As creatures that have a capacity for empathy and the ability to form beliefs, the majority of us want to encourage positive social change. But your efforts may be ineffective without a specific framework that has been used intuitively for centuries. Therefore, if you learn to use this framework, you can become an influential change maker for the causes you care most about and convince others to do the same.
My guest Jessica Blank is an award-winning writer, director, actor and story consultant whose work has created positive change for social causes. Jessica accredits her successes to the transformative power of story and believes we all possess this ability. In this episode, she shares how storytelling can connect, inspire, and motivate people to transform society for the better.
You don’t have to be Shakespeare or a playwright to use story to effectively create change. ~Jessica Blank
The power of narrative really comes down to how it’s structured and knowing your audience.
We need to understand our audience first in order to deliver them a story that resonates with them and therefore closes the gap between them and us. ~Jessica Blank
Science has found that listening to a well-structured personal account spikes blood levels of both oxytocin and ACTH, also known as empathy and narrative tension or pity and fear. This strategic use of story structure is single-handedly the most powerful and effective storytelling tool we all possess because our response to it is wired within us. However, even with a story well structured, the chances of pro-social action without first understanding what it is your audience truly cares about are slim.
You don’t have to be a master at storytelling, because it is actually the structure of story that is genius and affects our brains. ~Jessica Blank
Hear Jessica’s insights on how to trigger empathy, convince your audience to engage and rally for a cause.
Topics Discussed in this Episode
- How storytelling is simply a technology for triggering empathy
- How to move people and take them on a journey to get them engaged in a respectful and intelligent dialogue
- How to increase your story literacy to help you become a more influential change-maker
- How storytelling biologically affects the human body
Resources & Links
- Jessica Blank’s website
- The Exonerated film
- The Exonerated play
- Show #182: How Defense Attorneys Use Cinematic Storytelling to Reduce Sentences
- Dr. Paul Zak’s show #6: Building Trust Through Story
- Dr. Paul Zak’s article, Why Inspiring Stories Make Us React: The Neuroscience of Narrative
- Jessica Blank’s Twitter
- Jessica Blank’s Instagram
- Story Cycle
- Review the Business of Story podcast on iTunes