May 16, 2023
Stories have a tremendous impact on the way we
perceive the world and make decisions. They are deeply rooted in
our human nature and can be incredibly effective for marketing and
brand strategy. Utilizing storytelling in marketing creates an
emotional connection with the audience, which is integral for
influencing decisions and shaping behavior. Stories have a unique
ability to captivate attention, evoke emotions, and create a sense
of empathy with the characters, all of which are powerful tools for
businesses to reach their target customers.
During the podcast, Michelle Auerbach shared the
importance of focusing on a specific character or situation when
crafting a story, to achieve a strong emotional impact. By
providing a relatable context, stories can effectively communicate
complex messages and ideas that may get lost or appear less
engaging when presented as plain data or statistics. Auerbach
emphasized that incorporating storytelling into marketing and brand
strategy can be an essential factor for success, as it encourages
the audience to connect with the brand and take action that
benefits everyone involved.
- Master the art of storytelling for influencing human
behavior and boosting your business potential.
- Implement the three-point story arc for powerful
communication and establishing deeper connections.
- Trigger emotions through captivating storytelling
techniques that drive decision-making and prompt action.
- Reinforce group cohesion and empathy through genuine
and relatable stories.
- 00:00:00 - Introduction,
Melina introduces the episode and its focus on the power of story.
She explains that over the next few weeks, there will be guests
discussing various aspects of storytelling in life and
- 00:03:14 - Michelle Auerbach's Background,
Michelle talks about her childhood and her love for stories, which
led her to pursue a degree in literature and a career in teaching
that as well as ancient world languages. She then transitioned to
organizational change and leadership development, using
storytelling to help organizations develop culture and change.
- 00:06:01 - Story's Role in Change Management,
Michelle explains how story impacts change management in several
ways. Story has a somatic impact on the brain, helps with
co-regulation, facilitates learning, and helps people see
possibilities they wouldn't otherwise see. Story also helps people
focus and remember information, and it produces cortisol and
oxytocin, which encourage pro-social behavior.
- 00:11:10 - The Power of Story in Marketing and Brand
Melina and Michelle discuss how storytelling is used in marketing
and brand strategy. Michelle explains that storytelling can help
organizations connect with their audience by creating empathy and
helping people understand the impact of their work. By focusing on
one person's story, it can create a powerful emotional response and
motivate people to take action.
- 00:13:29 - The Biology of Storytelling,
Michelle explains the biology of storytelling and how it impacts
the brain. Story produces cortisol and oxytocin, which help people
focus and remember.
- 00:14:50 - The Importance of Storytelling in
Michelle shares her expertise in storytelling and how it can be
applied to business. She emphasizes the power of story in bridging
gaps in communication, sharing scientific information, and even
changing perspectives. She also suggests a simple three-part story
structure that can be used in presentations, conversations, and
even conflict resolution.
- 00:19:28 - Different Story Structures
Michelle talks about the diversity of story structures found in
different cultures and how they can be used in storytelling. She
gives examples of Japanese and West African story structures and
emphasizes the importance of not forcing one's own story structure
on others. She also suggests ways to learn about other people's
favorite stories and how it can build affinity and rapport.
- 00:25:06 - Using Story Cubes to Open Up
Melina shares her experience using Story Cubes in her workshops to
help people open up and share more about themselves. Story Cubes
are a fun tool that uses images to trigger memories and stories
that people might not have shared otherwise. Michelle also shares
her love for Story Cubes and how they can help people tap into
different parts of their memories and experiences.
- 00:27:00 - Priming with Storytelling
Michelle talks about the concept of priming and how it can be used
in storytelling to set the tone and mood for an event or meeting.
She gives examples of how organizations with a strong "why" or
Credo can use storytelling to bring that purpose into the room and
lead from that place.
- 00:28:59 - Using Story Cards,
Michelle created story cards with pictures from art students to
help people tell stories and add visuals to presentations. The
details in stories evoke feelings that anchor learning and
- 00:30:25 - Using Visuals in Storytelling,
Adding visuals to storytelling evokes feelings in another way and
helps with group cohesion. It's using our biology to benefit
learning and decision-making functions.
- 00:33:01 - Overcoming Biases with Storytelling,
Storytelling helps overcome biases, especially status quo bias, by
evoking feelings in the decision-making processes. It's important
to make people feel the impact of a situation rather than just
- 00:37:51 - Top Tips for Using Storytelling,
Start by listening to other people's stories and figuring out what
you like and what's possible for you to do. Practice being a good
story listener and asking story questions. Then, tell stories from
an authentic place and don't tell people how to feel about a
situation. Instead, ask them to tell you about their own
- 00:41:26 - Storytelling for Behavior Change,
Michelle shares her experience in Japan, where a doorman's story
about wearing masks "for politeness" helped her quickly change her
behavior. When telling stories, it's important to share your own
motivations rather than telling people what to do or feel.
- 00:43:20 - The Power of Story,
Michelle explains that storytelling has been part of human culture
for thousands of years. She shares that stories are powerful
because they evoke emotions, which are needed to make decisions. A
good story is relatable and makes abstract concepts more tangible.
By telling stories, you can help people understand and feel your
- 00:44:16 - Everyone Can Tell a Story,
Michelle encourages people to embrace their storytelling skills.
She says that everyone is born with the ability to tell a story and
it's a skill that can be developed. Michelle suggests that to
become a better storyteller, you should listen to stories and
figure out your own storytelling style. Don't try to be someone
else because it will be inauthentic and not work as well.
- 00:45:30 - Using Storytelling in Business,
Michelle explains that storytelling can be used in business to help
with change management, persuasive presentations, and creating
compelling sales pitches. She recommends using a simple structure
to tell stories, answering the questions: what's going on, what did
you do, and what happened. The right metaphors and connections can
make a story more powerful.
- 00:48:30 - Connecting Through Stories,
Michelle shares that she includes a recipe in her weekly newsletter
because food is part of cultural stories. She believes that by
sharing stories and experiences, you can create connections with
people. Michelle encourages people to use stories to engage with
others and make them feel something.
- 00:49:13 - Conclusion,
Melina's top insights from the conversation, a recap of Michelle’s
three-part storytelling framework, and items for you to consider as
you implement what you learned. What stuck with you while listening
to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with
Melina on social media -- you'll find her as @thebrainybiz
everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.
Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe
Podcasts or Android.
If you like what you heard, please leave a
review on iTunes and share what you liked about the
I hope you love
everything recommended via The Brainy Business! Everything was
independently reviewed and selected by me, Melina Palmer. So you
know, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That
means if you decide to shop from the links on this page (via Amazon
or others), The Brainy Business may collect a share of sales or
Learn and Support The Brainy
Check out and get your copies of Melina’s
Get the Books Mentioned on (or related to)
Connect with Michelle:
Top Recommended Next
Episode: DOSE Brain Chemicals (ep
Already Heard That One? Try
Other Important Links:
Brainy Bites - Melina’s LinkedIn Newsletter