Why stories sell stuff.
Neuroscientists conducted studies on the effects of storytelling on the brain. They found that when a person listens to someone speak, like in an office presentation for example, the auditory cortex and word processing areas of the brain become active. Now add in stories, descriptions of people, places, sounds and smells, and suddenly the brain becomes a lightning storm of activity. It is this additional brain activity that triggers interest and engagement from the audience.
“When we are being told a story, things change dramatically... If someone tells us about how delicious certain foods were, our sensory cortex lights up. If it's about motion, our motor cortex gets active.” - Leo Widrich
The brain produces a hormone called Oxytocin which is produced when we show trust or kindness to others. Oxytocin is also known for promoting empathy and cooperation in individuals. Stories cause us to produce Oxytocin.
“Good stories, in other words, nudge people to pay attention, empathize, and cooperate, and that's very relevant in business.” – Paul J. Zak
If you stick to the facts and figures in your marketing communication, the listener’s brain will likely remain shut. If you speak to them in story, their brains open up and there is room for persuasion.
“What's going on in our heads when we sit riveted in a darkened movie theater or hang onto every word of an expert speaker? The key, apparently, seems to be our capacity for empathy.” – Jessica Stillman
Great storytelling is the key to making your message memorable and persuasive.
Are you giving your customers the facts? Or are you enlightening them with stories?
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner