Since the times we sat in caves around a fire, our learning was through stories. For centuries the education system around the world depended on stories which were shared and repeated over the generations. Ever imagined how did they immortalize information before the invention of sustainable writing and storage of scriptures. It was all in the form of stories. Our Upanishads, scriptures like Gita, great source of wisdom and knowledge all were in the form of stories. The Greeks followed the Logos, Pathos, Ethos model of storytelling to pass on knowledge for generations.
As a student in school my favorite subjects were English, History and Art. In high school I fell in love with Sociology and Anthropology. Those were the pre internet days. I would spend hours in the library digging out more stories about Shakespeare, World War, The civil War of USA and stories of our freedom fighters.
Today about 3 decades later when I look back and connect the dots. I realized I was a storyteller at heart. I could interpret things better when I could connect them with emotions. For me to understand something, I needed something more than facts. I needed all the parts of my brain and heart to come together, to get me involved and interested and thus believe.
What is unique in the storytelling model that it can be remembered, while facts we tend to forget or distort? Stories makes us a part of their world. We get involved in the Good vs Evil world. We take sides, we empathize, we live their lives vicariously. This three sixty-degree involvement makes us remember the stories for a life time. Have we forgotten the story of Ramayana or Mahabharata, Tales of Akbar Birbal or Chanakya? We still remember Cinderella or Snow White. The reason is, that we became a part of their lives, we lived their values, we took sides while hearing the story.
Today this art of storytelling has entered the business and the corporate world. It is being used to build bridges between the clients and the parent company. A PowerPoint presentation can tell you the facts, but a story will connect you with their desires and emotions, will make them believe you and follow you.
The unique power which a story teller has is to break barriers, to make them rise and applaud your endeavor, your journey rather stifles a yawn after you are done.