Trying to pinpoint when the first story was told would be impossible. Some of the most famous stories – Gilgamesh, Beowulf and even Aesop’s The Tortoise and the Hare - began life as fireside spoken tales.
It would be fair to assume that we started telling stories when we first devised language, but I guess that’s more about how stories were able to spread from one culture to another so prolifically – Homer’s Iliad was first told in Greece and it’s now been read on every corner of the globe. How’s that for impact?
Of course, written stories are very impactful in their own right. The bestselling book, according to Wikipedia, is the ‘The Bible’ – but even that began life through word of mouth.
Written stories cannot surpass the impact of live storytelling.
It’s why YouTube is so successful, and Ted Talks are watched by millions of people each year. There’s something powerful yet intimate about the presenter-audience relationship; relaying a story directly to others, watching their faces fly up in surprise, disgust, feeling the emotions of a tale.
The brain has a dedicated region – the Limbic system – to process emotion. What’s more, it has specific cells – mirror neurons – that are activated when another individual acts or shows emotion. These cannot be readily activated through reading a story; they are the brain’s response to viewing another human acting and mirroring their actions internally. All this in order to process information more efficiently.
Therefore, the impact of live storytelling can, in many cases, far surpass the effect of reading an article online, or, for example, a detail aid. Though the story has been carefully devised, structured and tested to fit physician’s expectations - even covering the emotional charge of treating a certain therapy area - it in no way negates the need for direct contact with your customers.
This makes the sales call – and most importantly the story you tell during this call – the best opportunity to convince your customers of your brand. So don’t forget this.
The question remains then: how will you come up with the killer story to tell your customers in that face-to-face situation? Well, the Branding Science Group specialise in helping you not only construct your story, but practice the execution. Get in touch with our team to find out more!!
This article was written by Sofia Fionda Senior Research Executive at Branding Science