Before I started my online coaching business, I found the following quote by Maya Angelou, and it really inspired me:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
I felt strongly that my story was one that needed to be shared with the world; I wanted to touch and inspire as many people as possible. So I decided that it was time to stop bearing the agony of my untold story, and as a result I ended up landing my first speaking engagement with Collette Baron Reid and Crystal Andrus Morriesette.
I got up on stage in front of 250 women—scared shitless, may I add—and shared from some very personal life experiences. I felt uncertain and vulnerable, but I did it! And boy was it an adrenaline rush!
Every single woman in that room was in tears. And I got so many hugs and words of encouragement after the speech that it was just like a dream come true. Whoa!!
My small efforts turned into bigger adventures. To the point that, now, I am sharing my stories in the online world with people who always seem to be moved by what I have to share with them. In addition to this, I’m also teaching my business clients how to use their soulful stories to establish deep connections with their own potential clients—which, of course, mean more money.
So below you will find my 5 reasons storytelling is the most powerful tool that will move your clients to take inspired action.
1.Stories keep your audience captivated and engaged
It’s so easy to lose your audience to boredom if your presentation isn’t captivating.
If your clients are only told facts during a presentation, only the language-processing parts of the brain are activated. But when you tell a story, other parts of the brain are also activated.
Like mirror neurons, for example. These are a type of brain cell that responds when we perform and action, and also when we see someone else doing that same action.
The sensory cortex is another part of the brain that is activated by storytelling—because of this your listeners will be able to vividly experience the smell, touch, sound, taste, and sight.
This means it is possible for your listeners to feel as though they are inside your story themselves!
2.Stories make it memorable
When only the language-processing part of the brain is activated, it’s difficult for your listeners to retain information. Unless they’re a literal genius they are not going to be able to remember everything you said.
When you use stories and analogies it makes what you’re saying relatable, and easier to recall. I use analogies all the time—in my live trainings, group courses, and even coaching for my clients. This enables me to really drive my point home!
For example, if I was to tell someone I help my clients “remove their blocks”, it sounds pretty generic, doesn’t it? However, if I say, “I help people remove their blocks. Basically the blocks are like weeds, and I am a gardener.” Putting my job in these terms will ensure that whoever is listening won’t forget the image of this analogy.
Think of relatable stories and analogies applicable to the content you are sharing to make it memorable.
3.Stories reach hearts with emotions
Emotions are the most powerful bonding tool we humans have. If you can connect with your audience on an emotional level, you’ve mastered the art of communication!
When we experience an emotionally-charged event, our amygdala releases dopamine which helps with information processing. So no matter what you’re selling—a tangible product, a service, or advice—people buy based on what they feel. Feelings are the driving force behind decision making. People decide to buy when they experience certain feelings about a product or service—this also includes their feelings about the person offering what’s being sold.
Your story is the way to get into the heart of your peeps. If you want people to trust you more—in order to inspire them to work with you—include emotions in your storytelling.
4.Stories create a deeper connection
When we experience empathy, our brains release oxytocin, the “bonding chemical”. This leads to feelings of connection and trust.
Many of my clients have bought my programs and packages because they feel like I’m the coach who will understand them, and guide them into their greatness.
As feeling, social creatures we need connection. And through storytelling—and thus trust building—I’ve established long lasting relationships with many of my colleagues, biz besties, and mentors all around the globe.
5.Stories help you share your Message in a meaningful way for greater impact.
You have a special message inside of you. I bet you there is more than one of your stories waiting to be heard. By sharing them in an authentic way, you can paint a picture of the what happened, how it happened, and why it happened so that your peeps can digest what you’re saying in a more meaningful way.
Your stories hold your REAL experiences within them, and your peeps will feel that. Your story is more likely to create that greater impact than simply stating the facts.
There is nothing that feels more motivating than the feeling of being moved and inspired by a true story. It is the greatest form of communication that drives people to take action.