Want to differentiate yourself from the pack? Learn to design and present good stories.

“Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is”. Tim O’Brien

Storytelling Consultant’s and speech making authors are making money with an old idea of teaching people how to tell effective and inspiring stories. Learning — or relearning — how to tell stories requires some skill. And consultants are lining up to teach it — sometimes for a hefty fee.

Although the power of storytelling to attract — and even manipulate — is well known, the reason for its appeal has been unclear. But Dr. Zak from Clairemont University it may have something to do with oxytocin, also called the love hormone.

To see the impact of storytelling on oxytocin, Professor Zak conducted a now well-known experiment. Participants had their blood drawn before and again after watching videos of character-driven stories. The result? When those watching the stories had an increase in oxytocin, they tended to help more — donating money to a charity associated with the story, for example. But not every story is well told. Most of us know a compelling tale when we hear one, but “it’s difficult for people to articulate why they like what they like,” Professor Zak said.

So don’t miss the ideas, in a New York Times article , where he and other colleagues point out that good story telling hing on how to develop and present stories that show ho to “balance your personal story — incorporating your values, tying it together with a vision of the future, and telling how listeners can get involved and also benefit themselves.”

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