Why is storytelling so powerful?
29th September 2022 | Nick de Cent
Stories are not only enduring; they help drive business.
Telling stories is what humans do; it is fundamental to the human experience. We’ve been telling stories for tens of millennia: 30,000 years at least. Cave paintings in the Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, located in the Auvergne district of France, date back 30,000 years and represent the oldest known storyboard to be discovered so far. The scenes depict animals interacting, as well as ritual figures, and potentially tell the story of a volcanic eruption, an event known to have been happening in the region at the time.
Today, stories are universal; they are ancient and modern: literary best sellers, movie blockbusters and binge-fest TV dramas, the old masters on the walls of our art galleries, songs, theatre, documentaries and newspapers, poems, even company accounts – they all tell a story. Virtual reality is just one big story.
So, why is storytelling so universal? It seems that skilfully done, telling a good yarn is the best way to engage people, to establish a connection, to help us learn and convince us to take action, to inspire change, to help people retain facts, to influence, motivate and rally converts to a cause. It’s no surprise then that the art of storytelling is an essential skill in business, and especially important in sales, leadership, and learning and development.