– Updated April 2015 –
According to the latest research, our brains are wired for stories.
For millennium, humans have shared stories around the campfire, in caves, and now in social media and staff meetings.
The problem is when we use dull tired phrases, bullet points and repetition, we activate very few parts of our brain. They activate our language centers and not much else. You know the kind of meetings where you want to escape or shoot yourself to relieve the misery.
Tips from Richard Branson for better meetings:
- Set an inspiring theme versus the same old agendas.
- Lose the laptop and tie. Meet in a new environment like a park with a picnic.
- Bring in guests to mix up the chemistry and ideas.
- Have a fun surprise like music, food or a gift.
- Ban slide presentations. They are boring and activate very little of our brains.
Our brains are in fact wired for story telling.
Throughout time and evolution, we humans have communicated with stories.
When we listen to a story, many other areas of our brain get activated. If someone talks about food, our cortex center gets activated. If someone talks about motion, our motor cortex gets activated as if we were doing the movement. Our brains don’t always know the difference between physical and imaginary experience.
Metaphors are particularly good at activating different areas in our brains. We may even confuse reality with imagination when certain brain areas get activated. Even better, during stories that truly engage us, we can synchronize brain waves with each other, creating a deeper bond. This effect can be used for good to help others or to persuade or even manipulate like in some advertising. When your story or meeting is filled with metaphors, descriptive language and personal elements, your audience will sit up and listen.
Bringing in personal elements to your writing and storytelling can help to create bonds and relatability between you and your audience. Social media and blogging are great ways to use storytelling for connecting more deeply. If you want help with content or social media, we’d be glad to help. Contact a zoo member today.