"Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.”– Robert McKee, professor
Yesterday morning on my way to work I was chatting with my Mum on Facebook messenger, she lives in New Zealand and I’m in London. We were having a general "Hi how are you" chat, she mentioned she had strained her shoulder and was in pain. Naturally, I enquired, thinking she may have injured it gardening, ballroom dancing or maybe fishing (one of her many hobbies).
To my surprise, while standing at Heron Quays DLR station on a sunny London morning, she told me while at the beach fishing she saved a little girl from being washed out to sea by a freak wave, and in the process strained her shoulder. (To put the environment into context, Otaki Beach is wildly beautiful and rugged, with twists of driftwood and dark sand. The river mouth and ocean can be unpredictable and must be treated with respect.)
"You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” - Erin Morgenstern, multimedia artist and author
Being able to be an effective storyteller is a great skill, drawing in your audience, setting the scene and transporting your listeners to a time and a place either through verbal or written communication. In marketing, portraying the emotion and essence of the story can be the make and break of your content.
"There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling, novelist, screenwriter and film producer
Did my Mum tell the story the right way?
She drew me in with concern when she casually mentioned her sore shoulder, then bam, hit me with the raw emotion and drama of the situation, essentially becoming the hero of her own story. Then, she closed the story leaving me wanting more when she said “Skype me tonight and I’ll tell you about the time your Dad and I saved a man having a heart attack at the beach.”
The power of a human story and the connection we feel with each other will always be a key factor for success, even in marketing, we should never forget it's about the people, the emotion and being connected with each other.