When I was a small girl, I had a best friend. My friend was pretty. And clever. And talented. She had perfect parents. Her grandparents were saints who cooked, played, laughed and told stories. Everyday, she did something full of joy and fun.
It was fascinating and bewildering and I envied her. A lot. Every day I turned the next page, to find out what she’d been doing.
This treasured compendium of tales from the daily life of my ‘best friend’, is my earliest recollection of story.
These stories shaped my growing up view on what made normal family life. It took some hard knocks from reality to come to terms with a different perception.
Stories do that. They shape perception, because we’re designed to respond to them.
We carry their emotional imprint with us way past when we’re first told them. There’s a scientific reason for that.
Dr Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play in the US, did a TED talk, ‘Play is more than fun’.
Play, he explained, lights up the brain and helps contextual memory to develop.
He went on to discuss imaginative play and said, ‘We all have an internal narrative that’s our own inner story. The unit of intelligibility of most of our brains is the story.’
Unit of intelligibility
Reflect on that for a moment. If a story is a unit of intelligibility, it’s also a currency of communication.
As a currency of communication, if you’re not telling story, you’re turning your back on your most powerful communications tool.
An opportunity to tell story
Yamini Naidu is the world’s only economist turned professional story teller.
That’s an unusual hook to pique people’s interest in a person consistently voted in the top three business storytellers globally and, as co-author of the appropriately named book, Hooked –How Leaders Connect, Engage and Inspire with Storytelling.
She knows how to spin a good yarn. She also knows how to help people make the most of their best communications tool–storytelling. Not only as a currency of communication, but as a marker of influence.
Yamini will talk about clarity in storytelling on July 16, in the fourth of the free webinar series, Clarity. Through A Glass Brightly. You can register here.