I Guess You Had to be There

Humans are hard-wired for stories. The Aborigines have been telling stories for over 40,000 years; every religious text is a collection of stories and the nightly news shares stories from around the world.

Stories are powerful for two reasons.

When we tell stories, the audience integrates any new information into what they already know. This is powerful for getting them to remember your message.

The second benefit of using stories is, they let the audience be right. You picture what you want to see and how you want to see it. This is why the book is always better than the movie. When you read the book, you pictured scenes a certain way and the movie showed them another. This tells you that you were wrong and you push back against it.

There are five elements you need to include in your presentation so you can tell great stories. They are:

  1. Characters – people, places, weather, objects (car, house, horse etc).
  2. Conflict – tension between the characters. This can be good or bad tension.
  3. Emotions – we humans are drawn to emotions.
  4. Resolution – resolving the conflict.
  5. Point – your reason for sharing the story.

If you leave out any one of these elements you will usually have to finish your story by saying, “I guess you had to be there” and that’s not cool.

Include stories and people will remember your message.

As always, would love your thoughts on this. Please leave a comment in the comment section below.

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