strategic storytelling, businesses can captivate their audience, foster meaningful connections, and propel themselves toward continued success in the dynamic marketplace.
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