Why Good Storytelling Matters

The ability to craft and interesting and compelling story is one of the most powerful yet undervalued skills there is.

Storytelling is more than flashy marketing slogans and rhetoric, it’s everything we convey, even without opening our mouths. From the phone you use, to shirt you where to your choice in laptop, you are communicating something about yourself that is effecting people’s perception of you.

When a designer shows up and has all Apple products, from a Apple Watch on their wrist to a Macbook Pro under their arm, it paints a picture in someone’s mind of a savvy and successful graphic designer. They may not know that the Watch is borrowed and that the Mac is rental. They have already bought into the “optics”.

If two people show up to a job interview with the exact same resume, the job will likely go to the one who can tell the better story, but verbally in the interview and psychologically as well as visually.

The more animated and extroverted person is likely to be able to make someone comfortable, build an emotional connection just be more “likeable”. Why does this matter if the other person can perform just as good if not better at the job?

As human beings we have a bias towards things we like. It really is that simple. Ultimately advertising is about getting us to instinctively like a product we’ve never used or tried, enough to spend our hard earned money on it. They do it by using personalities, models, visuals and music that we will be attractive to, and transfer those feelings to the product or brand.

By wearing a certain brand of clothing or watch, by driving a certain brand of car or using a certain brand of electronics, we are trying to get people to transfer the respect and other positive feelings they have for those products and brands to us.

Your story is going to be told in everything you do. It’s up to you to dictate the narrative and leave as little of it to the imagination as possible. The image of you that people see will often dictate more about how the treat you than the reality.

If you wear an expensive camera around your neck, most people are going to assume you’re a professional photographer, or at the least you are a very enthusiastic one. If you wear a Linkin Park t-shirt, people will assume you’re a fan of their music, even if you just thought the shirt was cool.

Be aware of the story you are telling and the impact it could have on situations throughout your life. Your appearance, the words you choose, the products you use, the food you eat all says something about you.

Are you letting your story be random happenstance, or are you crafting a narrative that tells people who you are, how you want to be treated, what you expect or what your value is?

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