The Ancient Art of Story Telling Never Died (And Why You Should Care)

"It has been said that next to hunger and thirst,
our most basic human need is for storytelling.”
~Khalil Gibran

It may be that you thought that the telling
of stories, tales, sagas, fables, myths,
fairy tales and legends was long dead and gone.
But stories are far from dead, in fact,
they never died, they just changed their form.

Humans have told stories for millennium, passed down through
generations, as a way to guide, teach, advise and direct others.
Tales that captured their audiences with spirited adventure
told of how to live, hunt, behave and survive in their world.
And they still speak to us in a way that
engages our imagination and our hearts.

There is something about oral storytelling that speaks to us
in a way that other mediums just don't.
There is more impact, and more retention,
when a lesson or information is delivered within a story -
it captures our attention more fully, because it
speaks to our emotions and sparks our imagination.
And it's not just me saying that, it's backed up by science.

“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn.
Tell me the truth and I’ll believe.
Tell me a story 
and I'll keep it in my heart forever.”
Native American Proverb 
So how does this relate to your business marketing or
to a learning program?
Well, just like
Scheherazade, who knew the value of a good story,
and how to tell it to hold the listener so they kept wanting more,
you can also benefit from the brilliant tactic that saved her life.

It may not save your life, but it just might improve your business,
engage your listeners and create a loyal following.

If you're not getting the results you want from marketing content
you're writing, maybe you just need a compelling story
instead of a barrage of facts and features.
Perhaps you need a story that demonstrates
what good can come from having - or not having -
what you're offering, instead of
dropping a slew of your
business accolades.

Storytelling can really make a difference,
as well documented here in an article
by Pamela Hogle for Learning Solutions Magazine.

"When dealing with people, let us remember
we are not
dealing with creatures of logic,
we are dealing with creatures of emotion."

~Dale Carnegie

If you can put a story together that holds your message,
and enhance it with engaging, relateable visuals,
especially those of human emotion and interaction,
delivered with a human voice that matches those
emotions, your message will be more authentic,
more believable and it will

also be easier for you to create.

There's a great little scene with Kevin Spacey
in the movie 'The Shipping News' that illustrates
the power of a good narrative, but also how to write it
on any seemingly bland topic.

Spacey's character has moved to a remote town
is being trained to write for the local paper:
Old Journalist: "...finding the center of it, the
beating heart of your story,
that's what makes a reporter. 
(points to the clouds on the horizon),
Have a look, tell me the headline."
Rookie Writer (Spacey): "Horizon fills with dark clouds."

Old Journalist:
(shakes head no) "Imminent storm threatens village." 

Writer: "but ... what if no storm comes?"

Old Journalist:
"Village spared from deadly storm."

Who knew that mere clouds on the horizon
held such dramatic portent?

When you're sharing a story,
it becomes e
asier to create your
tutorial or an e-learning course,
or your promotion or commercial,
because it
connects with your audience,
and helps them relate, which can also help them
learn more, than straight 'selling' or
teaching by factual iteration of your
your information to them

 "Storytelling reveals meaning
without committing the error of defining it.”
~Hannah Arendt

Humans are the only story tellers.
And we've been doing it for eons.
It's in our DNA.

That is the power of the story. It connects us.
Informs and educates us...
but in way, so that your audience feels it
not as a chore to slog through,
but as a fun, enjoyable way
to enrich and enlighten them,
where they get to learn, as
though it was play.

Not sure how to do that?
Take some tips from this article,
by the Content Director at
Kuno Creative via The Guardian.

From the ancient Elder Orator
the modern Public Speaker at a TED talk

from the first theatrical Radio Shows,
to today's Podcasting Shows
from hand-printed books
to digital audiobooks;

storytelling hasn't died, it's alive and well
and still connecting us as humans,
bringing individuals together,
sharing our wisdom and knowledgeon a daily basis.

Plug into that truth, and use it in your business or project,
and you'll find your own story can change, too,
and all for the better

So... what's your story?

'The Boyhood Of Raleigh',
Painting, 1870, by Sir John Everett Millais, 1829–1896
©Tate Images, Photo © Tate, used under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0 (Unported), via Tate UK website
Campfire Story Circle: photo by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash.
Stephanie Gale is a Voiceover Artist and Narration Specialist.
She l
oves helping you bring your VO projects into being.
Visit for demos & info.
To get an instant estimate for your corporate
narration project, go


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