Business Storytelling = Trance Induction?

Jonathan Brill

Jonathan Brill

Jonathan Brill of Prolific.com asserts that storytelling in sales situations can be memorable, evocative, and often persuasive because stories engender:

• Trust-credibility
• Engagement-interest-attention
• Comprehension
• Transformation
• Vision
• Sharing

Brian Sturm

Brian Sturm

Brill referred to a model of storytelling developed by Brian Sturm, a professor at University of North Carolina’s School of Information and Library Science, who Sturm asserts that storytelling induces a “qualitatively different state of consciousness”, like “a light trance.”

Sturm surmises that trance can be induced ”when stories begin with paradoxical or nonsensical premises that engage both the more logical functions associated with the ‘left brain’ and non-verbal, emotive, creative elements associated with the ‘right brain’.”

He observes that stories “create an immersive, powerful world” that the listener may “struggle to gain access.”
In addition, stories “organize information” to “connect data points.”

Sturm notes that stories convey emotions and opportunities to learn from the example of winners and losers, so stories can build a sense of community and the capacity for empathy through shared experience.

He presents a seven-stage model of the Storylistening Experience in this video.

Mike Bonifer

Mike Bonifer

Brill also drew on Mike Bonifer’s discussion of the difference between “Newtonian narrative” vs “Quantum narrative,” which aligns to the distinction between a linear, logical, rational story in contrast to an organically emerging story suffused with emotion, imagery, and metaphor.

Like Sturm, Bonifer sees story as a way to organize information, and he adapts theatrical improvisation methods to business environments.
Bonifer sees improvisation as a “narrative engine” in the context of his ‘Five Act’ methodology for business consulting:

-Listen
-Connect
-Collaborate
-Adapt
-Perform

-*Where have you seen business stories induce “trance”?

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©Kathryn Welds

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5 thoughts on “Business Storytelling = Trance Induction?

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