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The Power of Storytelling

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storytellingStorytelling is one of the oldest forms of communication … and the most powerful. The human mind is hardwired to respond to stories. According to Pamela Brown Rutledge, PhD, MBA, “Our brains still respond to content by looking for the story to make sense out of the experience.”

Therefore, when you use the power of storytelling in your presentations, you are better able to get your core message across to your audience. You are tapping into the human minds natural way of learning and using it to your advantage … and helping your audience understand your message better.

So how do you use stories in your speeches?

  • Share anecdotes with emotional triggers that further your message.
  • Use case studies that illustrate your points.
  • Organize your information so that it has a clear beginning, middle and end.


“Stories are how we think,” says Rutledge. “They are how we make meaning of life.” And they go by many names: stories, tales, schemas, cognitive maps, metaphors, narratives, scripts, etc.

You can also use elements of storytelling to help further your message without going into an entire story itself. Use metaphors, analogies and similes to create word pictures in the minds of your audience.

Think about this: The subconscious mind processes imagined experiences in the exact same way as real experiences. To the subconscious mind, they are the same. When you can weave an emotionally rich experience with your presentation, you can provide a more powerful speech than if you don’t. This brings your message more fully home … communicating to your audience on more than a conscious level.

People remember more how you made them feel than what you said. Storytelling can make your message more memorable by creating an emotional subtext that allows your message to take root.


Resources:

The Psychological Power of Storytelling by Pamela Brown Rutledge, Ph.D., M.B.A.

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About the author

Carma Spence, The Own Your Awesome Mentor, is author of Public Speaking Super Powers. She is fiercely committed to guiding women to Owning their Awesome and turning it into a profitable business. She is masterful at helping her clients see what is possible for them and supporting them on the journey from where they are to where they want to be, releasing the Mind Goblins of self-doubt, self-sabotage and second-guessing that keep them stuck.

With 20+ years experience in marketing communications and public relations, natural intuitive skills and certification in using some of the most effective transformational coaching tools available, Carma’s mission and commitment is to unleash the inner power every woman entrepreneur possesses so they can boldly go out into the world, transforming the fabric of people’s lives in meaningful and positive ways.

You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Her website is CarmaSpence.com.

1 comment on “The Power of Storytelling”

  1. Tony

    One of the most succinct and articulate articles on the power of story telling I have had the pleasure of reading. We can only hope the use of story telling in B2B selling increases and the use of PowerPoint presentations decreases on a faster trajectory.

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