May 9, 2013

Why it's not a bad idea to become a better storyteller

When I think about my favorite teachers and speakers I can't think of one that doesn't use stories to make their subject "come alive".  I think most people feel this way, and this has spawned countless 'become a better storyteller' workshops.  While I'm not a big fan of many of these interventions (although there are some really great ones out there as well), neuroscience proves that being able to tell stories in an engaging and authentic way is a very valuable skill to acquire and hone.

A study conducted in 2010 by researchers from Princeton University found that the brain of a person listening to a story can synchronise (or resonate) with the brain of the person telling it.   You can read more about the study here:  US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.  The scientific term for this mirroring or resonance is ‘speaker–listener neural coupling’, which can be seen in this image.

neural coupling 3

Furthermore, researchers found that while the most common mirroring activity is retrospective (i.e. with a delay),  there are also areas that exhibited predictive anticipatory responses. When connecting the extent of neural coupling to a quantitative measure of story comprehension, researchers found that the greater the anticipatory speaker–listener coupling, the greater the understanding.  So active engagement of the listener, significantly increased comprehension and therefore the effectiveness of communication.

This explains why our best loved teachers so often use stories, and why you may want to polish up your storytelling skills.

3 comments on “Why it's not a bad idea to become a better storyteller”

  1. I believe that is among the most important information for me. And i'm glad studying your article. However wanna observation on few normal things, The website taste is great, the articles is in reality great : D. Just right activity, cheers|

  2. It's the truth is a great and useful component of info. I am happy that
    you just shared this useful info around.
    Please keep us updated this way. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Great post. I was checking continuously this web site and I'm impressed!
    Extremely helpful information particularly the very last part :
    ) I maintain such information much. I was seeking this particular information to get a while.
    Many thanks and best of luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *