by Hawkeye Richardson
When you hear the word “story” or “storytelling,” what comes to mind?
In discussions about the benefits of sharing stories face to face, we have found that many people only relate the word “storytelling” to fictional stories like fairytales or ghost stories around the campfire.
In reality, storytelling is much more than that.
According to Mr. Webster’s dictionary, the definition of a story can include:
1. A narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse.
2. The plot or succession of incidents of a novel, poem, drama, etc.
3. A report of the facts concerning a matter in question.
4. To tell the history of something.
“In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”
That bit of narrative rhyme is a little piece of prose that helped a lot of us remember one of our history lessons. It’s both a story and history. If you learned that phrase in school like I did, you can probably still remember how rhyme describes the story (and history) behind Columbus’s discovery of the New World.
But note that it’s neither a fairytale nor a ghost story. It is a simple declaration of facts. What is even more interesting is that this simple “story” of Columbus has become so ingrained in our memory of history that it continues to be quoted as “the facts” even though there is much evidence indicating others set foot in the New World before Columbus arrived.
Scientific studies have indicated that our brains prefer to receive, store, and retrieve ALL types of information in story form, not just fairytales and ghost stories. So never underestimate the value and benefits of using a simple story to convey educational, historic, social and even business information.
Want to learn better, remember more, and connect in more satisfying ways with others? Share a story face to face. Your brain, and the brain of your listener, will be glad you did.
To learn more, go to our website at www.TellMeAGoodStory.org.
Hawkeye Richardson is the Executive Director of Tell Me A Good Story, a nonprofit group promoting storytelling and storywriting!