We grow up developing a belief system based on how we’ve been taught; what our parents, teachers and friends think, what we’ve read and interpreted and what we have allowed to influence our own thinking. As a result we recall information based on our own selective memory regardless of whether that information is true or not. Psychologists call it confirmation bias and it’s a tendency for people to favour information that is based on their own preconceptions. Ultimately if someone tries to change our minds with facts and figures it feels combative, and like the donkey we dig our heels in and resist.
Stories on the other hand help prevent this confirmation bias because they take us on an emotional journey. They are a more gentle way of delivering information that the listener can accept because it’s a story and not delivering opposing facts to our belief system. When we tell an engaging story, the listener can see themselves in that story, and once they can see themselves in it the need to persuade disappears.
Stories support how we were taught to learn and how the mind works. Stories are memorable, in fact we are 20 times more likely to remember a fact if it’s wrapped in a story.
So when you next need to explain something to your sales team about targets going up or you want to deliver details of a new product, think about a story that can help evidence your facts and take your listeners on a journey. Not only will it be far more interesting to listen to, it will also bring more energy into your communication.
If you’d like to develop your own brand stories then read Create your Story for a few ideas.