Humans Hard-Wired for Stories

At the ci2011 Global Conference in Melbourne was opening speaker Professor Allan Fels AO.  His words were music to my ears.

Professor Fels started talking about the power of storytelling and that “as humans we are hardwired to tell stories and hardwired to listen to stories”.

He said “70% of what we learn is through stories” and that “storytelling is essential for innovation“.  Let’s look at Professor Fels two statements and why they ring so true.

“70% of what we learn is through stories”– Think of the last presentation you went to, or conference.  Was it the stories you remember?  Stories are how we make sense of the world, it is how we learn and it is what we remember.  Stories have the ability to not only help people understand what we are saying but they also allow people to remember what we have said and retell others without losing its meaning.  These are the three universal challenges as leaders, as teachers, as presenters and even as parents.

Do they understand what I am saying?

Will they remember what I am saying?

Can they share what I have said with others?

Stories will help you achieve traction on all those three challenges.

Storytelling is essentional for innovation” – During the conference we heard many views on what is essential for innovation, such as diversity, collaboration and culture of risk taking …and these are all important.  But once we have that culture of risk taking and once we have brought together a diverse group of minds in a collaborative envirnment it is the stories that are shared that will generate real innovation.  Why?   Because stories of what is possible sparks other stories of what is possible.  When people hear stories, they suspend judgement and stories when done right provide a glimpse of future possibilities and opportunities.

Thank you Professor Allan Fels for showing us the power of storytelling so succinctly.

Article posted by One Thousand & One, organisational storytelling (Australia)


By |2015-01-15T16:13:29+00:00November 24th, 2011|Storytelling|2 Comments

About the Author:

How many speakers leave you with memorable life lessons, motivating a life-perspective adjustment, a catalyst for real change? As a professional interactive performance artist, I have stage presence, charisma, a deep vibrant voice, and a message worth your time. I'm too busy to waste my time or yours with talk that cannot be applied personally and professionally in an immediate way. I performed ‘A Story NOT Silenced by Oral Cancer’ Off-Broadway in New York City to a sold-out audience, I founded the Six-Step Screening™ oral cancer awareness campaign, authored two books: ‘Mr. C Plays Hide & Seek’ and ‘Mr. C the Globetrotter,’ to empower children with coping skills and communication strategies when someone they love has cancer, and created ‘My Story Legacy,’ a creative format to document family stories, life values and wisdom for future generations. Share this link with friends/colleagues who participate in conferences in need of a speaker who will rock the house!


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