Your story is so much more than words

We are all storytellers now. It’s our stories that bind us together and pull us apart — stories that we tell ourselves that drive our success or hold us back.

Your story is so much more than words. A story is a multifaceted thing. It must touch all five senses and engage with every learning preference. It is our stories that establish warmth and trust and bind us together.

Your story creates a bond between yourself and your customers or clients. It enables them to grasp your values and helps them get to know, like and trust you.

Your words transmit only a tiny part of the message they receive. Your story needs to be a multi-sensory mosaic. It is everything from the smile on your face to your email signature. From the look and feel of your website to the sound of your voice. Everyone will engage with your message in very different ways according to their own unique way of perceiving the world around them.

The perfect story would allow your audience to see, hear, smell, touch and taste the essence of your work. That’s hard to do. But across all the media you use, it is possible to approximate that experience.

Think about the way you shop. Some of us like to hold things up to the light. Some of us like to pick things up and turn them round in our hands. Others like to feel the weight and textures of things. The smell of a product may be paramount to some. The colour and surface decoration more important to others.

We all select the things that we surround ourselves with in different ways. Some like to browse online, others prefer the hustle and bustle of the department store. Some won’t even begin the buying process until they have consulted with their friends.

Then of course, we need to take into account the emotional impact of everything we say and do when selling our work.
It is the emotional content of your message that ensures it is remembered. We often forget the exact words that people use, but we always remember how they made us feel. Recent studies in neuroscience show us that emotions stimulate production of neurotransmitters which in turn help commit an experience to memory. This applies to our marketing messages too.

Emotions can be triggered by beautiful images, evocative words, sounds and pleasing interaction. We just need to remember that everyone perceives their world in different ways. Our stories need to work with, rather than against, that diversity of viewpoint.

This post is a marker. It’s the starting point for the sequel to The Art of Shouting Quietly.

To find out about publications and products visit: www.shoutingquietly.com

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