In order to find what information people retain, a marketing researcher asked university students to give a one minute pitch to their class. The most interesting discovery was that only five percent of students remembered statistics from the presentations, while a whopping sixty-three percent of students remembered the stories that were shared.
While we need both statistics and story to communicate effectively, it is in fact story that sticks more often than not. And as content producers, we all want our messages to be remembered, because that which is remembered is also applied and shared.
After hearing this, if you’re now wondering how to form story into something remarkable, here are a few thoughts:
- Can you think of the various stories that have held your attention in the past? Can you gain something applicable from your favorite storytellers?
- Interview those who interest you; your heroes.
- Make your story as descriptive as possible. Details pull people in and make it memorable.
- A good practice is learning to structure and tell your own story, either by writing it out or by sharing it with other people. When you learn how to tell your own story, it is much easier to share any other story in the future.
- Don’t merely share triumphs, but moments of disaster as well.
- Conclude your story with the point that you want listeners to take away, and know exactly where you want to end. (Give your story an ending and understand when to stop talking.)
- Focus on energy levels throughout your day. Interesting ideas are difficult to piece together when fatigued.
- Remain present in the moment and aware of your surroundings when your energy levels allow. You never know when usable content may come your way.
- Learn how to humbly share your own story in a relatable way.
- And piece it all together by remembering this question: “Have I shared the setting, plot, characters, conflict, and resolution of my story in a way that demands the attention of my audience?” In other words, is your story interesting? Because in the end, it’s interesting that wins.
So the next time you are putting together a presentation to deliver to your team or an audience, or the next time you are developing a marketing piece to put your message out into the world, remember the power of story. It could be the difference between your words being remembered or being forgotten.