I heard the pop and immediately fell to the floor, writhing in pain, grasping and signaling desperately at my knee. I knew my soccer career was over.
If I had told you the real fact of the matter — I hurt my knee — would you be as engaged? Why were those first sentences so much more interesting? Because humans are storytelling creatures; our brains are wired to want and need stories.
Storytelling helps our brains make sense of complex information and connect with it emotionally so that it becomes meaningful (and therefore worth remembering).
Most leaders know a story is needed when speaking in front of a crowd or writing a post on social media. What they often don’t realize is that storytelling is actually needed daily, from routine meetings to coffee corner chats with employees. Anytime you want to inspire, influence, motivate or clarify, a story can help.
If you want to succeed in influencing and getting your points understood and supported, you need to be storytelling far more often than you probably are currently. Here are seven tips to make sure your stories grab people’s attention.
1. Stop telling a story and start storytelling.