In knowledge translation, it’s always important to know your audience and tailor your KT to them. But what’s the one thing almost everyone has in common? When we were little kids, we all begged people – our parents, grandparents, teachers, anyone – to “tell us a story.”
That desire to hear a good story never really goes away. So doesn’t it make sense sometimes to couch KT in the terms of a good story? The sales industry has latched on to this idea, and there’s no reason why those of us in KT can’t adapt it to our needs, too.
Mike Bosworth, the author of two bestselling and near-legendary books about salesmanship, is a proponent of story selling, and I just ran across a great interview with him on bNet, the CBS interactive business network online.
“For most of the 190,000 years that humans have been alive on this earth, they’ve learned their most important information, including survival skills, culture, religion, etc., through stories,” said Bosworth. “The human brain, in fact, is wired specifically so that stories, and storytelling, have a much stronger emotional impact than information that’s presented quantitatively or according to some other emotionless structure.”
Heady stuff, I know! Bosworth goes on to explain what makes a good storyteller, how storytelling works on the brain, and the importance of being a good listener. Sure, the conversation is geared toward selling products, but aren’t we all, at heart, selling something? We’re just selling knowledge instead of a physical product.
Check it out and think about ways you may be able to incorporate storytelling into your KT pursuits. And tell us how you may have already done so in the comments!