Using storytelling to educate and engage
As a little girl, I’m pretty sure my first full sentence was “Tell me a story.” And I know I’m not alone in this. Storytelling is a vital part of the human experience.
I’ve always been a storyteller, and I think there’s no better way to educate and engage. As children, the stories we’re told activate our minds and our imaginations, and help us learn everything from new words to new ideas. Those stories stick with us, too. I’ve never forgotten the stories my parents and my grandmother told me about our family history.
Stories have the same impact on us at every age, and the principles of good storytelling are effective in any kind of messaging. At the 2015 Plain Talk conference, I gave a presentation on using storytelling to boost health literacy, but the approach applies to any topic you need to communicate about.
When facts are wrapped in a story, the audience is more likely to pay attention and stay interested. There’s even science behind it: Storytelling engages parts of our brain that facilitate learning and retention. Storytelling turns cold, hard facts into a dynamic, engaging experience.
I shared many storytelling tips — which work in every medium — in my Plain Talk presentation. Knowing the slides would be posted after the conference, I included enough detail to make them informative on their own.
And if you need expert help telling some stories, all you have to do is ask.