Telling stories is like legally dealing a drug that makes people like you. Literally.
Think back to the last time you watched a really good movie and it made you feel something. Maybe it made you cry or you felt fear, or you felt something else but you were engaged. You cared about what happened to the characters.
You KNOW that movies are stories and the characters are actors. The evil villain and desperate protagonist go out for a drink together after a day of filming.
It is all pretend and you KNOW it.
And yet, if the movie is good, you feel something.
You connect with the characters.
This is the power of good storytelling.
Connection is a physical thing.
That feeling of empathy, caring and interest, that connection that you feel for characters in a movie, or in any story, is the result of the brain secreting a hormone called oxytocin.
Which sounds similar to Oxycontin but the two are only related in name and the fact that they are powerful drugs.
Humans are inherently social and we depend on social bonds for survival and happiness.
To make this work we need to know whom to trust and work with to promote our own welfare. Oxytocin is produced when we feel trusted when we are the object of a kindness or we make a connection with someone.
When it is produced we feel empathy and connection. So, when two people start building trust their brains are swimming in this hormone that makes them feel warm, fuzzy and connected.
This oxy is key to bonding and trust.
So how do we give our audience an Oxy rush?
In the U.K. researchers conducted a test in which they injected people with synthetic oxytocin and subjected them to public service announcements.
Which implies that a great way to get people to really care about you and your brand is to go around injecting them with Oxytocin before they interact with you.
Which is a bad idea. Just to avoid lawsuits: do not try to inject your prospects with oxytocin. (Or Oxycotin which is a dangerous drug that you should avoid at all costs).
But there is a better way to get exactly the same result.
The Story Is the Drug
Back to that movie, we started with: you had a reaction completely without needles.
You don’t need synthetic oxytocin at all.
You produce oxytocin in your brain.
Your goal as a marketer or a salesperson is to motivate your prospect's brain to produce and release oxytocin.
You can do this with a story.
When you watched that movie your brain produced oxytocin. The story made you feel that way without needles, without touch, without even being in the same room at the same time.
When you tell a good story, it is like your audience is having a surge of trust and empathy all directed towards you.
This is revolutionary for marketing. You can inspire your audience, your prospects, to feel the same emotional pull that you felt at the movies even if you are selling accounting services, just by telling a story.
And storytelling is well Defined
For at least 2500 years humans have been studying the power of story. From Aristotle to Joseph Campbell we have been telling, studying and observing the impact of stories.
So stop bombarding your audience with facts and figures that bore them to death and tell a great story that engages instead. Give your audience a legal high that will make them like you...