November 19, 2017

Stories: better than sex?

Give readers a shot of the love drug, oxytocin

We knew stories were more effective than charts, tables, graphs and simple assertions at helping readers remember what they’ve read, use the information and make good decisions based on the information.

Stories: better than sex

I love you, too! Stories — like canoodling — give your brain a hit of oxytocin. Image by India Tupy

That’s according to a 2003 study by University of Oregon professors Judith Hibbard and Ellen Peters.

But now it turns out that stories may perform better than sophisticated legal maneuvers, be the best way to help someone solve a logic problem, and flood our bodies with the same chemical we produce during sex.

Let’s take a look at the research:

1. The jury is in.

Here’s an argument for storytelling, if I’ve ever heard one: In a trial to determine whether the defendant, Johnson, was guilty of stabbing another man, Caldwell, to death in a barroom fight, it didn’t matter what evidence lawyers presented as much as how they presented it.

Storytelling helps jurors decide

Related stories

“‘History’ is mostly ‘story.’”
— Ken Burns, whose 19 films have earned a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Peabody Awards and four Emmy Awards

Master the Art of the Storyteller

Whoever tells the best story wins

Storytelling is “the most powerful form of human communication,” according to Peg Neuhauser, author of Corporate Legends and Lore.

Master the Art of the Storyteller

Happily ever after Learn to find, develop and write stories that engage the hearts and minds of your readers. Image by Civalias Kune

Indeed, stories can help you grab attention, boost credibility, make your messages more memorable — even communicate better.

Stories are so effective that Og Mandino, the late author of the bestselling The Greatest Salesman in the World, says, “If you have a point, find a story.”

At Master the Art of the Storyteller — our two-day creative-writing master class on Sept. 25-26 in New York — you’ll learn to find, develop and write stories that engage readers’ hearts and minds.

Specifically, you’ll learn how to:

  • Find the aha! moment that’s the gateway to every anecdote.
  • Elicit juicy stories with the key question to ask during an interview.
  • Organize your material into a powerful story in just three steps with our simple storytelling template.
  • Start an anecdote with a bang — instead of a whimper.
  • Find anecdotes in the making with “WBHA.”

Last chance in 2017! Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller today.

“I learned techniques that improved my writing; I only wish it had been 20 years sooner!”
— Shelley Nelson, campus director, Arizona Christian University

Polish your skills at these Master Classes

Learn to Master the Art of the Storyteller, Catch Your Readers, Get Clicked, Cut Through the Clutter and more

Register for Master the Art of the Storyteller in New York: Ann Wylie’s creative-writing workshop in New York on Sept. 25-26, 2017

New York | Sept. 25-26

Register for Catch Your Readers in Kansas City: Ann Wylie’s persuasive-writing workshop in Kansas City on Nov. 16-17, 2017

Kansas City | Nov. 16-17

Register for Write For The Web and Mobile: Ann Wylie’s online-writing workshop in Miami on Dec. 11-12, 2017

Miami | Dec. 11-12

Rather bring Ann in to train your whole team?

Catch Ann on the road

Save when you book a workshop while I’m in your neighborhood

Ask about piggybacking on my upcoming engagements in:

  • Atlanta: Nov. 13-14
  • Boston: Oct. 9
  • Kansas City: Nov. 16-17
  • Memphis: Nov. 2
  • Miami: Dec. 11-12
  • New York: Sept. 25-26
  • Dallas: Oct. 16-20
  • Roseville, CA: Oct. 24
  • Washington, DC: Oct. 31

Keep up with my calendar.

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