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Are you telling overdog or underdog stories?

I attended a function recently and was introduced to a guy I hadn’t met before. He asked me what I did, and then cut me short and proceeded to spend 20 minutes telling me all about his wonderful life. How well his business was doing, his six-figure income that was...

Felix Baumgartner didn’t feel a thing

On the 14th of October 2012 Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to complete a free fall jump from the stratosphere back to earth. He used a helium balloon to ascend to an incredible 39km above the earth. On his descent he reached an...

Sweet and Salty Stories

I’m not a big popcorn eater but I do have a weakness for Sweet and Salty popcorn made by Sweet As Popcorn in Raglan, NZ. There’s something about the contrast of sweet and salty flavours and the way that they interact with my palate that I find intriguing and...

Forget storytelling and start storymaking!

Imagine for a moment, that you have invented something totally novel that will revolutionise the world. Your ‘Aha!’ moment has arrived. You can’t believe no one has thought of this thing! It’s going to be fantastic and life-changing! You spend months building the...

What can content marketers learn from Dr Seuss?

Dr Seuss, one of the world’s greatest storytellers, can teach us Thing One and Thing Two about inspired story-driven content marketing. “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” Don’t be afraid to try something new – it might be FUN....

Are customer stories the new case studies?

Content is the single most cost-effective way to project to the world who you are and what you do. So why are we still using boring old case studies as a means to propel business? We are evolutionarily wired for stories. Reading stories releases neurochemicals that...

Are you telling your story or leaving it to chance?

You’re telling a story whether you know it or not. It’s been said time and time again that we are wired for stories. From cavemen drawing on walls to stories passed verbally from generation to generation, it’s simply in our genes. Our brains like to process...

Has your content marketing lost the plot?

There are seven model plots on which all storytelling is based. Are you using one to tell an effective story?  No matter where we are from, we have shared points across cultures and histories that wire us to respond to one of seven basic plotlines. Using these...

How to elevate your content with storytelling

We all know that wading through the multitude of content on the internet can be tedious and mind-numbing. It is a crowded, noisy place. In the age where content is king, where facts are not enough to engage customers, how do you catch interest?...

Web design trends in 2018 – New Zealand

Web design is constantly changing from year to year. Here are some trends that are making it big in 2018. Hand-Drawn Fonts Just look on Instagram to see how viral custom hand-drawn fonts are becoming in recent months. These unique typefaces add character and charm as...

On the 14th of October 2012 Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner became the first skydiver to complete a free fall jump from the stratosphere back to earth.

He used a helium balloon to ascend to an incredible 39km above the earth. On his descent he reached an estimated top speed of 1,357 km/h (Mach 1.25) and in the process, became the first person to break the sound barrier without vehicular power. He hung on to the skydiving height record for two years until Google engineer Alan Eustace broke it on 24 October 2014 when he jumped from 41.42km above the earth.

When I read about Felix Baumgartner’s amazing feat, one comment that he made really intrigued me. He said that even though he was travelling faster than the speed of sound he still couldn’t feel the effect of the wind rushing past him on his body. That’s because he was wearing a pressurised space suit. So many powerful forces at play and such physical intensity and yet he didn’t feel a thing. Wow.

I think this is a useful analogy for businesses.

So many business stories are like Felix Baumgartner’s experience. There’s drama, intensity and adventure, but the intended audience simply doesn’t feel anything. For business stories to be effective, they must first make the intended audience “feel something” and engage their minds and emotions through their senses. Why? Because we remember what we feel, and emotions are the key to inciting action. Logic leads to conclusions, but it’s emotion that leads to action.

If you want to inspire change, improve staff engagement and win new customers through powerful stories, you must first move people. How do you do that in a business story? Actually, the same way you would in a novel. Use sensory language.

The most powerful stories activate at least two of our five senses: hear, see, smell, taste, and touch.

Storytelling guru Karen Dietz puts it beautifully.

“Storytelling has its own kind of language. And it’s definitely not the language of acronyms, definitions, science, data, and information. What is it? Simply put, it’s using LOTS: the language of the senses. Stories go far beyond the sharing of experience. They need to be communicated in a conversational manner, such that people can re-imagine in their own minds what you saw, smelled, felt, tasted, heard, and intuited. When you use sensory language or lots of LOTS, people’s brains, emotions, and senses all become immediately engaged. And what could be more powerful than that?”

If you’re struggling to make an emotional connection with your customers, I can help. Story IQ is more than just a content marketing agency, and goes deeper than an advertising agency or creative agency does.