Everything that exists in our lives is a story waiting to be told, whether it’s a real one, something adapted or something made up to make our days a little more exciting.
When I sit at a table with friends I count the number of assumed people that are about to speak before it becomes my turn to chip in, like when you play UNO and you calculate who you are going to hit with your pick-up 4 card, I plan out what I’m going to say, in the short amount of seconds that I have before the attention has been deferred to my direction I storyboard the scenes of my next statement in my mind. How am I going to say what I need to say, how will I start? Where will I end? And what will be the climax?
‘Like when you play UNO and you calculate who you are going to hit with your pick-up 4 card’
It could even be something as simple as talking about the sandwich I ate today. But you see, just like any audience, your friends are waiting to be entertained, they are waiting to feel engaged with what you are just about to say, they are wanting to resonate and connect with you on a level that requires a response from their side.
So all of a sudden, the sandwich that I ate today becomes a story in itself. A story that describes the walk down to the store from my apartment, the attractive human I bumped into in the elevator, how I was a few rands short from affording the sandwich I actually wanted but how the cashier told me “no worries man!” and gave it to me anyway. Only then, do I proceed to tell them how it was the best sandwich I’ve had in just over two months.
It’s this inherent need to provide value to the people around us that we create experiences in our conversations, through tone, our gestures, our over exaggeration of daily life, or even under exaggeration just for effect. We are all natural storytellers, and as Shakespeare’s famous quote states “All the world’s a stage”.
It’s this inherent need to provide value to the people around us that we create experiences in our conversations
Now if ‘all the world’s a stage’ and all people of the world are standing on this stage, how do we make our performance stand out?
This is something that has become extremely prevalent in the new age of marketing. Brands are finding it harder to reach their audience because their audience have all become more aware of advertising tactics, and with awareness becomes boredom.
They want to feel like they can relate to you on a personal level, they want you to make them feel something, they want to feel like they know you, like they can trust you, only then will they buy from you.
That’s why classic marketing techniques are failing. Gone are the days where I can show my audience a picture of the sandwich I’m selling and immediately expect them to buy one. I need to take them on a journey, I need to add human elements to my story, I need to create a narrative around the sandwich before even mentioning the sandwich and only once we feel that our audience is listening with all ears do we bring in the sandwich.