Storytelling as a medium of communication
Once upon a time, in ancient India, the king of Mahilaropya sat worried about the future of his three sons. He was not happy with their attention to studies and was questioning their abilities to prove to be his successors. Seeing his plight, the prime minister suggested a man called Pandit Vishnu Varma, a well-versed brahmin scholar. He took an oath to make the princes well educated within six months. The promise was kept, and along with it was born Panchatantra, a collection of animal fables.
Stories have been the source of information retention since the dawn of humankind. It also helps increase the attention span of the listeners, as opposed to the calculus discourses, which put us to sleep instantly.
If you could look back to your school days, the concepts you retain today would have been taught to you in a story-like manner. For example, I still remember my organic chemistry classes where my teacher associated each type of hydrocarbon with a kingdom and each having an origin story, way before Game of Thrones.
Two crucial challenges that prevail in the education sector today are –
- Shrinking attention span
- Reduction in information retention capability
These challenges are not exclusive to the education sector, and it is one of the nightmares of marketers.
Storytellers have been addressing this challenge since ancient times, and perhaps it’s time to remind ourselves, “Why do we use storytelling as a medium of communication?”
How are the stories conveyed?
Hearing a story
Teachers tell students stories to place the idea in a broader context, which enables them to learn deeply and retain information longer. In addition, it helps to create a link between the theory and the application; likewise, marketers should try to tell stories about their products through various channels for the audience to hear the story.
Being a part of the story
Remember when we acted out the stories in history class? How excited does it make us feel? Likewise, with the evolution of technology in an immersive experience, marketers should make the most of it to provide a first-hand feel in experiencing the offering.
Why do we tell stories?
Stories move people.
Your stories may represent your audience’s feelings and experiences when you know their struggles, triumphs, and joys. Learners start to care when they relate to the story and recognize themselves in it.
Stories motivate people
A story can inspire a group of people to learn something new. Since audiences don’t need to be pushed when motivated, they are perfect for behavioral training. A motivating tale will encourage a person to take action.
Stories are shareable
People love to exchange stories because they are like magnets. As the stories are passed from one person to the next, they serve as the hooks that entice listeners. Check out the countless tales published on social media platforms if you have any doubts. Do you have anything that needs to be given more attention? Then, include it in a tale to see whether it spreads.
Stories give meaning to data.
Many people think of data as just numbers. This occurs when the data is not related to anything significant in their experience. But the information comes to life when it is set within a narrative.
Storytelling has been an essential element of teaching and learning. So, let’s take a moment to appreciate all the storytellers ever lived because we would be out of stories to tell without them.
Interested to know more about storytelling, click here for more.