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Scientific secrets of storytelling

A couple weeks ago I attended the Inbound’16 conference in Boston, where close to 20,000 marketing experts and content marketers met for 4 days to talk about the power of content in the marketing and sales arsenal. Many of the presentations were extremely interesting, and I wanted to share one with you.

 

In this conference, Amina Moreau (psychologist, athlete and artist, no less) tells us about what makes storytelling work so well in our content and persuasion efforts. Many scientific studies exist and demonstrate the different factors that can influence our audience and Amina describes many action steps we can (and must) apply today in our content production.

Of course, I recommend you watch the entire presentation (about 50 minutes), but here are the main action steps she touches upon:

  • Find a unique angle
  • Choose one character
  • Highlight their desire
  • Explore conflicts that stand in the way
  • Take your audience on a journey

She also concludes by focusing on the importance of the 4 P’s of storytelling:

  1. People (a particular person – the heart of the story)
  2. Plot (creating a journey for the heart of the story)
  3. Place (4 elements: environment, object, time, and situation)
  4. Purpose (the opportunity to say something about an issue or to leave the viewer with a message)

We had already discussed the scientific angle for memorable content in a previous article. I consider both these articles to be a great source of insights and knowledge as they push the fact that it is possible, and even essential, to think about what will make a good story for our audience, while respecting the business objectives of the brands that work with us.