I’ve written before about the power of storytelling and how effective it can be as a conversation-opener, a means to connect with listeners, and a training tool. A site called OneSpot has created a wonderful infographic that explores the science of storytelling in an accessible and visually interesting way. Although the graphic is tailored to brand storytelling and content marketing, the fundamentals of how—and why—compelling stories are so powerful is nicely illustrated. Here’s how storytelling affects the brain:
- Thanks to neural coupling, a story activates the listener’s brain and allows him or her to transform the story into a personal experience.
- Mirroring also takes place: Listeners experience similar brain activity to each other and the speaker.
- When the brain perceives an emotionally charged story, dopamine is released, which makes it easier for the brain to remember the story with accuracy.
- Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas are activated when the brain processes facts. A story that’s told skillfully can engage many other areas in the brain as well, including the sensory cortex, frontal cortex, and motor cortex.