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Nicky Bonin

Nicky Bonin

What’s happening in your brain when you hear a good story?

A great story can leave you blissfully unaware of your surroundings. How many times have you been engrossed in a book, film or narrative, letting the outside world fade into the background, until a loud noise breaks your focus and, like a spotlight, reality hits?

When a good story enthrals humans, the line between the real and the imaginary world begin to merge. We’re hardwired that way, that is, our brains are biologically programmed to tune into stories.

Now, in our twenty-first-century world, storytelling is a hot topic because of its broader social and commercial implications. As audiences seek interaction and participation, they expect and demand greater engagement.

And that’s a great boon for business.

In a fast-paced, digitally-driven world, humanism is the new premium. Businesses can no longer afford to be faceless entities. They need to connect with their audiences and engage on a deeper level to survive.

That’s where storytelling comes into play. When you can weave together the facts and emotions in a compelling brand narrative, you give your target market more reasons to buy your product or service.

New technologies increasingly stimulate us, banishing boredom and creating a state of hyperactivity. Regardless, we still prefer to respond to stories. Why? Because all meaning starts with your brain.

Sales copywriter Melbourne

Neurobiologists know that understanding often begins with a story. Let’s break it down to the basics and let your brain do the work:

  1. Sync with your customers. Listening to a story activates the auditory cortex of your brain. This allows you to create a custom experience from the story, thanks to a handy process called ‘neural coupling.’ Essentially this means that, when you hear a story, your neurons and the storyteller’s brain start firing in the same pattern – creating a synchronous link between you both. When multiple listeners hear the same story, this link coordinates how they will react. 
  2. Target their emotions. A great story will light up more parts of your brain than simple facts, suggesting that your brain reacts as if the tale told were actually happening to you. A well-told tale can also engage additional spheres, including your motor cortex, sensory cortex and frontal cortex.
  3. Change their brain chemistry. The more emotionally captivating a story is, the more it changes your brain chemistry by producing oxytocin (which increases your feelings of generosity, compassion, trust and sensitivity to social situations) and dopamine (which makes it easier to remember what you’ve heard later and with greater accuracy).

When you harness the power of storytelling for your business, you can narratively transport your message straight into your target audience’s brains, making it more likely they’ll purchase from you.

From a simple PowerPoint presentation to a full-blown publicity campaign, your compelling story will make an impact far beyond the critical points you want to convey.

Storytelling for business isn’t just nice to have; it’s a need to have. It maximises your profitability, visibility and overall market impact. So, next time you’re thinking about business copy, spend some time perfecting the story you’re trying to tell. 

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