Did you know, that being memorable is easier with a story? In fact, people are 22 times more likely to remember a story instead of remembering a fact or statistic. Great to start a story with a fact in that case, don’t you think. But that was really to grab your attention.
I love stories and I have to say, in the work we do, we have had the privilege of meeting lots of great storytellers and companies that are open to creating stories to engage their people. Each game we create tends to have a story attached, and the players become active parts of how the story evolves.
Whether it is a cybersecurity boardgame where the business your CEO has chosen comes under attack from various angles. Sometimes it is human error, sometimes it is intentional malicious behaviour and technology malfunction. Each player has a differing level of impact on certain areas and as a team, you combat your business back to safety.
In an online training, the captain sets you a challenge to navigate through all your learning and arrive at your destination with all your crew still alive and well. Mission failure leads to endangerment of your crew and has the potential to sink your challenge altogether.
Whilst people may not remember the detail of the missions or scenarios, they do remember the impact and how it made them feel. Just think of it this way, when you go to the movies to watch a documentary, what are the parts you will talk about when someone asks ‘how was the movie?’. I went to see the movie made about the lead up to the Enron collapse, what I can remember is the hype and activity in the lead up to the collapse and then the devastation and impact on all the lives after the facts, including of those who caused it.
One of my favourite storytellers of today’s world and who sadly passed away not so long ago is Hans Rosling, who specialised in storytelling around factual information. He made graphs come to life with stories.
If you are unsure of how to master this craft for use in gamification and business, then look for material on screenwriting for movies. One of my favourites on the topic is John Truby. He explains that most stories have been built around characters who go through something, whether it is a story of transformation, coming of age, love, challenge and overcoming or even a simple adventure.
The key is to pick characters and storylines that fit your messaging and corporate values. If your bank suddenly started talking about characters that are losing it all and going through a major financial crisis, that may not be what you want to hear to trust them more. However, a beauty brand that makes you feel like you are worth it may well get your attention.
The advertising and marketing fields have made their millions in creating great stories when it comes to internal messaging to our employees most of the time we don’t see the same level of storytelling, which I think is a real shame because it is one of the most effective ways of sharing information.
So here is my challenge to you today, what will you explain with a story?