The power of storytelling – three of the best posts plus a touch of magic

Much is written about the art of storytelling and how effective it is as a technique or framework for creating compelling content.

The human psyche loves a story. Who can forget the sense of anticipation when, as a child, we heard the words “Once upon a time in a land far, far away …”

Stories have the power to captivate and engage us. Perhaps it’s because our subconscious is still on the look out for the handsome prince or the pot of gold?

This week, I’ve been taking a look around the web to gain some insights into how we can weave storytelling into our communications. Whether, as part of your business persona, you are a writer, speaker, performer, coach or trainer … here are my four favourite items to give you some ideas.

1.  Applying Fiction Storytelling Tips to Content Marketing

By Brianne Carlon (@BrianneCarlon) for (@B2Community)

“Content Marketing strives to intrigue readers, encourage sharing and prompt conversions. To do so, storytelling is eminent. In fact, storytelling is one of the greatest ways to provide content that builds trust.”

2. The Storytelling Animal: The Science of How We Came to Live and Breathe Stories

By Maria Popova (@brainpicker) at

“Stories aren’t merely essential to how we understand the world — they are how we understand the world. We weave and seek stories everywhere, from data visualization to children’s illustration to cultural hegemony. In The Storytelling Animal, educator and science writer Jonathan Gottschall traces the roots, both evolutionary and sociocultural, of the transfixing grip storytelling has on our hearts and minds, individually and collectively.”

3. What Does it Take to Write a Billion-Dollar Marketing Story?

By Amy Harrison (@HarrisonAmy) for (@copyblogger)

Amy tells the story of the creation of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and shares a 4 step process “for creating fresh stories that catch the interest of readers.”

“If you play around with the four steps, you can build a story that combines your strengths, personality, customer demand, and current trends to tell a story nobody is talking about in your industry. And it’s one way to stop your business being seen as a commodity by your customers.”

4.  VIDEO LINK: Marco Tempest: A magical tale (with augmented reality)

 And finally, here’s a fabulous video from TED Talks featuring magician and illusionist Marco Tempest (@virtualmagician) who describes social networking as “the digital campfires around which the audience gathers to hear our story”.

“Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity — all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.”

“We willingly enter fictional worlds where we cheer our heroes and cry for friends we never had.” (Marco Tempest)

My thanks  to Tim Berry (@timberry) for first bringing this TED Talk to my attention via his excellent blog.

Comments and thoughts welcome! If you have a favourite storytelling resource, please do share it with us here. Do you use the technique yourself? I’d love to hear your story …

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Filed under Communications, Content marketing

4 responses to “The power of storytelling – three of the best posts plus a touch of magic

  1. Hi Jane,
    Congratulations on writing about such an engaging topic. I love to hear stories from speakers, trainers and teachers. They make me connect with the story teller on several levels:
    Stories can act as an anchor, they keep us focused and they are memorable. Because they are memorable we repeat and share them like a good joke. They help to reinforce a point, to give it substance, furthermore they evoke an emotion, they can make us laugh and they can make us cry . We rarely remember the full content of a seminar or a talk etc, however we always remember how that person made us feel. Stories help to change our energy and alter our state.

    And the biggy for me is that when someone tells a story about their own experience we get to know the person on a deeper level, they become more authentic, credible and even inspirational. Stories help us resonate with the other person. Simple stories act as metaphors and can help us transform and learn at a greater level.

    Finally yes I love to use stories myself Jane, in all aspects of my work, speaking, training, writing and in my 1-1 consultancy.

    • Thank you Nicola. Good point about how we pass on stories – ‘viral’ marketing even before the internet! And I agree, we can get a real sense of the person through the stories and emotions they share. By remembering the story I think we learn more easily too.

  2. Jane, as always you inspire, taking everyday concepts and by weaving your magic, help us to realise their huge potential.

    • Thank you Sharyn. Often the simplest things are the most powerful! I know you own stories keep people enthralled at your talks and workshops, so look forward to more of those :)

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