psychology explains the power of storytelling

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Post on 16-Apr-2017


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To get your point across to others is about communication.

Communication issues start the first day of our life.

For most of us, communication issues are part of our entire life.

Communication is difficult.

The actors dont speak the same language.

Even if the symbols are the same,

their interpretations are always different.

Psychology studies how knowledge is organized in human brain.

It tells us that for each of our perceptions and thoughts corresponds a network of activated neurons.

Our whole world can be summarized by a succession of activated neurons networks.

The position of our neurons depends on our genetic patrimony.

And the strength of the links between neurons depends on different learning we have experienced during our life.

Both are unique.

So our world is also unique.

That explains different interpretations.

And why communication is so difficult.

There are three key components in the communication process.

1. You

2. The Idea you want to Share.

3. The Audience

At the beginning, there are only you and your idea.

A marvelous idea! Youre so excited about it.

You cant stop thinking about it.

You fine tune each detail of your idea.

You cherish it so much

You want to share this idea with your audience.

But the enthusiasm is only luke-warm.

If we compared, what is going on in your brain and that of your audiences.

All the time you spent with your idea,

has made your idea fully integrated in your world.

The network of activated neurons corresponding to your idea

has strong connections with the rest of the network corresponding to your world representation.

What is exactly a strong connection between neurons?

The connection between two neurons is like a wire transporting electricity.

When the connection is rarely activated, this wire has a very low conductivity.It means that a lot of energy is requested to activate the neighbor neurons.

By repeating the usage of this wire, the conductivity increases.And less and less effort is requested to activate the neuron.

So you dont need any energy to think about your idea. It is natural as it is fully integrated in your world.

All the time you spent with your idea,

your audience has used it for other things but not your idea.

It has no energy to spend for building roads between neurons to integrate your idea in his world.

Resources are precious. Your audience has a lot of things to do.

It is not interested to waste its energy for something he doesnt understand .

That explains why communication is so a difficult art.

It is really a pity.

Communication is the basis of all personal and professional success.


EtcTeamworkFamily HarmonySocial presenceInfluenceNegotiation

Man is a social animal, so communication is a critical piece to achieve ourselves.

There is no magic solution.

It will take time to convince the audience.

But you can find some accelerators.

Storytelling is considered as one of the best accelerators for communication.

Thanks to several enablers, storytelling will get your point across to others.

Intrinsically, stories relax your audience.First enabler

Listening to a story has automatically a relaxing effect on the audience.

We have all been conditioned at an early age by matching hearing a story with a pleasurable time.

And thus, the concept of story is linked in our world with such interesting topics for the speaker such as Listening modeReady to LearnGood time

Good stories start with your audiences world.Second enabler

To make a connection between your idea and the audiences world,

you need to start with something known by your audience, something that they have already experienced.

So that the story can start with a set of activated neurons regularly used by the audience.

Otherwise your idea will be lost and wont survive for long.

Before moving to the third enabler, you must understand that to get your point across to others

The whole job is done by the audience.

Nancy Duarte[R] , bestseller book writer on storytelling says : The audience is the hero.

You [the speaker] are the mentor.

So, it is important that you manage its energy well thanks to the following enablers.

Implement the desire to your audience to change its world.Third enabler

Changing its world requires efforts.

You have to tease your audience with your story.

You have to tell them the benefits they will receive by taking your point

to convince the audience to spend its energy

to build new pathways ( connections) in their brain.

You have to manage their resources during your entire journey.Fourth enabler

You need to alternate efforts

and pause to let your audience rest and assimilate ideas.

Dont hesitate to repeat the same message differently.

So that the same neurons are activated again and again.

The main point is to improve connection conductivity between the neurons of your idea and neurons of your audiences world.So that less and less effort is requested for your audience to activate the neurons of your idea.

And reinforce connection with your idea.

Elude your audiences obstacles.Fifth enabler

Anticipate the audiences obstacles to accept your idea and destroy them.

This will allow them to go on with the job of building (connections) at lower efforts.

The job of the mentor (speaker) is to give advice about how to bypass different obstacles to reach the Promised land.

Rewards.Sixth enabler

After all the efforts,

It is time to reward the audience.

And make them feel how good it is to share your point.

This reward will add positive feelings to your idea integrated in the audiences world.


There is no magical formula in getting your point across to others.


To get your point across to others, you can only sew the seed in their brains.

And use enablers to make it growth.

Storytelling gives you the time and the space to use enablers to make your idea grow.

This is a Meta story.This story uses the same enablers that ones describes in the story.

If I succeeded to keep your attention until page n98, these enablers may have some power.


Nancy Duarte

CEO and author. Passionate about persuasion and visual stories used in business.Really the queen of storytelling. Her bestselling book Resonate is absolutely a must to read if you want to go deeper in storytelling.

Follow her on Twitter : @nancyduarte

Or more information on :

Thank you !!!Follow me on twitter : @BrainSlideStoryIf you enjoyed reading this story, share it with your friends.


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