Have you ever listened to a story and felt an emotional connection to the speaker, but didn’t know why?
It was because you experienced THE CODE.
What’s THE CODE?
It is biochemical responses in your body when you hear a sensory-rich narrative. Research proves that these stories trigger the release of hormones in your body. The most prominent include:
Cortisol. Oxytocin. Dopamine. Endorphins.
Each has a specific physiological effect on you. By themselves, they each create a connection between a speaker and listener. Combined, they develop a deep bond that makes a speaker irresistible to listen to. They also make that person more persuasive.
How Do They Work?
Every hormone has specific functions. With regard to story, this is how each impacts you:
This is often called the ‘stress hormone.’ It creates tension, which is a side-effect of curiosity. Memorable stories create tension-evoking questions like:
Will she get out of this dilemma?
What’s he going to since he’s so mad?
Will they stay together after this big fight?
Cortisol generated by memorable stories creates tension which keeps people engaged.
Sometimes referred to as the ‘trust hormone’. Oxytocin develops a bond between audiences members and a speaker. Emotions trigger the release of this biochemical.
One of my keynote stories highlights an experience I had with my dad. We had a chance encounter with a former student of his, Craig. He told dad, “It’s been 25 years since you’ve seen me, but I want you to know you had a major impact on my life. Because of your class, I discovered a love of science and biology. That led to me becoming a doctor. Thanks for setting on this path, Mr. Davis.”
That experience showed me the potential power of speaking and coaching.
This story always generates responses from audiences. Emotions stem from the father-son narrative or the teacher-student aspect. These trigger positive memories and feelings in audiences. As a result, they feel more connected to me.
This hormone triggers feelings like desire, and it also stimulates curiosity. This is a key component of a memorable story.
Dopamine combines with cortisol to create the urge to know more. It causes audiences to ‘lean in’ so they can hear more. This will continue until your story reaches a satisfying conclusion.
If your audience isn’t curious, your story is over. They won’t remember it, or your point.
In my story Success Lessons From an Indy Car, I create moments of curiosity:
Why was he so scared?
Will he realize his dream and pass other cars?
Will he crash?
By the time the story concludes, the audience has a new perspective. They have a different view of success. They may even take away a positive feeling about auto racing.
These biochemicals trigger feelings of euphoria and reduce pain. They’re released when you laugh. Research has proven that laughter has a positive physiological effect.
Laughter can be a critical component in storytelling. It makes audiences more likely to hear important points. An old speaker’s saying supports this idea:
“Get ‘em laughing, then hit ‘em with your best material.”
When audiences laugh, they feel better. They trust you more and are more likely to hear your serious message.
At one point in my Success Lessons From an Indy Car talk, I discuss my new career of speaking, coaching, and writing. I say, “I wrote my first book, and I don’t want to brag, but as of today, that book has sold tens of……
Audiences always laugh at this, because they’re expecting a much bigger number. My follow-up point is that “instead of talking about writing the book, as I had done for about 10 years, I finally wrote it. There’s power in taking action and completing a big goal that you didn’t think you could achieve.”
The laughter about the number of books sold prepares them to hear that final message about accomplishing a big goal.
Storytelling can be your most powerful persuasion tool. Structure your narrative with emotion and sensory experiences. Use the CODE. Your audiences will respond to you in new and deeper ways. You’ll leave an impact that lasts far beyond the platform.
FREE Report – Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?
The ability to tell business stories that inspire action can be your most valuable business asset. World class presenters use storytelling ‘tools’ that make a huge difference in how you experience their narratives.
On the other hand, it only takes a few minor mistakes to deliver a forgettable story. There are seven common storytelling ‘sins’ that are difficult to spot but easily overcome.
To discover these common mistakes, download your complimentary copy of the report:
‘Are You Committing the 7 Deadly Storytelling Sins?’
To receive your copy, click here.