Jonathan Gottschall’s book, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, adds to the burgeoning number of volumes that analyze the meaning, mechanisms, and impact of storytelling in business settings.
He argues that stories help people navigate life’s complex social problems at work and home, by helping develop empathic understanding and “trying on” solutions through observational learning in a virtual “experience simulator.”
Gottschall discusses dreams as “night stories,” focused on a protagonist’s quest to achieve goals, and he acknowledges dream researchers’ definition of dreams: “intense sensorimotor hallucinations with a narrative structure,” including literary elements like plot, theme, character, scene, setting, point of view, perspective.
He considers psychotherapists as “script doctors,” who help individuals revise personal narratives to restore efficacy as protagonists in one’s life story.
Nancy Duarte provides guidance on best practices to tell compelling business stories using literary and graphic elements in her latest book, HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, published by Harvard Business School Press.
She is well-known for producing Al Gore’s original slides that formed the foundation of his Academy Award-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Duarte gained wide-spread recognition for her first book, a business best-seller, slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations
Her second book was well-received and built on the principles she articulated in her original book. Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences
-*When have you been able to “try on solutions” to life’s challenges by telling or hearing relevant stories?
-*When have you served as an informal “script doctor” to help someone modify a problematic personal narrative?