Harnessing the Power of Storytelling at your Next Event

GL Content Team Jun 10, 2016

Part of the human condition is, and possibly always will be, a penchant for listening to stories. Storytelling is the foundation of our communication system – the earliest memories most of us have are the stories we’ve absorbed from childhood. An engaging storytelling session is guaranteed to grab peoples’ attention and stick in their minds for long after the tale is over, so why not harness this powerful tool at events?

Quite obviously, brand-related storytelling is a little different from your average childhood narrative. However, the principles remain the same. When used cleverly, storytelling enables speakers to set a completely different tone for an event, potentially even creating a deep-seated need for attendees to immediately pencil in any follow-up events – it’s all about connecting with people on a level beyond your average marketer-consumer relationship.

Stories are Easier to Absorb Biologically and Psychologically

According to Diana DiMeo, a Roosevelt University Masters graduate, our “brains do not easily recall data”, particularly when we are in the midst of a constant information-onslaught (as is often the case at planned marketing events). If, however, we are asked to recall the details of a headlining newspaper article we read recently or if we are required to provide a synopsis of an action-packed movie we enjoyed, the details are much easier to access.

The reason for the storytelling phenomenon is summarized in the image below:
Image Source: Eric Garland

Image Source: Eric Garland

Be Personable and Make it Relatable

In order for you to effectively apply the principle of storytelling at your next big event, you need to find a way to make your story relatable. Not only this, but your audience needs to be able to easily connect the entertainment to your marketing plight.

Start by honing in on your core objective. Once you’ve established this foundation, start thinking like an advertiser would when creating a new campaign. Link your key objective to a single clever thread of a story you think will make an impact and roll with it. Get creative.

Remember that long-winded tales are not the way to go. Keep it punchy and avoid being over-emotional. Your focus should be to tug at the RIGHT heartstrings, not all of them.

Learn to Leverage

Crafting an entire event around a story is guaranteed to extend the “shelf life” of your brand’s message. What you are trying to achieve goes well beyond using a story to sell a product once off. Your aim is to create a memorable experience that event goers are going to talk about for quite some time.

You should be aiming to create FOMO (a fear of missing out) for your next event. Your guests should be scrabbling at their phones and PC keyboards to find details and book in advance. It is truly amazing what one clever little story can achieve.