Stories have such a compelling nature that we almost never tire of them.
They are so embedded into our every day lives, that we seldom give them a second thought. We have an endless diet of novels, movies, theatre and personal tales available to us 24 hours a day.
Entertainment is not they only use of them. They are used in fables and social teachings of many religions and philosophies. As their format presents an easy way of getting across what might be quite complex social messages. Even modern day TV soap operas have been used to explore the implications of many social dilemmas.
Sometimes they have been used in the form of riddles, such as zen koans, in order to engage the listener further.
Another use of stories is in their shortened metaphor format. These can be applied in a therapeutic setting as a way of getting a message across, or suggesting an alternative strategy or way of being. They are a highly effective way of embedding a message, without making it obvious. A part of the beauty of a metaphor, is that it invites you to go inwards and it triggers unconscious searches, without the conscious mind getting in the way and sabotaging new options.
The story form also has the advantage of engaging the superficial conscious mind, whilst at the same time getting another message across to the sub-conscious mind. A great example of this technique are the advertisements which are story form based, such as a family scenario, where we get engrossed in the family members and what they’re doing and saying, and don’t then filter out the message to buy their service or product.
As you can see, stories provide have a wide range of applications, in both social and business settings, when you want to get your message across. They can be applied to audiences of all ages, and have an almost endless variety.
To become a maser of this communication genre, I’d recommend Kevin Hogan’s Advanced Metaphor 3 CD course.
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