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Does storytelling really work?

Allow me to take you on a journey along the path to a compelling story. I am taking the lead from the likes of Shakespeare as we walk through the five acts and master the art of storytelling and creative marketing.

Stories connect us, they help us make sense of the world. We communicate our values and beliefs through stories. A good and captivating story speaks to us in ways that numbers, data, and presentation slides simply can’t.

The five act structure has been around for thousands of years. It starts with setting the scene and describing the time and place. This is where you draw in your audience. It is the stress hormone cortisol that allows us to focus. Apparently we have just seven seconds to grab our audience attention, so the first act is critical.

In Act 2, it is common for complications to arise. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our struggles, conflicts, setbacks, successes, etc. These help our audience to understand the passion and motivation that drives our business. Oxytocin is the feel-good chemical that makes our audience feel empathy and connects them with our story. Here we begin to generate interest.

The climax, in Act 3, includes the highest amount of suspense. Here the story taps into our audience’s emotions and we genuinely connect with them. As you move into Act 4 you start to wrap your vision into a beautiful and powerful story,

Neurological research tells us that a happy ending to a story triggers the limbic system, our brain’s reward centre, to release dopamine which makes us feel more hopeful and optimistic in the final act.

It’s as if we now have our audience hooked and we close with the call to action. You’ll notice powerful story-tellers will now tell their audience what they want them to do next, and explain how they plan to meet their needs by promoting the key benefits. This is why storytelling works.